eduScrum at Leysin American School in Switzerland

August 08, 2017

By: Bo Walkden, 4 HAVO (Highschool)

Day 1.

Quarter to six I arrived at Willy’s front door, Denise was yet to come so he invited me in the house to shelter from the heavy rainfall. It had been five minutes before the doorbell rang. Denise had appeared with her entire family to wave her of. As we made our way to the car with our weighty luggage the sky boomed with rage and it began to rain even harder. Short after lightning struck down from the heavens startling us all, including the entire Wijfjes family and even Willy!

Before we could begin our journey we had to pick up a very important package.

As we arrived at Noah’s house the first thing we saw peering through the crack of his front door was a camera, short after the mystery man revealed himself with a cheeky smile. He jumped into to the car and off we went.

It took at least eight hours to get to Switzerland! Of course we had been prepared for this by Willy but blimey what a long ride. I had slept quite a lot during the ride with my head comfortably on Noah’s bag. He sat in the front with Willy and Denise and I sat in the back. I had downloaded some eminem songs that continued to blare through my earphones on repeat the entire way I can now proudly say that I can at least rap one entire chorus of ‘Lose yourself’.

In between my strangely, rather comfortable car naps we stopped once in a while to stretch our legs and take in the view of the German countryside. I had never been to Germany before so to see it so flat surprised me. I had expected more of a Sound of Music like landscape. But I was to early with my judgement because after an hour or two on the road our surroundings vastly changed to far exceed my expectations.

After another hour we began to notice a peculiar weather pattern, it turned from rain to snow and from snow to rain all the way up to Switzerland. There the weather was even more confusing as the fog slowly crept up to us and devoured us under a great white blanket of mystery. I believe we could all feel a rush of excitement as we first saw the mountain range, I barely know how to describe what we encountered. Pearing through the fog we could just about make out the great green giants from a distance. After a day or two we would realize that these mountains were way bigger than we could had ever imagined, but when one lives on the flattest place on earth where even a sand dune can impress you.

As we made our way up the mountain the fog became thicker and thicker like a intoxicatingly heavy syrup whispering us towards the finish line. We knew it wouldn’t be far now and although Willy had a firm hand driving up the mountain, I began to notice he was becoming more and more nervous as we gained altitude. I also observed that inside the car the ambiance was gradually taking a turn for the worst. Looking back on the situation I now understand the sudden silence. It must have been terrible to have to drive up a incredibly steep mountain in the fog

after eight hours of driving with also three teenagers nagging at you with questions like ‘are we there yet?’.

After a good fifteen minutes I was getting fed up with far too serious vibe. So just after Willy took another sharp turn a sentence flopped out of me that will probably haunt me till the end of my school days . “And then we road off the mountain..” I said dryly breaking the awkward stillness. Willy and the rest all cracked up and have been mocking me with ‘and then’ jokes ever since.

We had finally arrived at our destination Leysin. I couldn’t see more than three meters in front of me but nethertheless I was very impressed by what little I could see. Everywhere were tall student houses connected by a broad road leading to the infamous “Leysin American High School”,standing proudly carved into the mountain like an ancient statue.

As we entered the school the first thing my eye fell on was the giant student library. I enjoy a good book so already I was longing to have a quick look. We were standing in the hallway as we were suddenly approached by a friendly looking man named Paul. We shook our hands and kindly introduced ourselves. “Well you guys must be hungry after that long trip” he said gesturing to the dining hall. Gradually we made our way over, yet to encounter the wonders of the tosti machine.

Day 2.

We had slept like lambs that previous night but when I woke up I still felt absolutely knackered. We had arranged to meet Bill in the dining hall for breakfast. We had a good chat and seeing as we were of for the day we decided to visit have a look around. It was a rainy day but that didn’t matter to us. We took the small mountain train down to a town by the name of Aigle and spent the day sightseeing. We walked past the lake Geneva and had lunch in a beautiful lunch cafe called Zurcher. We each chose a different chocolate and split it into exactly four pieces so we could all share. I chose a particularly scrumptious chocolate cake with with layers of raspberry in it. We also visited the statue of Freddie Mercury which was a lot larger than I had imagined.

After a couple of hours we headed back to leysin and had a good dinner before bed.

Day 3.

Day three was the first day of the course we were all very excited. Willy had asked us to wake up early so we got up at half past six and headed to breakfast at seven. When we stepped outside snow surrounded us for miles, there was not one place that remained untouched by it. It was quite nice being the only ones in the cafeteria, we had all the choice in the world including these godley blueberry muffins. As we made our way to the middle school we had an epic snowball fight, one of many to come. When we were inside we set up the stuff and awaited the teachers. Willy’s course includes many games and fun activities. The one I found the most interesting was the paper airplane game. There were three or four teams of about five people

and every one of them had a team captain. This team captain had chosen his/her teammates on the account of qualities. There had to be a variation of qualities in one group so the team captain wasn’t allowed to pick the same quality twice. When the team’s were made and the game was on you could definitely notice considerable differences between the team’s. They all had a very different tactic, some had divided their groups into different divisions. Two people were to throw the planes, two to fold the plains and two to finish them. Whilst other groups did every step together. The more games the teachers played the more they came in to there own and we began to see people began to take over certain roles in the groups. There were leaders, followers, class clowns and of course the mediators. It was all very interesting to study different groups like that I enjoyed it very.

Day 4.

Day two was the second and final day of the course. Some teachers had decided that eduScrum was not for them had not shown up. Luckily there were still a lot of teachers very enthusiastic to stay so we started with a couple more games and Willy told stories from his experiences with eduScrum and as did we. We explained the pro’s and the con’s of eduScrum in the classroom and we tried to answer the questions from the best we could. At the end of the course we shook hands and said our goodbyes to some of the foreign teachers. Because it was a lovely day on the mountain we decided to go for a hike after we went back to our rooms and had a long good rest.

Day 5

Day five was a lovely day, the sun shone brightly on the mountains illuminating the brilliant green leaves. The sky such a deep blue colour it looked almost like you could dive into it.

We had decided to go down the mountain to take a tour in the most notorious Chillon castle on lake Geneva. After an hour or so we took the car for a drive to Geneva but due to some problems with my health we couldn’t make it as far. We drove back to up the mountain and played cards for the rest of the evening.

Day 6.

Day six was our last day in switzerland, we went to breakfast early and took a couple of tosti’s and fruit with us for the ride back. It took about the same amount of time to get back to the Netherlands than the trip up to Switzerland, although it felt a lot shorter. When we got to Limburg Maastricht Willy brought us to a little snackbar where he ordered something called Zoervleis (which means sour meat) which was ace and showed us the place where he grew up. It was really nice to take a little break like that before we stepped in the car again to drive home.

Thank you Willy for this awesome experience and this amazing opportunity, I feel very lucky for having been part of your eduScrum family. Also great thanks to Noah and Denise for taking care of me and literally carrying me up a mountain. I have made memories with you all that I will cherish them forever.