Ten Thousand Stories
by Paul Hagen, Dean of Students
When I was asked to reflect on EBC Week for this edition of Insight, I didn’t give it much thought at all. Surely it would be easy, I assumed, to jot down a meaningful memory or two from my time in D.C. with 8th graders. But as I began to consider my options more carefully, it became increasingly clear that the task would be anything but easy. Should I be humorous, telling a story about a student (who will remain nameless) who dozed off during oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, drawing giggles from the greatest legal minds in our country? Or should I recount a poignant moment of deep learning, like when we explored the National Holocaust Museum where we saw firsthand the ugliness of bigotry? Should I tell of the beauty of the cherry blossoms? Or the informative visits with Representative DelBene and Senator Murray? Should I share how all our feet were aching after walking an average of nine miles every day? Or should I describe the monuments in the early morning light, or share what we learned during our night walking tour? Maybe I could explain the feeling of looking at the Constitution in the National Archives, or I standing in awe in the Capitol dome? Or perhaps I could recount the adventure we had in the International Spy Museum?
But even if I shared all these memories and more, the story of EBC Week would be woefully incomplete. Last week, our students participated in eighteen unique educational opportunities beyond the classroom. Students filmed a professional quality movie, hiked in the Olympic rainforest, explored the culture and history of France and Germany, discovered the distinctive landscape of Tennessee, visited colleges in Chicago, served in New Orleans, practiced Spanish in Spain, watched theatre in Ashland, embraced the arts in LA, and so much more. So, if each student could recall just five moments, big and small, from each day of their EBC Week experience, our students could collectively share 10,000 stories from a week of exploration and discovery.
Consequently, instead of trying to capture every moment myself—instead of me telling you how interesting, or inspiring, or educational, or amazing EBC Week was—I will simply encourage you to ask students to share their memories and stories with you. There are ten thousand stories to hear, so start listening!