The dreaded “Midland bubble” is something that nearly all DHS students love to hate. The general belief is that once a person is born here, they’re stuck here dreaming of the “outside world” until they can make their escape.
But for senior Shane Huisman, Midland is one of several places to call home. Because of his parents’ work at Dow, Huisman has lived in the Netherlands, Texas, Switzerland, and, of course, Midland.
“In the moment, moving sucks,” Huisman said. “But looking back on all the times I’ve moved, I’m really happy that I did it. I’ve experienced so many different things that other people don’t have the chance to. I’ve been a part of so many different cultures and met so many people.”
Nowhere was this benefit of being immersed in many different ways of life more apparent than in Huisman’s school in Switzerland.
“I went to international school, so everyone was from a different culture,” Huisman said. “It just [made] one giant culture of mixed people, so it was a cool thing to see.”
Huisman has seen this pattern of a global perspective on learning continue in his high school years as one of DHS’ International Baccalaureate diploma candidates. The program aims to mold students into “world scholars” by emphasizing perspectives on learning from cultures around the world.
“Most people just get snippits of [the IB experience] because they just take some of the classes,” Huisman said. “But if you do the full diploma, you get to see it all fit together. I really like that, and that sort of compliments what I’ve done my whole life since I’ve done the IB program in elementary and middle school, too.”
One other major perk of living in Europe came during the summer before Huisman’s freshman year when he traveled to Africa along with 20 classmates and two of his teachers to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
“It wasn’t a mission trip or anything, but it really turned into an eye-opening experience for me because we would drive into these African towns that were completely different from anything I’d seen before,” Huisman said. “I think it’s important to take advantage of the opportunities you have, so I went there and it was probably the best experience of my life.”
To learn more about the IB program, visit their website at http://www.ibo.org
By Rachel Reardon