Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 18: A Learning Experience

How many times has anyone ever heard this? 


For those of us that are still in school, such as myself, I often find people around me, myself included, complaining about something we must do over break. Now, over this last Christmas break I had not one, but TWO English papers to write, one due at the end of break and the other due at the end of the semester. It worked out alright, but stuck in between all of my video editing, writing and the actual writing of the paper, I complained a lot. 

But you see, when I was younger and I would go on trips to Disney, I'd always come back and give a description of my trip to my current class. So imagine now, a little girl talking to her 4th grade class about her most recent trip to Walt Disney World, yes, that would be me. I'd hand out the pencils I brought back, or sometimes it was some sort of Candy (I remember once I brought back some Salt Water Taffy), and then I'd go into reading my daily journal I wrote or talking about the parks, showing maps and telling stories. At some point in each of these discussions I'd end up mentioning how much I learned from something or other, and, like always, a hand from a fellow classmate would pop up and ask, "You LEARNED on Vacation?" And then it would go into the conversation about why I would want to learn on Vacation, as it is, after all, a vacation. 

The picture above is one I pinned on Pinterest quite a while ago, and recently a friend of mine repinned it, causing it to show up on my feed once again. The captain, "Insert EPCOT CENTER lecture here."

Now, for those of us who HAVE been to EPCOT center, and I'm sure that although they haven't been there themselves, my friends can attest to the fact as well, EPCOT is basically a park filled with knowledge, both of the past, present and future. It explores the rich traditions and cultures of 11 very different countries all around world showcase, taking us from the legends of Norway to the upbeat society in Canada, with of course our favorite Comedian, Martin Short. And in future world we explore the newest technologies of today in Innoventions, where secretly we are learning techniques that we can use in our own homes and lives to become greener, healthier and more productive. In other parts of future world, such as my favorite, Spaceship Earth, we explore the rich past of communication, and then have the chance to dream up the future. The entire attraction is filled with history, and I often quote it during school, only to explain to my best friend what I'm talking about in the first place. 

You see, now that I'm older, I find that there are more times in school when I know something BECAUSE of Disney than I don't know something. When it comes to the history of communication, I will just randomly burst out in the middle of the lesson and say "The Library of Alexandria in Egypt was burned, but there were copies of the books in the middle East, being watched over by Arab and Jewish Scholars." Or how in English class, every time we talk about black and white vs. color TV, my teacher will stop and say my name in the middle of the lesson, to which is my cue to yell out, "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color!" 

It's a ridiculous thing, but because of everything I've learned at Disney, I have moments like that everyday, where the knowledge I gained there is applied to real life and suddenly everything connects together. It makes more sense to me. I just realized I really didn't talk a lot about how "hidden" these lessons are, but that's an idea for another blog post. For now, I think we can all agree that Disney has something special with their parks. They have the unique ability to educate their guests even when they don't know it's happening because they're having fun at the exact same time. 

So even if you don't WANT to learn on a Disney vacation, you're going to anyway, and you'll learn things that will only enrich your life forever. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something that will lead you on to a path you'll follow for the rest of your life. I know it happened for me!