One of the most notable Senior milestones canceled because of COVID-19 has been that of Mr. Hudson’s Honors Marine Ecology Spring Baja Field Study.
Under normal circumstances, Hudson would take his students on a week-long excursion to Bahia de las Animas in Mexico. The field study would encompass all of the information the students learned in Marine Ecology, emphasizing the application of the material while bonding together in a scenic venue. However, the trip has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One key part of getting ready for the trip is collecting food and water. Students and Hudson begin to stockpile these items early in the year so that they have enough for their ten day stay in Baja. However, due to the trip’s cancellation, Mr. Hudson’s storage room full of food would go to waste. Hudson decided to donate the food to a local drive to help those impacted by the virus.
Most food banks, such as Feed OC, are not accepting food donations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, Mr. Hudson learned of the City of Dana Point and Dana Point Surf Club food drive collaboration. They accepted all of it. The food will help feed over 60 families in Dana Point.
Mr. Hudson’s passion for and dedication to this trip is evident. Mr. Hudson has only ever had to cancel the trip once before in 2011, a decision caused by the district.The following year, he moved the study to take place during Spring Break, outside of CUSD’s jurisdiction.
Looking back on this year’s cancellation, Hudson is “confident that the decision to cancel was the right one,” given what countries like Italy showed was on the horizon, “however [he] can’t help but feel angry and disgusted with the whole situation.” As someone who values scientific data, Hudson is frustrated at the U.S.’s “squander[ing of] the opportunity to properly knock this down. … For [him,] all politics aside, [our number of cases] is unacceptable.”
Between staying active on hikes and soccer practices to taking turns cooking meals throughout the week, the Hudson family is making the most out of this time. However, the cancellation is undoubtedly saddening. It is not lost on Mr. Hudson that many seniors take the class with the sole purpose of reaping the benefits of the trip. This is understandable, considering that “lifelong friendships are formed, permanent memories are cemented, moments of serenity and clarity uncommon at home are achieved and people develop a genuine appreciation for what they have, what really matters in life and what they now want to seek from it.”
There will be many ‘Baja’s’ in life, if the right opportunities are sought out and the time is made to benefit from them.
In spite of this seeming loss, dwelling on the inability to go to Baja would in turn mean missing the study’s meaning. The Baj
a Field Study is “not a destination … It’s an experience.” The way Hudson sees it, there will be many “Baja’s” in life, if the right opportunities are sought out and the time is made to benefit from them. The class of 2020 did not get to go to Baja, but Hudson assures them that in doing this, “you will eventually come to the realization that you really did not miss out on anything at all.”
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