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A few weeks ago, 9 students, parents, and faculty took a trip to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. It was a wonderful trip filled with sightseeing, new foods, and new experiences.
After a stressful day of long flights and plane hopping, we landed bright and early in Vienna where we met our tour guide for the trip. Our first day was spent exploring the main city, napping in parks, and fighting jet lag. We also spent time marveling at the magnificent architecture of Vienna. The center of the pedestrian area featured a beautiful gothic style church, St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Our second day was spent taking a bus tour of the city and learning how to dance the Vietnamese waltz. To end our time in Vienna, some of our group attended a classical concert.
On our way to Munich we made a quick stop in Salzburg to enjoy the city and while there visited several filming locations of the movie, “The Sound of Music.” We made our way to Munich and spent time exploring the city. We also visited the Dachau concentration camp, which was the first concentration camp built by Nazi Germany.
We left Germany and started making our way to Lucerne, Switzerland. We made a stop to explore Linderhof Palace and we drove through Liechtenstein, a country of only about 38,000 people. Our time spent in Lucerne was perhaps my favorite part of the trip. The views were gorgeous and the city was wonderful. We took a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus and rode the steepest cogwheel railway in the world back down. After our journey down the mountain, we rode a boat back into Lucerne where a group of us spent the evening enjoying a Swiss folk show and fondue.
We spent the last few days of the trip traveling from Lucerne to Frankfurt. We traveled through the Black Forest region of Germany and learned how cuckoo clocks were made. We also stopped to visit Heidelberg castle and explore the town of Heidelberg. We ended our trip in Frankfurt.
I am so glad I decided to go on this trip. It was such a fun and wonderful experience. I got to try new foods and learn about new cultures. For me personally, it was my last big trip before college and it was worth it. As I mentioned before, Lucerne was my favorite part of the trip, but each city we visited had their own charm. The best part of the trip was having fun with everyone and making new friends. It was certainly an adventure I’ll never forget. I encourage anyone who is interested to go on one of these trips, you won’t regret it.
There is some beauty so incomprehensible that we think it must only exist in fairytales. On our trip to Italy and France, we discovered that such beauty was just as real as our own flesh and blood. After seemingly endless flights, we arrived deliriously disoriented at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport. I was so excited that I didn’t sleep a wink the entire flight. Landing in Paris seemed surreal. We couldn’t believe we had actually made it! We spent our first day exploring Paris and visiting the iconic Louvre Museum. As we walked through the gilded streets of Paris, I marveled at how such a place could even exist, let alone the fact that I was in it! Our second day in Paris, we visited Versailles, saw the Eiffel Tower, took a night boat ride on the Seine, and visited Shakespeare and Company. Thanks to the protection of Andrea, our ridiculously charismatic tour director, we managed not to get flattened by the wild bus drivers of Paris.
The next day, we spent the morning on the train traveling to Milan. After a game of musical train chairs at each stop, we arrived in Italy. Unlike the crisp, cool climate of France, Milan was simmering with blissful Italian sun. I could have sworn Andrea, a Neapolitan, breathed a sigh of relief as we left the land of the clipped French and entered into the land of the warm, bubbly Italians. We visited the Duomo di Milano and took a walking tour through the picturesque streets of Milan. The next day we packed into the bus with our beloved adopted Italian grandpa bus driver, Valter. On the way we sang karaoke at the behest of our tour director, and got a lesson in Italian geography. After about four hours and a few bathroom breaks, we arrived in the beautiful city of Florence. When I say, I’ve never encountered such beauty in my life, I need you to take it entirely literally. There is not a single street that is less than picturesque. We visited the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and explored countless shops filled with the most lovely things we could imagine. The only thing that could compare with the beauty of Florence’s architecture was the beauty of its police officers. But my favorite part of the whole trip was seeing Ponte Vecchio at sunset. Walking along the river with the warm sun sliding down the horizon is the most gorgeous memory I possess. I once again found myself asking “how could such beauty possibly exist.” Before we left, we got a birds eye view of our beloved city at the Piazzale Michelangelo.
