This book tells a true story of what happens when you take a step and say yes. It is a story of life, learning, collaboration, and hope. In a nutshell, a group of six people traveled from England to California to work with a class of high school students as an extra project, outside any of their university classes. They made it happen and had adventures…
The whole story comes about from a series of unlikely meetings that all linked up. There was an opportunity for Laura, a university music professor, to collaborate with a High School English class from the Central Coast of California. It started with an online meeting between teachers, and led to an invitation to come visit the class. When Laura shared the invitation with her students, even though there was no idea of how to actually get to America, no funding, and no details of the trip, six people said yes: Laura was joined by 5 of her undergraduate students. That ‘yes’ was the starting point that culminated in a their trip to California three short months later. The following weeks brought the group together and stretched each of them in unexpected ways, beyond anything they could imagine: as students, teachers, and as people.
The group coined their musical efforts ‘Musiquality’, with the goal of bringing quality and connection to those they met through their music. To make this collaboration happen they raised thousands of pounds in a short space of time, traveled over 6000 miles from across the ocean, where they met Kenn at UCLA and then traveled to the mountains and trees of Yosemite to meet David, the English teacher, and his students. They did it all together – not as teacher and students, but as a team. In these pages you will hear people’s individual stories, how the traditional boundaries of teacher and student blurred as different people took responsibility in leadership roles, the practical challenges of living and learning, and how the group came together to overcome both small and large situations – from mealtime mishaps to cancelled flights.
This is education outside the box, when learning becomes life, and it is an affirmation of what is possible when with commitment, belief, and the willingness to work. You will hear from Laura, with contributions from her students Pete, Jess, and IzzI, and the teachers they worked with, David and Kenn. This is the story that became California Dreaming.