Maroon and Gold Go East to West

From the Eiffel Tower of Paris, France to the Mountains’ of Scotland fellow Lynx are found exploring different cultures and different worlds. Every year students have the privilege to accompany their teachers to the far outreaches of the world to experience different ways of life. The World Languages Department Chair Dean Ball, who also is a Spanish and German instructor, has taken his students to Peru , Germany, France, Spain and Morocco . “It makes the acquisition of the language they are learning more meaningful…Traveling is the best way to gain an appreciation for culture…” Ball said. Ball along with other instructors go out of their way every year to make sure that their students gain experience they will never forget. Spain During Spring Break 2009 Ball, accompanied by A.J. Dimond High School Principal Cheryl Guyett and almost 20 students and parents, traveled to Southern Spain and Africa. “We went to a bunch of cities,” said Junior Brian Brigandi, “It was really cool to see the different cultures.” The travelers viewed cathedrals, castles, market, monasteries and countless other spectacles. The memories and friends gained from this once-in-a-lifetime trip will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Scotland Another trip that took place during August 2009 was to England and Scotland. Science and Acting teacher Wilma Keller and her students won a two-week trip to perform and observe other performances in the Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival . “ London is awesome, hot, and humid,” said Senior Cole Ratcliff. “We got to see ‘Wicked’, ‘ Phantom of the Opera ’, and ‘ West Bank ’.” Not only did the group watch plays, they performed four plays in front of hundreds of people in Scotland. “Wow, it was really fun,” said Senior Nicole Broquet. “We got to see some Scottish dancing and we kept on running around and bumping into people.” France During the summer of 2009, Dimond students embarked on a journey to France with another High School from Kansas where they had the privilege to stay with a host family for 5-days. “It was cool,” Senior Kalyssa Maile said “I got to stay on a farm…it smelled like cows.” Being with a host family is a great way for students to fully experience the countries culture and make life-long friends from different countries. “Not only does traveling open doors to culture and language, but it fosters the cultivation of relationships,” said Ball. “Many of the students who have participated in the exchanges tell me they are still in contact with their hosts and even members of other schools with which we travel.” These trips are not free, but Mr. Ball along with other instructors are willing to help get students started on fundraising because they believe that these trips will change the students perspective on life and in most cases they do. “Definitely go,” Maile said. “You make alot of friends, it’s a great cultural experience, and you get to travel and see the world.” Other trips going on this school year are to the Galapagos Islands , Ecuador , Italy, Greece, Bremen, Prague, Czech Republic , Austria , Liechtenstein and Switzerland . Dimond is even having foreign students from Germany come in March. There is no exact date set but they will stay for three weeks and Ball needs some volunteer host families. For more information contact Ball, Sophie Litee and Katrina Zimmerman.