12 Apr Boston Trip 2019
by James A.
I have heard that 11th grade students at St. Stephen’s have more homework than every other class. Watching the seniors prepare their theses, I’m slightly suspicious of that statement. One thing is certain, though: the junior and senior years are hard. College looms on the horizon like a giant dollar sign, with the yet greater question mark of career behind it. Homework loads are up, responsibilities begin to weigh students down even more than the textbooks in their backpacks, and suddenly people begin expecting us to act like adults (or not – I’m looking at you, modern culture). Anyway, life is challenging for us juniors and seniors right now. The trip to Boston was a welcome reprieve from these challenges, a breath of fresh air, but it was also more than that. It was an adventure, and it was an opportunity.
Adventure took the steering wheel at the start of the trip and never let go. We toured graveyards, ballparks, beautiful old churches, and the U.S.S. Constitution (“Old Ironsides” – the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel). We ate eggplant pizza, pancakes bigger than dinner plates, lobster bisque, and the legendary Italian Cannoli served up at Mike’s Pastry. We played Liar and Uno in an airplane and Checkers in a tea museum. We took pictures: pictures of trees, pictures in trees, pictures from trees, pictures of people taking pictures of people in trees. (Oh, and did I mention that we took pictures?) We petted bronze ducklings in the Boston Commons and sat on a bronze donkey in front of a church. We rode the subway, took the bus, traveled by train (once without paying), and we walked, skipped, ran, climbed, and flew. We mounted all 294 gruelling stone spiral steps of the Bunker Hill Memorial. We travelled 246 years into the past to heave crates of British tea into Boston Harbor, talk with famous revolutionary Samuel Adams, and listen to an argument between two paintings that literally came to life. Then, as we trickled back into the triplex at the end of each long day, we would watch TV or play games until at least midnight. Ish. Approximate statistics: 7 miles of walking per day, 5 hours of sleep per night, 1 musician per subway station, 26 adventures per minute.
The trip wasn’t just a fantastic adventure, though. It was also an opportunity – a chance for us to lay foundations for our lives, both in our American heritage and in our relationships with those around us. That week was one of camaraderie, of community, of brother-and-sister-hood. Threads of friendship wove it together. It is said that strength is built through adversity, but strength is also built through peace, through beauty, through joy. The junior and senior classes got to experience these things together in Boston, and it is my hope that we all brought them back in our hearts. Here is a toast for the Boston trip: to strong friendships, to deep roots, and to a spark of joy to light us through the challenging times we’re all experiencing in life. Finally, to God, who saw fit to throw together our ragtag crew of 22 students and 4 teachers at this precise point in history and in this particular school, and to give us this grand opportunity. Evidently, God knows what He’s doing. So the trip, in all its craziness and glory, was both an opportunity and an adventure. However, because it is best to describe things in sets of three, I will add one final (and perhaps, better) descriptor: the trip to Boston was a blast.