News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

Check out the magazine:

Magazine archives

AIM returns from Cuba


Students who are a part of the Academy of Integrated Humanities and New Media (AIM) at Tamalpais High School went on a 10-day trip to Havana, Cuba. According to its Youtube account, AIM is a two-year interdisciplinary program for juniors and seniors that integrates the classes of English, history, and a documentary media studies class. 

On Feb. 11, 77 students and eight chaperones flew from San Francisco on an overnight flight to Miami. Finally, from Miami they flew to Havana, Cuba. 

Throughout the trip, students explored several aspects of Cuban history and culture, until their departure on Feb. 21.

AIM students not only used this trip to learn about Cuban roots, but also to work on their documentation skills. During the trip, in groups of four, students will produce three to five-minute documentaries about Cuban students at Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, an art school in Havana, Cuba. 

“We were able to pair the groups with students from the top art school in Cuba,” AIM teacher and chaperone Jonah Steinhart said. “They are the equivalent of the national soccer or baseball teams all gathered into one school.” 

 The film’s purpose was to highlight the students’ art portfolios and works. Along with the mini-documentary, Tam students partook in some typical tourist activities. Among those activities were several walking tours of Havana, visiting art and history museums, participating in dance and music workshops, and partaking in art explorations. 

The trip provided students with an immersive experience of Cuban culture containing Spanish, African, and Caribbean heritage, and a unique rich history of the Old World and new Cuba. Throughout junior and senior AIM students learn about Cuba during their curriculum.   Before the trip, Henry Dehan, an AIM student and Tam senior, explained how it possibly can impact him. 

“This trip has the potential to give me a wider breadth of knowledge of different people in the world,” Dehan said. “I think I will better be able to understand other cultures and put myself in their shoes.”

Tam campus supervisor, Ralph Wilson Jr., accompanied the AIM students on their trip to Cuba as a chaperone. This was Wilson’s first time going out of the country and he gave insight before the trip about how valuable it could be for everyone.

“We will be able to see how other people live in another country and see how fortunate we are to be where we are,” Wilson said. “This trip should open students’ eyes, at the end of the day we live in a little bubble where we are.” 

After their 10-day journey students were able to reflect on the unnoticed luxuries that they have living in the United States and more specifically Marin County. Madi Kaplan, an AIM student and junior at Tam, explained her perspective.

“A lot of people are very appreciative of everything they have there, you don’t see a lot of luxury, everything there is necessary,” Kaplan said. “We learned a lot in school before going to Cuba, but I learned more by just being there, especially since Cuba seemed to emphasize their history.” 

Steinhart, similar to Kaplan, spoke about the attitude and cultural differences Cubans have living in a communist country so different from the U.S. 

“It really is surprising how little they have materially, but how they make do emotionally through art and loving the place where they live,” Steinhart said. “I think they [students] came back with a better understanding of Cuban-American relationships with a first-hand experience.” 

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Tam News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *