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Baylor Students and Faculty Bounding into Summer Break
Owen McDaniel

Ladies and gentlemen, summer is almost here! After powering through our final exams and tests, many of us will start preparing for trips, vacations, internships, and jobs that we will do over these next few months. To that end, I tracked down some of our fellow students and teachers to see what they will be doing this summer.

Junior Mallory Alling '23 is excited for the “Searching for the Sublime” trip run by Baylor’s own Melissa Pojasek, an Upper School English teacher and dorm parent, and Dr. Emily McArthur, a former Baylor English teacher. The “Sublime” trip will take students on a twelve-day journey through Switzerland and France to explore beautiful, picturesque, and culturally significant places that influenced many a nineteenth century writer.

Another Baylor-run trip is the David M. Abshire Civil Leadership Trip. The Abshire Trip is a week-long civic engagement and leadership course of study in Washington D.C. that a selected group of rising seniors will attend. While attending, these seniors will enrich their understanding of ethics, politics, civil service, entrepreneurship, medical practice, the military, and leadership on the national stage. According to trip coordinator Jaime Melton ’94, “Abshire’s importance is the opportunity that scholars have to meet with alumni and friends of Baylor...of various backgrounds...to explore leadership and civic engagement in a variety of fields.”

The Joe Key Leadership Trip is another honor for select rising seniors. The Joe Key Award is presented to twelve rising seniors who “best fit the philosophy of rewarding selfless and admirable character that might otherwise remain unrecognized,” says Shaw Wilson ’84. These admirable students will join Wilson and other faculty members on an outdoor journey to Maine in August, which I hear is beautiful that time of year.

On the faculty side of things, our very own Chris Watkins, another Upper School English teacher, is planning to visit California to see family as well as attending a two-week forum at Boston University in July for the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, where the topics of literature, film, and adolescence will be thoroughly dissected and discussed.

Some members of our Baylor community will be experiencing a change of scenery. Junior day student Sophia Baleeiro '23 is moving from Chattanooga to Maryland, but she will still board at Baylor next year. In addition to the move, Baleeiro also has a full summer ahead of her. She is interning with both her aunt—a lawyer in Brazil—and the local political offices in both Chattanooga and Maryland. Not only that, Baleeiro is also going on the “Searching for the Sublime” trip and will be a participant on the Joe Key Leadership Trip. It’s safe to say that she has a busy summer.

These amazing trips and events are just a taste of what the Baylor community is going to be doing over the summer. I’ve heard from many other students about incredible opportunities that they are going to take advantage of as well. Moondance and National Outdoor Leadership School leadership trips, camp counselors (whether at a Baylor summer camp or otherwise), and being a local lifeguard are just a few examples of these opportunities, and they highlight that even when the school year comes to an end, the drive to make a positive difference in the world never does.

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