The final bell was about to ring. My eyes were fixed on the second hand of the clock, watching it click ever closer to 3:15pm. Mrs. Moss stood at the front of class giving us ideas to make this spring break more educational than the one before. Her ideas included reading and trying science projects. While these ideas were good, I was not the kind of student who enjoyed extra circular learning. Little did I know, this spring break would help shatter the mold of what a spring break should be. It would become the spring break where I discovered that learning can be fun and should never stop.
The final bell rung. I grabbed my backpack and jacket and darted for the door. When I pushed it open, I saw something that instantly shattered my hopes have having a fun spring break. It had snowed at least 2 inches. I remember slowly walking home, dreading the idea of shoveling more snow. I wished that I lived somewhere warm and that snow was just something I sang about during Christmas. As I got closer to my house, I noticed something strange. The trunk to my dad’s car was open. He was loading the car with suitcases and bags. We did not have a trip planned and the amount of bags indicated that my entire family was leaving.
I ran the rest of the way home, jumping over snow banks and dodging snowballs from my friends. When I reached him, I asked my dad what he was doing. His answer was simple, yet impactful. He said, “I’m sick of the snow. Your mom and I are taking you kids on a spring break that’ll shatter the mold of what you’re used to.” I didn’t understand what that meant at the time. He then asked me another question. He asked, “What did you learn last spring break?” I remember laughing out loud and saying, “Nothing dad, isn’t that the point to take a break from learning?” He followed up his question with a profound statement, “Son, learning should never take a break.”
We jumped in the car and barreled out of the driveway headed south. We stopped at the store, stocked up on snacks and, oddly enough, books. These books were filled with trivia questions about Utah history and mapped out the historical sites in the state. I quickly figured out that this trip was going to be different, but in a good way. I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. This trip took my family south, headed towards St. George Utah, where there is very little snow.
As we were driving, my mom and dad threw out trivia questions for us to answer. I am a very competitive person and there were prizes up for grabs. At first, all I wanted to do was beat my sibling at the small trivia games we were playing. But something started to happen that took me by surprise. I started to have actual fun learning about the state I grew up in. I began asking my parents more questions than they were asking me.
Along the way, we stopped at many different historical sites in Utah. I discovered where the early pioneer settlers were given food and protection at Cove Fort. I learned about Utah’s first state capital, Fillmore, at the Territorial Statehouse State Park Museum. The best part of that trip was visiting the largest quarry of prehistoric Jurassic dinosaur bones in any of the surrounding states, Dinosaurland in Vernal Utah.
The point of this spring break was twofold. First, it was to get out of the snow and enjoy a little vitamin D. And second, the most important point, was for my parents to show us kids that learning should be fun and never stop. For me, that spring break changed my whole perception on what it meant to learn. Before that trip, I thought learning was only meant for the classroom. Over the course of three days, I discovered that learning was something I needed to always be doing. Since going on that adventure with my family, I have seen the tremendous impact that being a life-long learner can have on a person. Above all else, this attribute has helped me understand who I am as a person.
Learning Should Never Stop
Continuous learning was never intended to be boring or mundane, rather, it is meant to be adventurous, bold and ever-changing. I challenge you to turn yourself into a life-long learner. Watch what it can do for you personally and for the people around you. What started out to be a cold and dreary spring break, turned into a pivotal moment in my life. I don’t remember all the trivia questions or fun facts that I learned during those days. I do remember the joy and excitement I felt as I listened to my parents and tour guides that spring break. This year, take full advantage of spring break and make sure that either yourself or your children learn something new.