APES students choose school over field trip

By Cathy Wang | Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 28, Ms. Anand took AP Environmental Science (APES) students on a field trip to Muir Woods in Mill Valley. While students hiked through the forest, they learned about the redwood trees and the park’s history from their tour guide.

“The purpose [of the trip],” said Ms. Anand, “is to be present in the woods and to experience being with nature without interference… [The trip] provides depth of experience that kids normally lack.”

Of the 90 open spots for the trip, only around 40 students signed up to go. When asked the reason for opting out on the trip, many students reported that they did not want to miss school and have to catch up on work afterwards. Seniors especially have pressure to do well in their classes as it’s their last year and they want to make good impressions on colleges. Thus, they forsake their time in the woods to sit through their normal classes.

APES student, senior Telvin Zhong said, “I still need to keep up in physics and math [classes] and that day is also a QUEST due date, [so] I’d rather not have to make that up.”

An anonymous student added, “Since QUEST is due [that day], college apps are due Saturday, [and] Hallford essay is due Friday, I can’t afford to skip out on a day of school, as much as I’d like to go.”

It appears that current students are more focused on grades and their never-ending workloads than enjoying the nature around them, and Ms. Anand responded, “I think priorities need to be re-examined. Missing one day won’t put you behind by that much.”

Students who did visit Muir Woods enjoyed the time. Senior Charles Ryu said, “The air in the woods is so fresh, and it’s very sad that we can’t breathe that kind of air here.” He also thought that students should have gone on the trip, as he said, “It was worth it… High school is 4 years, but nature is 5eva.”

APES students pose for a picture in the Muir Woods forest after their lunch break.
PC: Ricky Liu – APES students pose for a picture in the Muir Woods forest after their lunch break.