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

Minneapolis


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Juniors Return to Upper School After First Semester Away

Two lifers seek new experiences
Traveling+with+a+friend%2C+Ekstrom+%28right%29+visited+San+Sebastian+in+northern+Spain+while+on+a+weeklong+school+vacation+trip.+
Petra Ekstrom
Traveling with a friend, Ekstrom (right) visited San Sebastian in northern Spain while on a weeklong school vacation trip.

Over this past semester, many juniors traveled abroad, getting out of their bubbles, experiencing new surroundings/cultures, and encountering different learning environments from what they’re used to. Each student had a different experience from one another and learned what life is like outside of Minnesota, specifically Blake. Many students loved their trip and made unforgettable memories as well as friendships. 

Petra Ekstrom ‘24 traveled to Zaragoza, Spain, she lived with a host family and traveled around Northern Spain with her school and friends. She described her trip as, “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I would love to do it again, but if I did it again it would be different people, so I feel like I would compare it back to the year before.” Donovan Schall ‘24 went on a very different trip, traveling to High Mountain Institute in Glenville, Colorado. Schall had an amazing experience, came without knowing anyone, and was able to connect with many new friends in ways he didn’t imagine. 

Both students lived in very different environments from one another. Ekstrom lived with a host family, which she described as a very interesting experience where she was able to learn about Spanish culture. On the other hand, Schall lived on the institute campus with 10 other students in his cabin. Neither of them had gone into the trip knowing anybody and were able to form amazing friendships. Although Ekstrom didn’t have a host family with siblings, she was able to find her own friends at her school and spend time with them. 

Not having phones and connecting with others outside of the trip was strongly encouraged, allowing Ekstrom to live in the moment with her new friends. Schall’s trip was a different story because his trip didn’t allow phones. Schall explained, “You become really close to everyone because you don’t have your phone or anything to distract you from just being with your friends.” In the past, technology has become a barrier to how people connect with one another, Schall and Ekstrom were able to form genuine relationships with their friends and have a great experience doing so. 

Blake’s curriculum is harder than both Schall and Ekstrom’s classes abroad, so they appreciated being able to take more time to experience where they were. Since both Schall and Ekstrom have been at Blake since Pre-K, they loved having a change of environment and stepping outside their comfort zone. Ekstrom said, “ it was so much easier than Blake, so in some aspects, it was kind of like a vacation.”

 Ekstrom commented on her overall experience, “[Spain] taught me a lot of different cultures and also taught me a lot about myself. And I think it was really nice to get out of this cycle [at Blake], cause I’ve been here since Pre-K… And so it was really nice to see something different and experience something that’s totally new.” Schall also had a great time on his trip and was able to experience many new environments, “I’ve been at Blake my whole life, so I wanted to go get an educational experience outside of Blake, and that stayed true this semester.” 

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About the Contributor
Gabriella Marmet, Managing Editor
Hi! My name is Gabriella, or Gabi, and I am a Junior. This will be my third year in writing for the paper and my third semester on the Spectrum editorial team. This semester I am the Managing Editor and editing the In-Depth pages. In the past, I was an editor for Arts and Culture as well as Food. I am so excited to be a Co-Managing Editor and can't wait to improve my journalism skills! I am a competitive dancer and play ultimate frisbee, tennis, and soccer. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also have a dog named Lila who is an Australian Labradoodle!

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