History class travels to London over spring break
Selena Ponio | Tuesday, March 21, 2017
For 12 students in a class called “The Life and Times of Henry the VIII,” learning was not restricted to the walls of a classroom.
The seminar in the College of Arts and Letters hosted an all-expenses-paid trip to London for its students to help them gain a more in-depth understanding of the culture and history behind their readings.
Sophomore Jarod Luedecker was one of the students that went on the trip to London and other cities in England. He said the most moving experience came when he saw the wall graffiti on the stones of the Tower of London.
“It was so intricate, and it was hard to imagine that prison was made almost 500 years ago and it still survives today,” Luedecker said. “The fact that they felt the need to leave behind a memento was really moving.”
Luedecker said they also saw the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s Tudor warship that sank along with 300 people on it. He said he learned it sat at the bottom of the sea for 400 years, and the students got to see what was left on the ship.
“They had rosaries that men carried on board, and it was moving to think about men holding those rosaries and praying while the ship sunk,” Luedecker said.
Sophomore Maggie Behan said she applied to this college seminar not only because the trip to London caught her eye, but also because she had a deep fascination for history.
“I think [this trip] really helped because it’s easy to talk about things in class, but they all just kind of run together,” Behan said. “But when you’re able to see and touch and feel the things you’ve talked about, it makes it more real, and it makes it come to life.”
Luedecker said he now has a physical experience to supplement his learning from class. He said at one point they visited Hampton Court Palace, a palace he had read about previously in class. He said they had read about so many palaces in class that they started to blend together, but he now has a memory to associate with the place as a result of the trip to London.
Luedecker, a history major, said although the class was heavily related to history and required a lot of reading, he thought it was relevant to everyone, no matter their major. He said anyone could benefit from seeing the places they saw on their trip and that it added an extra dimension to their learning. By traveling to the places they learned about, they gained a more profound reverence for the culture and time period that their readings came from, Luedecker said.
“There’s so much history there,” Luedecker said. “That period of architecture, you could tell right when you looked at it because of the red brick and spiral chimneys.
“It gives you a deeper connection with the history, and you understand the significance of events that happened 500 years ago.”