Ask any 8th grader, and they will tell you that WOW is the best week of the year. For most, there is almost nothing that would get in the way of going on that trip.
MESAC, however, isn’t nothing.
This year, WOW leaves on Sunday, October 29 and returns the afternoon of Thursday, September 2. The dates for WOW were set last school year and cannot be changed. MESAC Volleyball and Swimming were originally scheduled to leave on the morning of Wednesday, September 1.
Notice anything? The dates overlap.
This means that students had to make a choice: WOW or MESAC.
8th Graders Kety, Nicholas and Ellen on a recent trip to Katmandu with the swim team. Photo Credit: Scott White
The 8th-grade-described best week of the year, or a weekend traveling to a new country and competing in the sport you have been training for all year. Both are great experiences, but the 8th graders can’t do both.
Why not both?
When this issue first came up, some thought that students might be able to go to WOW for a few days, and then leave early to get back to travel for MESAC. However, “The complications were big in getting the kids from the trip to MESAC,” said Ms. Dunmire. “We couldn’t get the 8th graders from Rishikesh to the swimming competition in time.”
This also would have been very difficult physically on the students. So that meant that 8th graders that wanted to swim or play volleyball had to make a decision.
How is a student supposed to make this choice? Ms. Dunmire shared her thoughts in an interview, “WOW is such a good entry into the year and the culminating activities (of the WOW week) are important, and the MESAC kids would have to leave before the trip was over.”
Nicholas, an 8th-grade swimmer, who decided to compete at MESAC rationalized his decision by talking to other students, “I know lots of people that didn’t go to WOW, and they said that it didn’t change their lives.”
With the decision fast approaching, students were split. The volleyball teams did not have any 8th graders this year, so that was no longer an issue. But many swimmers had made the decision to travel to MESAC, a few Week Without Walls. It was not an easy decision, but at least they had a choice.
A Happy Outcome
As of this summer, UAE schools cannot travel to Doha, and Doha cannot travel to the UAE. Because of that, all season-one activities locations have been changed to AES and ABA in Oman. One of the changes was to move swimming to AES.
This change is exciting because it means that the 8th graders no longer have to choose. They will be allowed to go to WOW and get that great experience. They will have a short day to recover on Thursday before they head back to AES to represent our school in the JV MESAC competition.
This will mean the MESAC kids don’t have to deal with the pressure of choosing between what they want to do. What a great solution.