Trips not dead; merely divorced

One man has been the center of bathroom and hallway gossip throughout Ames High since the school year initiated. Rumors of his death have plagued the feeble minds of gullible students for an entire semester. But the question lurking behind all of these misleading rumors can finally be properly addressed: is Foreign Language Trips really dead? Trips, Foreign Language was a valuable partner to the administration of Ames High School. He invested almost 40 years of effort and work into Ames High related activities and is an advocate of the importance of experiencing new cultures first-hand in order to receive a more diverse view of the world. He has pushed for students mingling internationally as long as he has worked here. Surely the presence of such an inspiring man would be sorely missed, were he actually dead. Trips, despite the speculation surrounding his livelihood, is still very much among the living. It seems what has actually died, and directly caused all of this speculation, is Trips’s affiliation with Ames High School. “As I understand it, the school district will no longer sponsor travel abroad,” said German teacher Sam Reichart. In other words, the school will no longer be working with Trips to set up his overseas excursions. But that certainly does not mean Trips or his excursions are by any means… dead. In fact, Superindendent Tim Taylor still strongly supports Trips and his travel abroad. Nothing has essentially changed from the perspective of a student. “[The] only difference is where the school district has taken liability, they won’t anymore,” Reichart said. “Every [teacher] that travels has different companies separate from school. They are covered by an organization accepting that liability.” Trips’s divorce from the school board is not something for which anyone should be blamed. Rather, it was the best route given new legislation. “The school has to be able to cover any students potentially interested in going,” Reichart said. That means that the school would need enough money to cover the expenses of all students currently enrolled in German classes at AHS to go to Germany. This is understandably an absurd amount of money, and something the school obviously couldn’t afford. While the separation between the school board and Trips has had no adverse effects on students, it has affected teachers in some small ways. “We can’t call it the Ames High German Trip, which means I can’t bring in a fund-raiser through the school,” Reichart said. “But now we’re non-profit and can ask for donations.” Trips’s absence also means that teachers will be unable to miss school-days for their travel with students. Those days are now considered “personal days,” and teachers are only allowed three or so of them a year. “[The] district isn’t gonna pay a sub to be here while I’m gone,” Reichart said. This might mean an end to Trips during spring break altogether, as there aren’t enough days in the two-week break. Reichart plans to reschedule his trip during the summer in future years to avoid conflicts. Despite the rumors, Foreign Language Trips is still alive and will continue his work in Germany, Spain, France, alongside his sister Learning Trips’ visits to Uganda and Europe this year and hopefully many years to come. Students can only hope that he continues to prosper, or fear when rumors might come up again. But for the time being, he is very healthy.