Journal for Friday, May 16
Note about Friday's Journal: This last journal was done a bit differently than the others. Tucker Sukraw wrote the overall piece and Marlene Schoeneck added quotes that the kids passed on to her on the bus as to what the trip meant to them. Please also see the "Reflections" section, by Marlene and Peter, at the bottom of this window.
Friday (Day 5):
The last four days of this trip have been fun and a learning experience. We have learned a lot about how the landscape was formed, why rocks are where they are, and where fossils are and why fossils are deposited in some areas and not others.
Today consisted of a long ride back to Parkers Prairie, MN from Hot springs, SD. On the way to Hot Springs, everyone was wild and excited, and on the way back everyone was quiet, sitting in their seats, with some sleeping.
On this trip we have seen a variety of animals. We have seen wild turkey, buffalo, mountain goat, prong horn, prairie dogs, turkey vultures, mule deer, and snakes.
Comments from the kids, on what the trip has meant to them:
"What made a difference to me is that I might never do these types
of things again." - Tucker
Reflections from Marlene Schoeneck and Peter Whelan:
Now that the kids have had a chance to share with you, it is our turn. We could not close this trip without telling you how much it has meant to us, and to everyone who has been a part of this adventure.
It is hard to put into words what we feel has happened over the course of these five days. Words are by far inadequate, but many times we have summed it up as simply (or unsimply) "magic". We have watched kids grow. They have learned cooperation, new friendships, responsibility, and that they can do far more than they ever felt possible.
Thursday evening as we were sitting at a picnic table discussing the trip, two of the 8th grade girls came skipping hand in hand down the path. This may seem like a small thing, yet it is also the epitome of what has happened here. There has been boundless joy and energy that has far surpassed the minor problems and glitches that arise in any endeavor of this size. Kids have talked to us and trusted us enough to share some of their hearts and souls, as have we in return. We would like to share a few of the comments that have especially touched out hearts:
"Thank you, Peter, for the best day of my life."
"I get it out here. I don't get it in the classroom, but here, I get it."
"I came here not being sure if education was the field for me. I am leaving convinced that this is what I want to do."
Before we left for this trip, many told us we must either be extremely dedicated or crazy to spend five days camping with 8th graders. We would like to thankfully proclaim that we are both dedicated and crazy! Thank you parents for lending us these wonderful kids for the experience of a lifetime. Kids, never forget how special you are and that you are capable of doing far more than you or the world ever thought possible. We love you!!
The eighth grade