A few weeks ago, our seniors spent a wonderful week in Chicago for their senior trip. They saw the play “Sweat”, the musical “Hamilton”, and the Blue Man Group performance; visited Shedd Aquarium; walked the Magnificent Mile; saw a Cubs game at Wrigley field; and, most importantly, they shared time and made memories with their friends! The following is a reflection on the trip, written by one of our teachers, Brandon Grunden.
Landing in Chicago after a smooth flight on an early Spring morning, I was excited about a lot of things that our 11 person group was about to experience. In the weeks leading up to the senior trip, Ms. Musser and I met a few times with our lead teacher, Mr. Hornbaker, to discuss the itinerary, which thanks to Mr. Hornbaker was filled with a lot of fun and educational things for our students to experience. One item we discussed in those meetings (that was for me a bit of a footnote) was the journey within Chicago.
Public transportation is not something that I am used to, as it is something I only use when in big cities such as Philadelphia, D.C., or NYC. When I reflect on my public transit experience in those cities, they are nothing more than utilitarian ways to get around the city. But there was something particularly special about the transit system experience in Chicago. Not only did it take us to all of our amazing destinations, it also allowed us time to grow with each other as we navigated the appropriately named Windy City. Being on the transit and learning to navigate the city was something that humbled us and ultimately brought us closer together.
There were many shared moments of laughter, such as Marquise awkwardly fumbling trying to get his transit ticket out while balancing a case of water, me clumsily trying to hold onto a railing while keeping track of my own case of water, and all of us almost getting wiped out as the very first train we got on departed from its stop. Even the eye contact that each of us needed to make before each stop to make sure whether or not that was our stop brought with it a feeling of unity and togetherness, or, “we all we got”.
There was a sense of comfort that settled inside of me as I watched the brown line train arrive at its stop from my suite room window every 5 or so minutes to head into the loop and back out again, carrying along its way passengers like us who were still green to the city of Chicago, along with the ripened Chicagoans who live that life every day. I was further comforted as the week wore on realizing that the journeys to the planned experiences were an experience in themselves and were not to be glossed over while on this trip.
Of course, there were speed bumps, hiccups, potholes, and other imperfect situations, such as our wet and stormy journey home from the friendly confines of Wrigley field nestled into a city block of north Chicago, but that’s okay. Isn’t that life? Aren’t we all on a journey filled with ups and downs leading to an Ultimate Destination along with other mini-destinations for us to learn from?
The senior trip is meant to give students an opportunity, at the end of their schooling here at Logos Academy, to experience, in a very real way, the gifts that can be provided to us by a great city such as Chicago, which it most definitely did. In life, there are many planned destinations that we look forward to, will experience, and will hopefully enjoy, but the lesson I learned on this trip (and a lesson that I think most of our scholarly seniors learned) is that life is about the journey, and not the destination, because in that journey is the potential to build and strengthen relationships with others. In that way, this trip was a huge success.