The following piece was written by one of our students at OVU:
This Treasure Called Education
by Stephanie Corbelli
It was only the second day of our trip and I found myself tearing up, but these were happy tears. A few inches away from me separated only by a pane of glass was Handel’s “Messiah” in a display case at the British Library. Throughout my high school years, I had been privileged to sing some of Handel’s music, which I loved. Now, here I was, staring at some of Handel’s original work in his own handwriting. It just one of many important works on display at the British Library. The Magna Carta, pieces of the Psalms, Shakespeare’s writings, and notes from Jane Austen are only a few of the other documents I viewed at the library.
I walked in a daze throughout the display room. The room was radiating with history, and yet, it was only pieces of paper. If I could not read, nothing in the room would mean anything to me. Only the knowledge of what these works meant gave me an appreciation for them. As I continued to look around and process everything, I suddenly realized how privileged I am to receive an education. Although I knew I was fortunate to be able to go to school, I believe at that moment, in the British Library, I came to a very pure and deep realization in how blessed I am to have been given the opportunity to learn.
While I was very excited to be in Europe and to be touring many historic sites, that day at the British Library gave me a deeper appreciation for the rest of the trip. The trip consisted of traveling to places in England, France and Italy while taking college credit classes. As I surveyed the many other historic sites on the trip, I was able to evaluate everything knowing its significance and able to appreciate my own knowledge.
Near the end of the trip, I had another experience similar to the one I had in the British Library. This time, I was in a part of the catacombs in Rome. Christians were buried in the catacombs; some of them had been martyred for their faith. They died because they shared their faith, and often I am too afraid to talk with others about my own beliefs. I admit that I was emotional in the catacombs as I pondered the incredible commitment of these Christians. Being in a room where ancient Christians had stood, I was struck with their existence and sacrifice.
We tend to complain about classes and homework, but we forget how privileged we are to have knowledge. Without my knowledge, I would not have been able to fully appreciate or understand everything I saw on my trip. If I had
disregarded what I had learned about history in school, I would not have enjoyed the trip nearly as much. As you continue with your life after high school, do not forget how privileged you are to have been given an education, especially if you are planning on going to college.
I never imagined that I would be able to go to Europe, but my school made that possible and it is not too early, even as a high school student evaluating colleges, to inquire about foreign study opportunities in general and with regard to your specific field of study. Traveling and learning are both great experiences, and I recommend you give both of them a chance. Your life will be so much fuller because of it, I know mine is!