Ponton ’14 Learns Immersion Learning Bonding

Jacob Ponton ’14 – We closed our last day with another busy schedule. Nate Chapman gave the last presentation over the Tomb of the Eurysaces, or known as the Tomb of the Baker. This tomb was very interesting, showing how individuals competed with one another to share their life story with those who passed by. This was a very good illustration of the interaction within Roman society.

We then made our way to the Epigraphic Museum and Palazzo Valentini. These two stops showed the magnificence and beauty of Rome. The Museum had many artifacts that pertained to each of our research topics. This gave us other examples of how each topic had played a role in Rome. For example, I found several inscriptions for different guilds praising them for their work, telling us how important they were in the empire. It was great to be able to see these artifacts up close. It allowed us to come up with our own interpretations instead of reading about some scholar’s interpretation.

The Palazzo Valentini allowed us a unique view on an elite’s house. This museum allowed us to see the ruins through a glass floor while walking through the house. This site made the distinctions of the elite and common man very real. The house was unlike any we had seen before, including personal baths. I found this to be very interesting because I have been researching the interaction of social classes in the public baths. This site eliminated such interaction with the lower class with this elite citizen.

Today was just a great wrap up to a great week. This trip was absolutely amazing. I want to thank Professor Hartnett for putting together such a great itinerary as well as those who helped to fund this trip. Though I found the trip to be extremely educational, I found that it brought our class together unlike what the class room can do. Walking around day after day with your classmates brings a completely different atmosphere than what the class room provides. I have become close friends with many of those who were on this trip. This trip allowed me to not just learn more about topics in the class but more about my fellow Wallies. I believe that this experience is unlike any that may be provided at other schools and truly separates Wabash from the rest.

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