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Lakers in London: Upperclassmen Take a Spring Break Trip Across The Pond

Lakers in London: Upperclassmen Take a Spring Break Trip Across The Pond

In his history courses, Clayton Willetts teaches his students about hundreds of years worth of English monarchs from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria. In his English courses, Alex Barron teaches his students Shakespeare, Dickens, and George Orwell. English history and literature are central to the humanities curriculum in the upper school, so Mr. Willetts and Mr. Barron jumped at the opportunity to enrich their students’ education with a spring break trip to London.

“[Mr. Willetts] and I had wanted to do a trip like this for a while,” said Mr. Barron, “For both of us, travel has helped to ignite the spark of intellectual curiosity. We wanted to share that gift with our students.”
“Plus, we both love the UK and British culture,” he added. 

In March, the two of them led a group of twelve upperclassmen on a spring break trip to London. The week-long tour hit such iconic sights as Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, the British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Shakpeare's Globe Theater. The group also traveled outside the city to see Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, and Stratford-upon-Avon, and Windsor Castle. Theater was an important component of the trip. The group attended two West End musicals - Mamma Mia! and Wicked - and also participated in a workshop at the Globe Theater, conducted by a professional Shakespearian actor.

“One of the advantages of this trip was that we were able to stay at the same hotel for an entire week,” said Mr. Barron, “We saw a good amount of the city and environs, but we still had a home base, which was really nice.”

The group stayed in the neighborhood of Ealing, to the west of central London. The hotel was located just across the street from a tube station, which made transportation convenient and easy. By the end of the week, even students without much previous experience riding public transport were hopping on and off and changing lines like veteran tube riders.

For most students, the trip marked a first time overseas. As junior Liam Griesacker ‘25 put it, "[The trip was] an incredibly fun experience which we will all remember for the rest of our lives."
His classmate Jack Davis ‘25 agreed: “It was a great experience.” Since the trip, he said, “I’ve been looking at more schools in the UK.”

    Mr. Willetts and Mr. Barron, who both chair their respective academic departments, are already considering options for a follow-up trip next spring break. And several of their London crew, who have now caught the travel bug, have already expressed interest in coming along.