JCHS News

Sophomore Journey: From Strip to Slot

Dr. Julie Draskoczy, Humanities Dept. Chair
The first day of our journeying was framed by otherworldly beauty of two very different types: we began our day in the “hyperreal,” disorienting surroundings of the Las Vegas strip and ended it with a truly magical night hike in Zion National Park.
The first day of our journeying was framed by otherworldly beauty of two very different types: we began our day in the “hyperreal,” disorienting surroundings of the Las Vegas strip and ended it with a truly magical night hike in Zion National Park.

Our time in Vegas began at the Paris hotel, where we marveled at the security cameras in the sky and engaged in some #utahchavrutah. After some free time on the Strip, it was back on the bus for a beautiful three-hour bus ride to the Quality Inn that was to be our home for the next five nights. We enjoyed a delicious meal courtesy of Mr. Shapero and absorbed some wise words—and Leonard Cohen lyrics—thanks to Louis’s d’var Torah. The climax of the day, however, was yet to come.

Despite the exhaustion and weariness of a long day of travel, we forged ahead for a 9 pm night hike. We at first gingerly explored the dark together, using a rope to guide us. Yet soon we were so acclimated to the blackness that we dropped the rope and stepped out into the darkness alone. With no flashlights or headlamps, we walked by a whispering river and into a slot canyon. The absence of light made the night sounds come alive, allowing us to understand this new landscape in a completely unique way.

As we merged back into a group at the end of our walk, we sang together in the darkness and listened to the silences between the notes—just as the absence of sound made us appreciate the melody, so did our lack of vision allow us to feel the landscape in a more profound way.

Thanks to Ms. Rubin for the photo.
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Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
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The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.