United Kingdom 2018 - ISCA
The ISCA experience was likewise impactful for me as their group leader and teacher. As we prepared for our adventure and certainly throughout our month abroad, I got to know the students quite well. Overseas, I also connected with educators from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in the United States. The dialogue and excitement was enriching and inspiring - with each day offering teachable moments. For example, after exploring the wards of Windsor and winding our way down the River Thames on a ferry, I had the opportunity to deliver a presentation on the Magna Carta. As a history major, I was “nerding out.” Here I was, at Runnymeade, very close to where King John affixed the royal seal in 1215 teaching the history to an audience of 150!
The trip was also special in that it afforded me time “in the field,” to research and write activities for the new course I am teaching at Austin Prep this fall, “Topics in Art History: The Art of Power.” Our ISCA journey seemed tailor-made for this course which will explore how the British crown has used various forms of art to communicate attributes of power over the last millennium. I will always be able to reference my guidebooks or scroll through the 1500+ photos that I took in July, but it was truly the immersive experience in England that stoked my long-held passion for this topic. One such moment was an independent day trip I made into London that I'll remember as "my royal day out." Click here for the story.
Bath and Stonehenge
Bath sits in the Western part of Britain on the banks of the River Avon. Hot waters spring forth from the Earth, leading the Romans to build a temple and bath complex there dedicated to Minerva. Austin students explored the bath complex, the largest and best preserved in Northern Europe, and were able to peer into the past as they walked on suspended catwalks over the ruins of the Roman temple and its courtyard. Students were reminded of their Latin lessons with Mr. Chris Ayers and Mr. Roger Stone who cover the complex at Bath in their unit on Roman Britain.
As the day progressed, our group traveled further back in time to the prehistoric wonder of the world: Stonehenge. The great circle of Saracen and blue stones quarried miles away, ferried to the Salisbury planes, and positioned to align with celestial movements were awe inspiring. Students wondered about the engineering involved in transporting and arranging the stones and the purpose of the site.
With our trip to England officially half-way through, students are making friends with other ISCA participants from Argentina, Brazil, and Peru as well as from other schools in the United States. While experiencing over 5,000 years of British culture and history, it has been exciting to share these experiences with other students and faculty from around the world!
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