As sad as we were to leave Florence, the excitement of Rome called us. After yet another bus trip, we arrived at our final city. Nothing can prepare you for the unimaginable history baked into the streets of Italy’s capital city. We visited the Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. On our final day in Italy, we traveled to Vatican City. The opulence of Saint Peter’s Basilica and the resplendence of the Sistine Chapel inspired awe and wonder. I had never seen such magnificence in my life.
After a tearful goodbye, we boarded the plane to take us back to Nashville. As sad as I was to leave, I knew that the memories I made and all the new stories I had to tell would last a lifetime. After all, is there anything sweeter than traipsing around Europe singing along to Beyoncé and Lady Gaga with your newfound friends and your charismatic tour director? If there is, I have yet to find it.
Our 2nd and 3rd grade students had a memorable visit to the State Capitol where they were able to meet many of our state representatives and our governor, Bill Lee!
The students asked all kinds of questions as they sat at the desks of our representatives and used the microphones when we they were called on to speak. A lobbyist spoke to the students to make sure they understood what their votes were about and to help them make a good decision before they voted on a few "laws" using the same buttons our representatives use. After careful consideration, they voted against being out of school on Friday!
Thanks to all who helped make this such a special and interesting field trip for our students!
The fourth and fifth grade classes experienced the annual School in the Wild outdoor classroom trip to Columbia, Tennessee on April 25th - 27th. While there, the students hiked, ziplined, heard scary stories, learned about GPS and forensics, and played the traditional fourth grade vs. fifth grade kickball game. They even got their teachers to eat some tasty chocolate covered crickets! It was a trip the students will truly remember. Here's what some of them had to say about these exciting adventures:
"I had a lot of fun at School in the Wild. We learned about the different groups of water creatures that live in the creek. The different types of energy while zip-lining. Zip-lining was my favorite class. Team building was fun, but required a lot of concentration and trust! I enjoyed being there with my friends." - Jane Claire Gill, 5th grade
"It was the best time ever!" - Emma Jarosemich, 5th grade
"My time at School in the Wild was awesome! We went on a biplane and it was so fun. We had a kickball game, and we won!" - Aidan Vo, 5th grade
"School in the Wild was so much fun! We learned about water. We did zip-lining. We met a bunch of animals (so cute)!" - Addy McWright, 5th grade
"It was AWESOME!" - Luke Adams, 5th grade
"My experience at School in the Wild was just as awesome as last year." - Cameron Tiller, 5th grade
“I love School in the Wild because we get to hang out with friends for 3 days!” - Conner Sisemore, 4th grade
“I love School in the Wild because we go zip lining! I was really, really scared but my friends were cheering for me, so I knew I could do it!” - Ethan Porter, 4th grade
“I’m glad we get to go to School in the Wild because it’s a great opportunity to try new things!” - MaKenzie Bledsoe, 4th grade
For the 3rd year in a row, Nashville Christian took a group of thespians to compete and perform at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, GA. This year’s event included more than 6,000 students and educators from 130 educational musical theater groups representing 30 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Student groups perform 15 minutes from MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection for adjudication by leading theater professionals. Groups are rated in the areas of music, acting, dance and overall performance. The adjudicators offer constructive criticism to each group to encourage further learning in key areas. NCS students earned high praise for their performance from James and the Giant Peach, Jr. You can see their performance below.
Throughout the weekend, NCS staff and students attended workshops taught by broadway professionals. Senior Jack Forte and junior Annmarie Alexander were chosen as festival All-Stars and got the opportunity to attend a special workshop and participate in the awards ceremony. 8th grader Justin Littrell and sophomore Emily Batty were selected to participate in the Broadway Jr. Slam where they had just one hour to rehearse a song and dance for presentation on the main stage.
Nashville Christian senior thespian Ryan Leflar said, “As a senior going to JTF I was very devastated that last night and the last day. This experience has given me such a unique opportunity with a talented group that has become a family. I will miss everyone dearly and I hope to take this experience with me to college to better myself.”
See the group's full performance for adjudication below!
