The trip leaders have designed their trips, the Immersion Committee has made assignments, and the calendar days begin to roll away as students and faculty alike get excited about The Miami Valley School’s signature experiential educaton program–Immersion. As one student pointed out reflecting on the destinations offered this year and in previous years, “where can’t you go from here?” MVS provides a map to a variety of exciting destinations.
DESTINATION: SELF (Freshman Immersion)
Inward Bound, Outward Bound
Christy Kemper, Linda Kretzler P’06,’08,
Deb Spiegel P’11,’14
Freshmen Immersion is about discovery. Who am I? What is my identity? Where do my values, beliefs, and ethical structures come from: as an individual and as a member of various communities? What informs the choices I make? How do other people perceive me? How do I manage the diversity of people, thoughts, attitudes, ideas, and work strategies that I encounter? What are the core intelligences that direct my behavior? What is my decision-making framework? How do I fit?
DESTINATION: OHIO (astronomical)
Bryan Czarnota P’92,’95,’98
The moon, the stars, comets, asteroids, meteors, the galaxy, the universe. What do these terms mean? What holds us here in our tiny point of a great expanse? Physics, optics/light, mathematics, space travel, and appreciation of the stories, art, and mythology that accompanies an understanding of the “heavens” are propelled by student examination of the major constellations and star names. Significant lab work and observatory events will investigate Kepler’s laws, planetary data, and chart the motion of the sun, moon and constellations. Look beyond.
DESTINATION: OHIO (weird)
What makes Ohio the most unusual state in the Union? Ghost stories, haunted houses and buildings, eerie happenings, strange structures, bizarre museums, and all the people and eccentricities that accompany the oddities. History, culture, language arts, marketing, science, and art converge in a melting pot of truly unique discoveries about everyone’s home state. Tours, visits, and “behind-the-scenes” explorations will lead into group project work culminating with creation of our hometown’s “Weird Dayton” travel brochure.
DESTINATION: OHIO (existential)
Glenn Squiers P’12,’15,’18
Explore Dan Milliman’s autobiographical novel, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, as a springboard to the extensive work and training of martial artist, author and Buddhist priest, Stephen K. Hayes P’01,’03. Studies of self, personal potential, physical education, social studies, meet in-depth readings and lessons in To-Shin Do martial arts to empower–protection from intellectual bullying, spiritual violence, and emotional abuses. How does one transmute the negative into the beneficial? Adventures begin in Ohio but transcend to new planes of understanding.
DESTINATION: OHIO (re-envisioned)
Film: The Critic and the Screenwriter
Vin Romeo P’86,’89,’24
Share individual thoughts, emotions, and visions through a creative communication process. Fuse art, language arts, social science, industry, and culture through your newly refined “film eye.” The teacher mentors students to invoke emotional response, cultivating passion for the messages propelled by film. Fulfilling both group and individual goals, the team will inspire a creative vision and utilize the talents and focus of the individuals to create a class film. “Going to the movies” is redefined as casual observers are challenged to evolve into critics and screenwriters.
DESTINATION: OHIO, W. VIRGINIA, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Workin’ on the Railroad
Peter Camm P’99,’02, Shea Davis
From the Wild West to the Metro to high-speed transit, throughout the last two centuries, the railroad has held a romanticism and mystique while providing a valuable transportation resource for goods, services, and people. History, music, civics, statistics, and engineering all collide as students explore the rail resources of Ohio for a feasibility analysis of light rail transport before boarding the Amtrak Cardinal to travel to Washington, D.C. Songs, stories, and discussions will engage students in learning activities as we experience “workin’ on the railroad.”
Jon Graetz P’09,’11
How far have we come? How far is left to go? Experience the civil rights movement on the streets, in the shops, and at the sites where pivotal moments and events turned the tide. Culture, social science, history, demographics, religion, and human rights will all work hand-in-hand as students follow the journey of Southern activists. Interviews of the people involved will bring emotion and revelation to student understanding of the struggle, successes, and future. The adventure will culiminate in a presentation that reflects on the discoveries of students. Become inspired.
Bryan Lakatos, Robyn Case
On-site research in Italy through Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia Antica will take students through an adventure of language, ancient history, culture, archeology, economics, population, and the Arts. After laying historical groundwork with text-based discussions and presearch, physical remains will trace the growth of the city of Rome from the 5th Century BCE to the 4th Century CE. Student will navigate the Eternal City as a native, finding themselves well outside of their typical comfort zones, but in the warmest, most exhilarating way.
DESTINATION: INDIA, NEPAL
In the Footsteps of Lord Buddha
Ashwi Birdi, Sam Wagner P’12,’16
Journey through the land of Lord Buddha tracing the spiritual footsteps of the evolution of a culture, people, and place. Experience faith, spiritualism, and mysticism as it impacts and creates art and music, shapes architecture and design, and celebrates the past while paving the way for India’s technological and super-power future. Philosophy, history, religion, culture, geography, and industry are examined by hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, and living through India. Find happiness and wisdom in the land where Satyameva Jayate (“truth alone triumphs”).
The Peruvian Adventure
Rob Gartzka P’12, Anne Griffith P’14, Gabriela Sparks
Imagine yourself within 15 degrees of the equator exploring one of the highest ruins of an ancient civilization on earth, or fishing for piranha in the world’s mightiest river. Studies of environmental science, visual art, biology, languages, natural history, and geography interplay with culture in and around the Amazon and South American rain forest. Students will canoe the Amazon River, scale forest canopies from ziplines, re-discover ancient Incan ruins, and interact with the Uros peoples within vistas of the Andes Mountains.