On October 14, KIS 9th grade was filled with laughter, jubilance, and anxiousness. While the upperclassmen were taking the PSAT, the freshmen class had the opportunity to embark on what the teachers call ‘the best trip ever in high school’—Everland. This Experiential Education trip was organised by three 9th grade teachers: Ms. Clarke, Mr. Ryther, and Ms. Cuellar. These three teachers, along with several others, dedicated their time to organize not only a time for advisories to bond, but also a day in which students could utilize the core teachings of KIS to everyday challenges.
This trip was not simply an excitement for the teachers—it was also a source of elation for the students. Through interviewing several freshies, we learned of their anticipation for the trip as well. Susan Cho (‘19) told us that she “expects the EE Trip to have numerous bonding activities, and that she was pretty excited for the trip.” Likewise, Youngsang Ryu (‘19) expressed his ecstasy for the trip, telling us that he was “really enthusiastic about the upcoming scavenger hunt in Everland and that he couldn’t wait until the next morning to go on the trip.” Ryan Koo (‘19) seemed especially enthusiastic about the trip: “I think the trip will be really fun! I’m really excited to attend this trip and take a break from school. I hope that everyone will have tons of fun tomorrow.”
The trip started with advisories designing flags. Over the two weeks before the trip, 9th grade advisories worked on designing a creative flag that could represent their advisory, which would be ranked in order of best quality. The advisories that created the best flags would have an advantage of starting the race earlier than other advisories. Taking a look at the various flags was exciting, especially because the creativity and effort involved in all of them could be easily observed. AhJin Cho (‘19) told us about the process behind creating her advisory’s flag: “We made a phoenix out of our flag by pasting the pieces together. With the leftover pieces we made feathers, wrote our names on it, and glued to the phoenix.”
In the beginning of the scavenger hunt, each advisory was given a packet with multiple challenges such as taking photos at specific locations, giving a hug to a random person, riding the T-Express, solving mathematical puzzles, eating a butter-dried octopus in less than five minutes, and many more. These obstacles tested advisories on their teamwork abilities and also their performance of multiple areas of subjects, including math, english and science; however, some were more difficult for others—like riding the T-Express or entering the Horror Maze. Although many were hesitant of riding it, members of all the advisories cooperated, encouraged, and advocated each other to be risk-takers. Several students challenged themselves to face their fears of riding the gigantic roller coaster or of voluntarily stepping into a horridly, dark maze filled with ghosts and jump scares. Susan Cho informed us that she had to “overcome [her] fears” by going into the Horror Maze.
The Everland trip has proven not only to be the exciting trip that it was expected to be, but also to be one that truly taught students didactic lessons about teamwork. Jenny Woo (‘19) claimed of learning that “communicating and cooperating with your teammates are very important.” AhJin learned “to understand and follow other peoples’ choices that [she] didn’t agree with at first.” With such valuable lessons learned, the freshmen definitely will be able to cooperate and collaborate better together in the future; and, incorporate such lessons to school group projects and presentations to produce the best results.
– Ariel Hyunseo Kim (’19) and Sarah Oh (’19)