Tanis brightens her traveling horizons

Special Education teacher, Mrs. Jenna Tanis went on a month and a half long trip to five countries this past summer with her husband. Tanis traveled to France, England, Italy, Montenegro and Spain.
Showing her quirky personality, Mrs. Jenna Tanis, Special Education Teacher at CHS, pushes with all her might against the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Showing her quirky personality, Mrs. Jenna Tanis, Special Education Teacher at CHS, pushes with all her might against the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Photo Credit: Photo with permission from Tanis

The flight itself to get to their destination/s was quite the adventure alone. She flew from Newark to Iceland, Iceland to Paris, from Paris to Spain, and in Spain she hopped on a boat which took her to a whole bunch of different places, and back to Spain. After that, she flew back to England, and of course after her vacation was over she took a plane back to the Newark Airport in the United States.

In Paris, Tanis saw the Eifel Tower and went to many different museums. In Spain, she went to Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia Church, beaches and different historical sites. She also went to Naples, Capri and Rome. When she was in London she had the chance to go to the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the London Dungeons. Tanis stated, “Paris, I loved Paris, especially Disney Paris. And Venice was unique; it’s a city built on water. But the flight was hard, it was long.” On her trip, Tanis tried, well almost tried frog legs, she licked frog legs actually, but did not actually eat them. Tanis loves to travel, she explained, “Clearly, I like to explore and discover different countries.” She continued, “I travel at least three times a year out of country, and six times a year in the country.”

Even though she has the opportunity to travel multiple times a year whether it be to different places she has never gone before, or a simple visit to another state, Tanis wishes she could go somewhere every other month. However, she knows that’s not the most realistic of things that is able to happen. If Tanis got the chance to travel anywhere in the world with a paid ticket and hotel, she would choose Disney, Hong Kong. Tanis added, “Disney, who doesn’t like Disney?”

I travel at least three times a year out of country, and six times a year in the country.”

— Mrs. Jenna Tanis

She is confident that traveling helps with her job as a teacher very well. “I’m able to connect better with the authors that I teach because I have been to their countries of origin.” By traveling to many different countries it gives Tanis the opportunity to learn new things about different cultures and religions. Traveling teaches her new ideas and information she may have never known, aiding her in the classroom letting her teach her students more information, they themselves may have never known before.

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Department Head of English and World Languages, Mrs. Cynthia DiChiara stated,” Teaching Reading and Writing is about experiencing other cultures, norms, principles, and ideals. Traveling is having firsthand experience with worldwide content. Traveling allows for a fresh perspective and a deeper understanding of the literature we are passing on to our students.” DiChiara later explained that the Woodbridge Township’s English curriculum visits all countries. For example, Romeo and Juliet takes place in Italy. “To stand under Juliet’s balcony in Italy gives Shakespeare’s words even more gravitas,” added DiChiara. Traveling is surely an opportunity one should take if they ever get the chance. DiChiara stated,” If you have the chance- – travel. Traveling pushes your boundaries, allows you to learn new languages firsthand, and introduces you to new cultures.”

Tanis’ students may have not been to different countries themselves, but have gone through Tanis’ stories. DiChiara explained, “Bringing back that passion for travel to her students allows her students to sit in the classroom but travel to the countries visited by Ms. Tanis through Ms. Tanis’ experiences. Her love of travel will allow students to “see” other countries through her eyes.”

Tanis later remarked, “The most educational aspect of my trip was this thing called the London Dungeons. They were mossy spots in London you have to go to; it’s a theater but it’s not. It was educational; I didn’t know half the history I learned before I went. I kind of got to play detective.” As noted on The London Dungeons website, “The Dungeons brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walk through experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel. It’s hilarious fun and it’s sometimes a bit scary.”

Tanis had not a single word to sum up her month and half long adventure because she loved every second of the trip. She explained, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, that’s all I can say, it was absolutely amazing.” Tanis later expressed that she is blessed that she is able to travel to all these different places; places many people would love to travel and adventure to. Aside from Tanis’ most recent travels, she has been to Jamaica (twice), Bahamas, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Mexico, and Iceland.

Something else about Tanis not many people may have known is that before she became a teacher she actually went to law school where she wanted to become a cop, but instead found her passion as a teacher which she without a doubt loves. Her gregarious, fun, caring personality surely shines in and out of the classroom. For students who wish to travel the world, Colonia High School offers a senior travel trip in the summer.

This year the students who signed up will be going to Greece and Italy for duration of ten days. The trip itself costs about $4,000. At first, the cost seems slightly on the expensive side, but the cost includes; airfare, hotel, food, entrance fees…. Approximately 40 seniors are allowed to attend this Europe trip, and so far 28 seniors have committed to go on this trip this year. Math teacher, Mr. Thomas Pasko expressed, “I would highly recommend seniors going on the Europe trip.” Whether you’re a student still in high school or college or already have a full time job or have already retired from the working days; traveling is an option to brighten your horizons. Although at times the cost may seem heartaching, one may start saving and one day, hopefully be able to travel to their dream destination.

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Lage
Alyssa Lage, Spring Reporter and Editor
Alyssa Lage is a senior at Colonia High School. She is the President of the Interact club and is also a member of numerous other clubs. Last year, Lage received the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Middlesex County school boards association student recognition award.  Lage spends most of her time volunteering for a variety of different causes. She also loves to dance and has been doing so since she was three years old. In addition, Lage works at a local supermarket four to five days a week. When she isn't busy dancing, working, completing school work, or volunteering; Lage can be found getting too emotionally attached to a book, listening to her favorite music stations on Pandora, or free writing in her favorite notebook. Also, Lage enjoys running and she absolutely loves coffee. She will be attending Montclair State University next fall and will be majoring in Child Advocacy and Policy.

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