The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum


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Semester Away Experiences Continue, Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, global programs continue to excite
Submitted by: Rabi Michael Crushshon ’22
Rabi Michael-Crushshon ‘22 had the opportunity to lead her group during a hike. She had to use maps to guide the group and follow trails.

While most students transitioned to hybrid learning (HTLP) in the fall, Gunnar Johnson ’23, Hank Bernhardt ’22, Rabi Michael-Crushshon ’22, and twins Sofia Hedlund ’23 and Marcus Hedlund ’23, transitioned to their semesters away.

     Michael-Crushshon spent her first semester at the Alzar school in Idaho where she enjoyed a different and outdoor-based learning environment that allowed her to build leadership skills and explore new passions. Due to the pandemic, the first two weeks of classes occurred outdoors, masks were required in class, and, most significantly, the half-semester trip to Chile was canceled.

     She enjoyed Alzar because of the outdoor trips and focus on leadership both in the classroom and on expeditions. She says, “We went on two two-week expediti

on blocks where we were just out in the wilderness camping… and our expedition groups were eight to ten people, so you’re kind of relying on each other.”


Sofia Hedlund ‘23 speaks to the impact that COVID-19 had on the semester: “Normally, there is a trip to Venice, and we couldn’t do that because Italy was getting shut down.” (Submitted by: Sofia Hedlund ’23)

     Sofia, Marcus, and Gunnar all attended Swiss Semester in Zermatt, Switzerland. Inspired to go from her older brother’s experience and photos online, Sofia was excited to have the opportunity to spend time both in school and outside trying new activities. Gunnar echoes this saying, “My brother had done it as well and thought it was amazing, so I was looking to have the same experience … the trips around are a lot of fun, because you’re in school but you’re able to go out and have a super nice break … being

Hank Bernhardt ’22 shares about the living situation at Maine Coast Semester saying, “My favorite part about the program was living at school… We lived in cabins, so I think the cabin life was really cool. Then living with the teachers that taught me and then kind of were like a parent figure living within the bounds of school was definitely my favorite part…. I lived with 6 cabinmates…. ” (Submitted by: Hank Bernhardt ’22)

able to ski in November and then go to classes in the afternoon is super nice.”

     Sofia was able to experience new things that she wouldn’t have been able to anywhere else, stating, “I got to go paragliding and ride in a helicopter. It was also really crazy to be able to go out into the mountains every single day.”

     Bernhardt went to Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki in Wiscasset, Maine, an outdoor program that focuses on environmental education. He describes, “It was more like field-based, a lot less classroom orientated, more about learning with your hands. You’d learn it, then you would see it … one week we learned about the intertidal zone, then we went to the ocean to see what we had learned about.”

     Before attending the program, Bernhardt and his classmates were required to quarantine for two weeks and have two negative COVID-19 tests. Once they arrived, they had to quarantine for another two weeks. Although they looked slightly different this year due to COVID-19, semesters away did not fail to impress.

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About the Contributors
Emma Martinez Sutton, Co-Editor-in-Chief | In-Depth Editor
Hi, I'm Emma! I'm a senior and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Spectrum. I currently edit In-Depth and, since I became an editor as a sophomore, have edited Perspectives and the front page. I love Spectrum because of the editors and writers I get to work with and the creative freedom it gives me. Outside of Spectrum, I like to spend time with my family and friends, travel, and watch Netflix.
Sara Richardson, Managing Editor | Front Editor
My name is Sara Richardson. I have been writing for Spectrum for four years, and I have been an editor for three semesters (Opinions, In-Depth, now Front News). I love meeting new people and talking to people about a variety of topics. Additionally, I love to create my page and be creative with Indesign. I swim, play golf, part of the student government, and I love hanging out with friends and trying new restaurants.

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