Group of students travel to Europe for spring break

For some students, spring break may mean beach days and extra sleep, but for certain scholars it means a chance to experience a different side of the world, literally and figuratively.

AP Art History, AP European History and Honors Humanities students will be traveling to London, France and Normandy to visit some historical landmarks and see some art.

History teach Brian Meredith and Cindy Burgett will be leading students across the Pacific.

They discover things that they never knew existed, that they didn’t think was cool, but now do”

— AP European History teacher Brian Meredith

“Most of these kids have studied the artwork, they know what is going on, this is their opportunity to see stuff they have studied,” Meredith said. “They have seen it on slides, now they get to witness it. It changes people’s opinions and attitudes about what they have seen before. They discover things that they never knew existed, that they didn’t think was cool, but now do, and then the downside is you think something is cool and then you see it and think ‘nope.’”

The group will start their trip in London, where the group will visit Stonehenge. They will take a ferry across the English channel into Normandy. Normandy holds tomb of William the Conquerer and Mont Saint-Michel, as well as a more recent historical landmark, the D-Day beach. Next, they will head to France where they will visit the Louvre among other museums.  

Senior Peyton Emler is excited to take her learning to a new level.

“I am really into art and I took AP Art History and it was a really great class. I loved it and I loved Burgett and Mr. Meredith and they did a really great job with tying history with new movements of art. I thought this would be a great way to continue my learning outside of the classroom,” Emler said.

This will be senior Ben Westrup’s first time outside of the United States.

“This trip is important because it’s my first trip of what I hope to be many,” Westrup said. “As for how it will impact my learning, I imagine it will broaden my horizons in an indescribable fashion.”

Like many art students, Emler appreciates art, but also wants to understand its deeper meaning.

I think this trip is important because it is my first opportunity to leave the country and experience different culture”

— Senior Peyton Emler

“I think this trip is important because it is my first opportunity to leave the country and experience different culture. It is also important because we have to understand art. Art is a reflection of humanity and history, and if we don’t understand our history how we are going to effectively make decisions in the future,” Emler said.   

Senior Jack Brinker enjoys the more classic- and mysterious- pieces of art.

“[I am the most excited to see] the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I know it is probably the most basic answer but it is really famous and I have heard a lot about it. There are conspiracy theories that we learned about in class. There is just so much surrounding it. Seeing it in person will be pretty cool,” Brinker said.

Every trip taken is different than its predecessor. Meredith feels this trip has more history than any trip taken in the past.

“We’ve never done just this combination and I try to make the trip somewhat unique every time we go so we are not just doing the same boring trip over and over again,” Meredith said.

Students expectations and excitement rise as the trip draws nearer.

I expect this to be a huge trip, not only for the art, but for the history”

— Senior Peyton Emler

“I have really high expectations, because it is France and England and those places have really huge historical context, especially in European history, both of those countries were really big leaders,” Emler said. “I expect this to be a huge trip, not only for the art, but for the history.”