Students turning castles into classrooms

    While some students are looking forward to summer vacations filled with trips to the beach and lazy afternoons on the couch, Professor Andrea Schutz’s advanced Old English students are fundraising for a three-week trip to England in the spring.

    While there, students will be translating poems and stories at the actual sites where they were first written. Some of the places they will get to see include London, Canterbury, Hastings, Sutton-Who, Maldon, Whitby Abbey, Ruthwell Kirk and the Roman Bassett Bath.

    Second-year English student Sara-Jade Russell-Richards is one of the students going on the trip. This will be her first time leaving the country and she said she can’t wait to see England for real.

    “It’s going to be amazing. Like, castles, you don’t see castles in Canada anywhere, really, for the most part, so to see that stuff for real is going to be very cool,” she said.

    “And the Fen, I’m excited to go see the Fen. It’s going to be sweet.”

    Schutz explained she first started this travel study program because one of her previous students mentioned she had never seen any of the historical sites before. She couldn’t picture them in her mind when her professor was lecturing about them.

    “I want [the students] to learn about the Middle Ages the way I learned about the Middle Ages when I was young and growing up, which was seeing and touching and feeling and picking up and putting down and handling stuff and being close to stuff,” the professor said.

    “I want [them] to learn through [their] five senses rather than only through [their] minds and I would like all of this to become personally important to [them].”

    Third-year student Ashley Fanjoy is looking forward to travelling for the first time without parents.

    “This trip is a chance for me to see and experience things in England I wouldn’t be able to [see] with my younger siblings. It’s a learning experience outside the classroom where our minds can roam along with our feet.”

    Schutz admitted her favourite part of the travel study experience is to teach her students about Anglo-Saxon culture, a subject she loves very much.

    “When you can actually touch the ruins and walk up to them, and smell what the churches smell like, and see the lustre of fabrics and watch the passage of time through stained glass … These are things you can’t do here and I think it really makes for a shallower understanding of the period generally,” she said.

    “I want you to be struck by things I’ve never seen before. I want to discover things I haven’t seen before with you because you’ll see things I haven’t seen.”


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here