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Grade 6 Students Interview Writer

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“Jim Clash es un reportero aventurero que:

Escaló 25 diferentes montañas.
Esqu ió en el polo Norte (7 millas al dia).
Manejo un Bugatti Veyron a 253 mph.
Voló a 85,000 pies.
Viajó al espacio.
Viajó a los dos polos unos cuantos veces. “

– Owen Rifkin

On January 5th, 2017, the grade 6 Individuals and Societies classes had a chance to interview Mr. Jim Clash, culture and adventure sports writer for Forbes Magazine, on the phone about his life experiences. This contact was facilitated by ISI parent, Mrs. Sue Wiltz, whose years as a reporter in New York City have put her in touch with interesting people.

The Spanish track extrapolated on the interview. Our work in our Grade 6 Individuals and Societies class connected relief and water on the planet to the concept of change and our responsibilities as global citizens. Students examined how processes and networks that change the world also challenge us to use and allocate resources responsibly. Mr. Clash has been to both the North (twice) and the South Poles, so we wanted to know what his experiences were like. He told us that to reach the North Pole he had to travel on an ice breaker because the North Pole is frozen water, but to get to the South Pole he was able to ski.

Our students care for wildlife, so Mr. Clash told them about the one time when he was hiking in an expedition, and a polar bear was following them. It was a scary moment because he didn’t know how hungry or desperate the polar bear might have been. Jim was only happy that he lived to tell the story.

Mr. Clash has been part of several climbing expeditions, such as the Matterhorn, the Aconcagua and the Virgin Peaks in Greenland and Antarctica. Our students were most curious about his physical condition, his fears, and his hopes.

He has also interviewed adventurers including Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, Sir Roger Bannister, Buzz Aldrin, John Glenn and the late Sir Edmund Hillary.

One student was surprised to learn that Neil Armstrong was shy and didn’t like giving interviews. Lucy says in Spanish:

“Lo que toma más mi atención de Jim Clash fue que le tomó 12 años para obtener una entrevista con Neil Armstrong. Es una sorpresa porque Neil Armstrong fue la primera persona en tocar la luna; yo creía que va a querer tener muchas entrevistas.  (It took Jim Clash twelve years to finally get an interview with Neil Armstrong. This came as a surprise to me because Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon; why wouldn’t he want to give a bunch of interviews?)

As citizens of this world, Mr. Clash invited our students to be responsible with resources. He told them that after every expedition, he has shown commitment to respecting the untarnished environment of his destinations. Any waste or unnatural objects he takes with him on his expedition, he is sure to bring with him when he comes home.  

Finally, a story that has stayed with us is of Jim’s interview with Sir Edmund Hillary. Mr. Clash asked him what he was thinking at the top of the Everest; Sir Edmund was actually looking at the nearby peaks to see where his next expedition would be to, and what direction he was going to take to make it to the top.

Mr. Clash’s message to the students was to be able to stop for a moment, look around, take in the view and enjoy the fruits of their hard work.

By Marithe Benavente-Llamas


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