Day 2 (Tuesday, March 14) culminated in a culturally-enriching evening of a riveting performance of Rent by the gifted students from the famed LaGuardia High School. For many in our group, it was the anticipated highlight of a day already filled with special opportunities. For others it was a wholly new and in some cases illuminating experience. For all, it served as an entertaining and educational punctuation to our second day together.
Day 3 (Wednesday, March 15) would see us - once again in our Green and Gold groups - swap experiences with our counterparts from the previous day. Those who the day prior experienced the program with an emphasis on Immigration (Liberty and Ellis Islands) would partake today in the program focused on the United Nations, including a planned program for us at the Quaker United Nations Office, and vice versa. The day, while still brisk and windy, came sun-kissed, welcome and warming in the wake of the rain on Day 1 and snow on Day 2.
Opportunities to learn about the history and mission of the Quakers within the United Nations, and later to see firsthand the UN’s 6 principal organs, including the General Assembly and Security Council, along with learning about their 17 sustainable development goals were inspiring, but also affirming with regard to our own focus at SSFS on the testimonies, particularly Peace, Community, Integrity, Equality and Stewardship.
Additional highlights included stops at some of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, including Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City Public Library, Bryant Park, Chelsea Market, The High Line, Battery Park, the Financial District’s Charging Bull, closeups of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, as well as the East and Hudson Rivers, and window shopping along 5th Avenue.
After hours of hitting the pavement (in some cases over 10 miles and 22,500 steps), mastering the subway uptown and downtown, and braving the elements, the group was grateful to reconvene, kick off our walking shoes, and share some evening time together collectively back at our hostel, on our last night. During this trip our daily reflection exercises in our advisory groups have served as an important centering, contemplative, and connective exercise. Afterwards, everyone seemed to relish the chance to relax, catch up with old friends, and strengthen new friendships.
Day 4 (Thursday, March 16) is the denouement of our shared experience in The Big Apple, as we pack up our belongings and cherished memories, in order to make the trek back to campus, our homes, our loved ones…and our Spring Break!
See 10th Grade Intersession Photos in Vidigami