OPINION: #summerparty – Student-Driven Fun

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summerpartyfinalHave you ever thought it would be fun to meet other MODG students in person? It seems other students are thinking the same thing. A few months ago, students who attended the 2015 MODG Winter Formal in Washington, D.C., began a conversation concerning a mysterious movement known as “#summerparty.”

The conversation started on the MODG Proboards by a ninth-grade boy, Blake Traylor, who said he had discussed the idea with other students at the dance.  According to Blake, students such as he enjoy getting together at the dance and the March for Life so much that they want to establish a similar get-together during the summer months.

Immediately a storm of enthusiasm greeted the idea, followed by a whirlwind of questions: “When to have it? Where to have it?  How to have it? Whom do we ask?”  Students wholeheartedly took part in the planning, offering as possible locations colleges such as Steubenville, Christendom, and Thomas Aquinas.  They deliberated on composing letters to MODG,  making a video, expressing their desire for “#summerparty.”

Oh, and the hashtag? According to the ringleaders of #summerparty, it grabs people’s attention and is easy to remember.  Genius!

The fact that students came up with the idea and seized the initiative indicates, in my opinion, that they are exercising organizational skills.  As is well known, this is an essential tool for college and beyond; it is evident from the students’ location suggestions that they are thinking of their future even as they are thinking of a good time.

When considering what the activities could be, students suggest museum trips, dancing lessons, college visits, and even “flesh and blood” classes, such as photography or science classes.  Not only are students interested in a fun time, they are interested in a party that will be advantageous in other ways.

Parents seem to favor the idea, too – many, like the students, discussed the matter while in Washington, D.C. and are taking up the #summerparty call.  Could the parents desire a get-together as much as their children?  The homeschooling journey is definitely better in the company of homeschooling friends. Any parents interested could use #summerparty  to share tips and advice.

Students taking Learning Support classes in MODG learn, discuss, laugh, and debate all year long with their classmates, getting to know them and forging strong friendships, but usually never seeing them face-to-face or interacting with them in person.  This is why events like the March for Life and the MODG Winter Formal are so eagerly anticipated by students every year, so much so that they are working to establish a new tradition – in the summer!

Of course, there are the downsides:

1) A project like this would cost quite a bit of money.

2) Some may regard the project as “just a party” because it does not have the motivation of a religious movement like the March for Life.

3) MODG families live all over the United States and some surrounding countries; a trip across the country for “just a party”, sadly, is not practical for many families.

However, a party for MODG families and their students during the long summer months, that may otherwise be spent idly, would afford students and their families constructive enjoyment in the company of others with similar interests.  Personal interaction between students, teachers, and parents would help to foster friendships and build solid relationships.  The #summerparty idea is founded on the basis of Christian fellowship and the joy of friendship.

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