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Two Schools, One Tradition

MINERVA The small town of Minerva has likely never been a place of great cultural diversity. Most residents are pleased with the stark rural setting, acres of pine trees, and most points of importance within hiking distance. But recently six Minerva Central School sophomores and juniors discovered something much different: the city of Boston. Sophomore Sam Kelly and juniors Emma Corey, Samantha Mitchell, Mike Smith, Maranda Strong, and Danielle Turcotte made their way to Albany on March 1 and then on to Boston via train, a normally-bearable five and a half hour train ride that later meshed into a 10-hour ordeal after a delay due to weather. However, no amount of time could keep them from achieving their goal, a trip to East Boston High School. On Friday, each MCS student partnered with an East Boston student or two to experience life in a large inner-city high school. EBHS itself houses over 1,000 students 9-12 each year, approximately 10 times the number in Minervas K-12 building. The building is so large, it had to be divided into four houses to balance schedules and keep students from having to walk all over for different classes. Attending classes normally 80 minutes long (only 40 on Friday, thankfully, as that particular afternoon was saved for staff development), Minerva students experienced an entirely different environment filled with required student IDs, security cameras, a strongly tech-forward library, and one heck of an art department. The EBHS drama club performed a one-act dazzler about a world in which men could give birth, MCS students discovered school lunches in a packed cafeteria, and by the end of the day we were dancing the Meringue with young Latin dance prodigies. Friday evening was spent in the Boston Museum of Science, a tour just barely accomplished in 3 hours. At the end of the night, a combined group of Minerva, East Boston, and Latin Academy (a selective public school) students witnessed a live, on-site lightening show and learned about the work of Nicola Tesla. Saturday morning was spent at Quincy Market, absorbing the sights and smells of Boston. Next to the market is the Holocaust memorial, an incredibly moving dedication built just recently by Holocaust survivors of the city and surrounding areas. If you havent already seen it, please make your way to Boston. The display is tragic, but beautiful. After the market, we hit the train station for our return, this time without a delay. The tiring 5 and a half hour trip home allowed some of us to catch up on sleep, some to catch up on reading, and some to enjoy a rousing game of Skip-Bo. Arriving home, just one complaint was heard: I wish Id had my hand sanitizer on that subway This trip was made possible through a grant from the Foundation for Excellent Schools, and the generosity of the Minerva PTSO. Minerva chaperones, Mr. Ted Caldwell, Mr. Kevin Moon, and Mrs. Heidi Kelly, as well as EBHS Family Coordinator Mrs. Nina Gaeta Coletta, and the entire EBHS staff and student population deserve our thanks and admiration. MCS hopes to host a group of Boston students in the fall so they too may enjoy the crisp mountain air and maybe a few lingering mosquitoes.

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