Plans are already being made for next year’s trip to the Junior Theater Festival with hopes of earning a trophy and a spot with other top performers onstage on the final day of the event. Stay tuned for information about upcoming auditions!
An important part of senior year is Job Shadow Day. Not only are our seniors trying to decide where to go to college, but what they want to do for a living. This year's students explored lots of different careers and here's what some of them had to say about what they learned:
I loved job shadow day! I got to meet an up and coming country music artist, Jay Allen, and got to sit in the recording studio with him. I also got to learn a lot about promotions in the music business. - Makenna Paszek
I shadowed a professor of music at Lipscomb University. I took his music theory and classical piano classes. - Will Batty
Job shadowing a dance teacher was actually very informative for me. Seeing the varying levels of communication between Payton with the little kids, the middle school kids, and the advanced kids was really interesting because that is something I have a hard time with. I learned about the realities of doing something in the arts for a career, not just the fun hour classes at the studio, but the work that goes into it. Overall it was a really fun experience. - Ryan Leflar
I job shadowed my youth minister and friend David Lee who is a building contractor, and also works for the Gospel Advocate. My experience was fun and entertaining, as I followed him around and helped put up dry wall, mail packages, and other things. I spent abou 4 hours with him doing this and enjoyed it. - Will Connelly
I enjoyed my job shadow day. I shadowed the finance department at Healthtrust. I learned how what I'm learning in statistics class relates to the real world. - Warren Hanson
I had a great time at Dr. Manning’s dentist office for shadow day. I was able to watch a hygienist clean teeth, and Dr. Manning put in a couple crowns for people who needed them. I also was able to watch a tooth be made, very cool. - Cassidy Rice
I went to see the post production center of CMT. I watched an experienced editor work on an interview of the new American idol judges. It was a fun and interesting experience. - Cade Thompson
My job shadow experience made me feel somewhat amazed. I never thought that even a business as relatively small as where I shadowed (Compass Cinema) could be so productive. - Ford Hulgan
I enjoyed going to Hunt Memorials with my dad and Charlie Hunt. We went to a location and put up monuments. We then went back to their office, and my father showed me how to design stones on his computer. - Maverick Marlin
I spent my job shadow day with an actor that is married to my mom’s friend. He has been in multiple films and tv shows; his most recent being Barb’s father in season 2 of Stranger Things. - Jackson Forte
On my job shadow day, I shadowed Seth Gunnells, a web developer at GS&F. He has helped develop many high caliber websites, such as LP’s website. Throughout the day, I met with several different people who explained what a typical work day would be like. It helped me determine that computer science is actually what I want to major in. - Chad Kinnard
For my job shadow at Bellevue Animal Hospital, I was able to help out with a dental appointment on a dog, assist with antibiotics for a dog with an ear infection (turns out it was Libby Weatherly’s bulldog), help re-bandage an 8-week-old puppy’s broken leg, and sit in on regular checkups with other cats and dogs. I really enjoyed spending my day at the vets office, and it really solidified my decision to major in pre vet next year. - Sara Wilson
I shadowed an eletrical engineer for job shadow day. He works from home so I went to his house, shadowed what he did, and then had lunch and asked him some questions about engineering and Tennessee Tech. - Nick Mynatt
My Job Shadow experience was quite interesting! I shadowed my Dad's team, which included IT Auditors, Cyber Security phishers, and data analysts who worked for LifePoint Hospitals. I spent a full day, from 8am-5pm, learning about the job, the company, and the specifics. Overall, I had a great day learning about Computer Sciences and enjoying a day to live in the real world. - Chandler White
For my job shadow I went to Civil Sites Design group. They have a new building that overlooks downtown and I got to go see some Job sites. I learned a lot about the different architecture and engineering jobs that are out there and I think that’s what I would like to do when I get older. - Brooks Cummings
I got the opportunity to shadow two home health nurses and go on two home visits in the low income public housing area. These mothers are faced with multiple social issues due to their low socioeconomic status therefore they welcome the nurses to come into the home to teach them parenting skills and child development. While on the visits, I watched and listened to the nurses carefully on how they acted with the children and spoke with the mothers. I enjoyed being able to learn about the struggles that some people face in my very own home town. I cannot wait to become a nurse and help these people in my surrounding area! - Libby Weatherly
I was able to job shadow a Engineer for Skanska construction company. I got to see what it was like being a higher chained engineer on a job site. We were working on the new LifeWay building downtown and I was able to meet the owners of the building. It was an insightful experience that I will never forget. - Nathan Gaidos
Each year the 7th and 8th graders take a special trip to an exciting new city. Every other year, the trip is to Washington DC, so that each NCS middle schooler gets to have that experience, but their other year, they travel to a different destination. In the past few years, the middle school has visited St. Augustine and Philadelphia. This year, they travelled to the third most populated city in the U.S., Chicago! Brian Bishop, the Middle and High School Principal, was on this year’s trip and kept us updated each day on their adventures.
