by Alex Le
Eagle Editorial Board
From the happiest moment after the last semester final to the anxious night before school starts, summer vacation is the time every year students take to relax and set their minds on something besides school.
Seniors Deniz Baykal and Mike Floeck, junior Jonathan Cohen and Spanish teacher Tom Broughton set the benchmark for both a productive and fun summer.
Baykal used his summer as an opportunity to promote and improve the band that he plays drums in, We Go Way Back. He and his band mates traveled across Texas, from Austin to Galveston, playing shows and promoting his band.
“Summer was an opportunity to work on the band because during the school year, it gets pretty busy,” Baykal said. “I had a lot of fun doing things with my band but it was hard work.”
Baykal also worked at Vans in Memorial City Mall.
“I usually worked throughout the day and then hung out with my friends and fell asleep around 3 a.m. and woke up at 9 a.m.”
His most memorable moment of the summer was playing drums at Link Club in midtown Houston with 1,000 plus people cheering him on.
“It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. Doing what I love in front of thousands of people in such a crazy environment is such an adrenaline boost,” Baykal said.
Making money, traveling across the United States, and working on football skills sums up Cohen’s summer.
Cohen worked at Foot Locker, making money at his favorite store.
“It’s a fun place to work at because I get discounts on the best football cleats,” Cohen said.
Cohen also traveled with his family to Memphis and Chicago looking for the nation’s best barbecue.
“You haven’t tasted barbecue until you’ve visited Memphis,” Cohen said. “Juicy pork ribs and beef brisket really give Texas barbecue a run for its money.”
Cohen continued to brush up on his skills at many speed and strength camps. As the starting defensive end on the football team, his position requires a lot of athleticism.
“I knew going to these camps would give me a shot at starting, as well as being a threat on this defense,” Cohen said. “My 40-time improved greatly, as well as my various maxes.”
Recent National Merit Semi-Finalist Mike Floeck spent his summer doing things people rarely do during their lifetime. Traveling to his origin country, France, Floeck climbed the famous Mt. Blanc.
“The scenery there was just absolutely gorgeous and what an adventure it was,” Floeck said. “It was just a breathtaking experience.”
Floeck enjoyed the intricate cuisine in France.
“The authentic French food was nothing you get here,” Floeck said.
Aside from spending time in France, Floeck also studied for the recent ACT exam.
Broughton stepped out of the classroom during the summer and entered a place of cultural excitement and personal betterment.
Broughton traveled to Mexico City for four days for professional development of the Spanish language and for a better understanding of the Hispanic culture. Aside from the natives being mystified by a white guy speaking fluent Spanish, Broughton relished on the excitement of the town and the omnipotent mystery of the kidnapping reputation of Mexico City.
“It’s exciting walking through the town with all the mystery, cultural differences, and Mexico’s reputation of kidnappers,” Broughton said. “You don’t just go take a random taxi off the street. You take the hotel services.”
Perhaps the biggest memory for Broughton was his involvement in the Mankind project. This organization helps men become better men by forcing them to face their faults and habits. Broughton along with other men traveled to the country in the United States hoping to find out more about themselves and further develop themselves.
“The Mankind project helped me to be a better person,” Broughton said. “Every man should go through this experience.”
Now that summer has ended and school has started, one can only look back at the summer as a time to reminisce all the memorable and unforgettable experiences. From traveling as a band, to tasting the nation’s best barbecue, to climbing a famous mountain, summer vacation just shows the great variety of people at St. Thomas.