The second thing that was notable this week occurred today during our class discussion with Marsha Pincus. As I shared in class, when I was in middle school we went on a week long overnight field trip, in which we were divided into groups. At the time, we noticed that the groups seemed to be divided by cliques, including which teacher was leading the group. For example, the athletic kids were with the gym teacher, the kids in band were with the band teachers, etc. A few years later, the gym teacher whose group my friends and I were in confessed that they had drafted the groups. At the time, we absolutely loved our groups. I was with my favorite teacher and all my friends, so it seemed like the ideal situation. However, reflecting back now, I see that all that did was establish and enforce the stereotypes that we already felt about each other and ourselves. While it is true that these groups already existed, making these groups established that they were concrete and acknowledged that the teachers were also aware of them, and felt no need to attempt at integration. In high school, we all developed other interests, but the groups remained. Perhaps part of this is that we were not encouraged to reach outside of these groups at a young age, which lead to the cliché, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This was also an example of our teachers projecting themselves onto us, as in many ways the groups seemed to be divided by who they would have liked to be friends with if they were our age. It is hard to completely argue against these groups because they maximized the “fun” factor of this trip, I can’t help but wonder if in the long term spectrum they robbed us of something by refusing to take us out of our comfort zone.