Last month, Jacob Holley-Kline went on a school trip to Greece. He had worked all of the previous summer to pay travel expenses. When he got there, he was stunned by the beauty of the place. "The water looked like a melted gemstone or something. Like congealed tanzanite," Jacob told me. But something was bothering him. Why does he get to go to Greece, and other folks don't? Did he deserve to be there?
This is the question Jacob puzzles over in this beautifully written and delivered commentary, from the Alaska Teen Media Institute.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 13:30 — 6.2MB)
While Jacob was in Greece, he kept a diary â€” writing between 5 and 9 pages every day. "As it stands now," Jacob said, " the whole 8 or 9 days is a complete blur."
So how did he decide which details, from all those pages of writing, he should include in a three-minute commentary? "After living in Alaska for my whole life, there's a lot of beauty here, but it's a totally different kind of beauty than in Greeceâ€¦. So I tried to find the aspects of it that seemed the most unreal. And this is what it came down to."
Jacob also wanted to shout out to Robert Stormo and Rosey Robards at the Alaska Teen Media Institute, "for making me write this â€” or not making me, but pushing me to write it â€” because it is one of the reasons I'm able to appreciate the trip as much as I did."