A winter splash of new experiences

Annika Yu and Mai Lim

The winter holidays of 2017 for eighth-grade Rachel Carson Middle School students were a flurry of excitement, vacations, new experiences, and a little bit of snow.

As tiny dusts of snow floated through the brisk, cold air of New York, the flashing lights of billboards blinding her eyes, Sarah Gina Song was re-exploring the street of 5th Avenue. For the first weekend of winter break, Sarah spent it at New York City.

“It was really crowded because it was close to New Year’s — too many people in one place at one time,” said Sarah.

The streets of Manhattan beckoned her, and she enjoyed the weekend strolling through the crowded paths. Along with this, she watched the Broadway production of Wicked that she commented, “was very amazing and magical.” It devastated her to eventually return home after a magical weekend but she decided to try something new and strived to learn to snowboard.

“I heard it was a lot harder to master than skiing, since I already know how to, and now I want to be able to snowboard,” Sarah said.

Up in the mountains of Massanutten, jackets of all colors zoomed down slopes and lightly tinted grey clouds covered the blue sky.

After going up the ski lift, and then falling while getting off, Sarah had trouble deciding whether she preferred snowboarding with her left foot forward, which is normal, or her right foot forward, which is called goofy. The problem was solved after slowly going down the bunny slope, the beginners hill, and found that she could do both regular and goofy. By the end of the day, she commented how snowboarding was very exhausting.

“I’d definitely try snowboarding again, even though I kind of sucked and now my arms hurt so much,” said Sarah.

Hours away, in Washington, D.C., the curtain parted for the last time, and the dazzling spotlights shined down onto the cast of  Les Misérables as they bowed to the whistling and cheers of the crowd. Inside the National Theatre, Sean Mitchell Gillen was part of this ecstatic crowd.

“The actors are the paint and the play was the canvas and through a masterful blend of singing, dancing, and technical performance, the stage emerged as a beautiful painting of a plethora of colors,” said Sean.

Already being an enormous fan of the production before viewing it, Sean had memorized all of the songs by heart and chastised anyone who had not. Not only did he watch Les Mis, but he also had the opportunity of seeing An American in Paris at the Kennedy Center.

An American in Paris is a musical that was inspired by the movie, also named An American in Paris, and as well as the work of George Gershwin, who composed a Rhapsody in Blue. Taking place in Paris, France after the Second World War, the story focuses on the joy of finding love and a new view of life.

“It was super good. The actors were all really committed and did an excellent job,” said Sean.

Far away at the Lone Star State, Dec. 18, Arielle Yae Eun Kim was wandering through the Dallas World Aquarium. Fish darted in and out of observers views and sharks drifted overhead. Their fins reflected the sun that shone from above. Not only did she view many sea creatures, but saw animals in an array of vibrant colors.

“The animals there aren’t what you normally see at other places, they’re so colorful!” Arielle said.

Even though students did undergo experiences such as these, others did not. While asked about his winter break, Jason Sung Hoon Yi, another student at Rachel Carson, replied with, “I did absolutely nothing.”