Wednesday, May 10
I wanted to take a moment to update you on our tour of Chicago (with a brief scenic stop in Lafayette, IN). We did have a bit of a hiccup today as the boys' bus had a busted belt. This gave us a moment to enjoy the scenes of a really flat (and empty) field. However, never fear, there were several "certified mechanics" among the staff and parents along on the trip who were able to put the bus back together again. This delay did cause us to get into Chicago a little late. However, we were able to enjoy a scenic boat ride through the city with great views of the architecture and Sears Tower. We were able to enjoy famous deep-dish pizza at Gino's East Side Pizza. We won't discuss who ate the most (Coach Frazier). After this, we went to everyone's favorite, famous site of Chicago...The Mall! There was much rejoicing on the girls' bus. We did have a wonderful and real experience of "The Windy City" as we walked to the mall in a bit of a rain/wind storm. After all of that, we have now crashed in the hotel and are looking forward to some great events and locations tomorrow. All is well and everyone is safe in Chicago. Hope you are enjoying the warm weather there in Nashville. It is a brisk 53 and windy here....
Thursday, May 11
Once again, we have enjoyed a long day full of fun things to do. We started early this morning at the Museum of Science and Industry. This was a really large science museum with a lot of neat things to do. One of the main attractions was a real German U-boat submarine from World War II. After this, we went to Navy Pier for shopping, lunch, and fun. Many chose to ride the giant Ferris Wheel, though some regretted it once they were at the very top. Others chose to try the Mirror Maze and have the bruises to prove that they took a few wrong turns. After this, we took a guided tour of the city with a few stops along the way. These stops included Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory and Millenium Park. Finally, we drove, 26 miles outside the city (a comfortable 80 minute ride in afternoon traffic) to enjoy Ye Olde Medieval Times Dinner Show. All the Lords and Ladies enjoyed a medieval feast while watching jousting, sword fighting, and other medieval games and tricks. We all cheered as each Knight died on the battlefield in sword battle (actually, it was a completely non-violent production, totally safe for all the kids to enjoy)! Once again, everyone is completely tired, and I am sure they will go straight to sleep when they finish packing.
Friday, May 12
We are currently on our way home, just north of Indianapolis. We had another fun and easy day in Chicago. We began by visiting the Hancock Building (one of the tallest in Chicago) for a 360 degree view over 1,000 feet up. Several of our people "tilted" over the edge to look straight down! We then travelled to the Shedd Aquarium (along with thousands of other school tours) to see some amazing sights. Baluga whales, dolphins, and pythons were among the animals we visited. Finally, we went to the Adler Planetarium for a video presentation. All is quiet on the buses (at least the girls' bus anyway), and we are headed home with about 5 hours and 30 minutes of drive time remaining. With a supper stop included, I think we should be home around 11:00 pm. Thank you for sending your children with us! We have had a great time as always and our students behaved very well. See you all tonight.
So it was another great adventure for the 7th and 8th grade. Everyone made it home safe and sound with many great memories to reflect on. Next year they will head back to the nation’s capital once again. What a great opportunity for our middle school students to share an adventure and see another part of this great country!