Thunder Seizes Summer Learning


Senior Myra Singh embracing the Fijian island life

Oh summer, how fast you pass us by. It’s been more than a month since freedom was at our fingertips and the days are starting to feel like distant memories. With school back in session, all there’s left to do is reminisce about the happier, merrier, sunnier times. I’m sure everyone had as fantastic a summer as ever, though of all the cool summer stories out there, some very noteworthy ones have surfaced- ones I just had to share.

Our journey begins in Europe, where freshman Kat Gaukhman spent the summer traversing ten different countries. These countries include Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria. That’s even impressive for the well-traveled adult. Kat is ecstatic that she was fortunate to experience such a phenomenal trip.

“I liked France (Paris) and the Ukraine the most. Paris was organized and clean, and it’s one of those places everyone has to go to before they die. They have a lot to do there. I liked Ukraine because that’s where my family is from, they have good food and it’s just a down-to-earth and culturally unique place” explain Kat. “Overall the trip was amazing and I learned how different all of the cultures are from ours.”

This trip sounded like the experience of a lifetime and something that was truly special to her. Kat- next time you set out for Europe, count me in!

Another cultural experience that stood out was senior Sam Hajduk’s language trip in China. He stayed with two different host families in China; one in a city and the other in a small village.

“The one in the city spoke English but the one in the village didn’t speak any English so communicating was sort of hard,” says Sam.

“My favorite thing I did there was going to a Buddhist temple and getting to watch a chanting session the monks did. I left china kind of thinking that people should try to learn from experiences and go live life instead of always worrying about what might happen or how bad things are- kind of like trying to be happy with whatever happens, because it’s a pretty great life people live.”

Our next and final story is that of senior Myra Singh, who travelled to Fiji with the organization Rustic Pathways to work on various community service projects. She worked on local infrastructure projects, educational projects, and even cooked a few Fijian meals.

“I really loved this experience because I feel that it has really changed my world view. It is very humbling to participate in community service, especially service that impacts people living in a country with such great poverty,” Myra shares. “My favorite part was working with the kids, because it was such an eye opening experience and I think I learned a lot about myself through doing it.”

I don’t know about you, but these seem like some pretty cool summer stories. If you see any of these three around campus, don’t be afraid to ask them about their experiences; I’m sure they would be more than happy to share.

Whenever you’re tired, or stressed, or just ready for school to be over, remember that summer is only eight short months away, and that time will fly by faster than you can imagine. I promise, Thunder, summer will come again soon enough.
So, what did you do this summer?