As I sit on a flight heading north tonight I still am so fascinated by wifi on airplanes. The fact that I can work and stay in touch from just about anywhere in the world, including 30,000 feet in the air just blows my mind. To our students, this is a given. They are accustomed to so much more than I was in high school. I've told the same story to my advisees over and over through the years about writing all of my college papers on a Brother word processor (yes, it was essentially an electric typewriter), how I didn't have an email address until I was 20 years old, and how somehow I traveled in a car from Connecticut to Arizona for graduate school and did not own a cellular phone, or a GPS, or even a mapquest printout. Yes, I called my family from pay phones and actually read a big and cumbersome map while exploring my country beyond the Mason Dixon line for the first time. Things were different and some things seemed more meaningful without all the gadgets and technology we have today, but I am a generally a fan of the advances that have been made which allow us to keep in touch easier with those who are far away, that help shrink this giant world into a much smaller place. However, I still believe in traveling (likely with a GPS and cell phone) to explore new places, people, and cultures as often as I can!
I was thinking about all this today as I logged into wifi in the sky, as I just completed a whirlwind fall admission travel season that spanned many parts of the US and the world, and as I look forward to holidays and traditions with my family. What the travel season taught me most this year is that most folks want the same things for their children whether they are from Rumson, NJ or Bangkok, Thailand (and all the places in between). They want their kids to be challenged, cared for, safe, and happy. Yes, they want their children to attend good colleges and take tough classes, too, but overall they just want their kid to feel important, excited about learning, and supported. It's the same things my parents wanted 25 years ago when I entered high school, and your parents probably did too! I think we do all of these things exceptionally well at Cheshire and I am always proud to be a representative of the school around the world.
What I also learned is that visiting the countries, cities, villages, and towns from which our students come is very important. Not just to find more great kids like them, but to understand the cultures our school so vastly represents. Cheshire Academy serves students from 29 countries, and 19 states! This is incredible diversity that many other schools can not claim. For me to experience what life in many of our students' countries is like has already made me a better member of our community and the global community on the whole. So, even though our world has become "smaller" and easier to navigate with all the new technology available, in my opinion, nothing quite compares to experiencing it in person!
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