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The Invisible Man

 It is now 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The train is hurriedly making its way to Washington DC. Half of the students are asleep. It has been a busy day. The concept of an immersion trip is unusual to say the least: a combination of planned touring and individual excursions throughout the day and night. Today, the students of Wabash left the hostel and Manhattan Island early in the morning to take in our final moments of the state of New York. Before we left however, we were able to see a monument dedicated to the memory of Ralph Waldo Ellison and the “Invisible Man.” The statue located close to a river was a constant reminder of the struggles that African-Americans faced during Ellison’s era through the modern day. Yet, the piece was quite surprising because of the way that the “black man” was portrayed was rather ambiguous racially- a topic that lead to a highly heated discussion of both the book and the artwork. The statue, though basic was sophisticated in interpretation, it did not give Ellison’s story away, but required a close examination of its details and written messages to understand. After we left the monument the group headed for Pennsylvania Station, taking a small break to say goodbye to our tour guide and presented him with a school shirt for his invaluable services. After arriving at Penn Station, the group went separate ways for lunch and then reassembled in time to catch the train where I am writing, impatiently waiting for the train to arrive in Washington and for our adventures to continue.

Keith Clayton