When in Rome…Bring a Textbook?

When in Rome...Bring a Textbook?

Katie Dickinson, Reporter

On a recent cruise to Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico (unfortunately not Rome), I missed seven school days. With four AP classes weighing down my class schedule, it was sadly not a completely stress-free vacation. I was lucky enough to be able to do the usual tropical cruise activities, just with a twist.

The first jaunt in my journey was a flight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Instead of taking advantage of the in-flight televisions available on JetBlue, my flight entertainment consisted of reading my AP Psychology textbook and taking notes on the chapters. I did not want to get too behind, nor waste valuable pool time with a textbook because, after all, they aren’t waterproof for a reason.

During my Caribbean vacation, I also had to finish reading a few scenes of “Hamlet” for AP English Lit, so I tanned on the upper deck of the cruise ship, book in one hand, pen in the other. Annotating while tanning is totally normal, right? Although I put “Hamlet” into my pool bag every day on the ship, I of course did not get through it as fast as I would have had I been reading at home. What can I say? Who wouldn’t be distracted by ping-pong, hot tubs, shows, and breathtaking ocean views?

We stopped at Labadee, Haiti, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean, and “Hamlet” came along with me. Coincidentally, my reading breaks were spent jumping in the gorgeous water and sipping strawberry smoothies. And as the cruise continued, I did manage to squeeze some time in to do some studying, but not as much as I think my teachers would have hoped I did.

Missing an entire week of school is hard to rebound from, no matter how much work one does during the time off. With textbooks weighing so much, it would have been nearly impossible for me to bring all of the necessary ones without paying the airline for overweight baggage. While I understand how important school is, to me, family time matters just as much.

We only have about four months left in school so I cherish the time I have left to spend with my family. The stress the makeup work may have caused me is worth the joy I felt on this vacation. Unfortunately, the 30-degree weather back home in Virginia will be hard to adjust to after the 80-degree weather I became accustomed to.