Professor Rick Warner
Our Blogmeister, Jesse James, has promised me the last word. This trip is difficult to sum up, because so much has happened. We have all learned about Mexico, her people, her history, and in the end, about ourselves.
We have stood in numerous spaces that are important for Mexican history. The memory of these places has been kept alive, and reinvented, throughout the long past of this civilization. It is difficult to stand in the Zocalo without recognizing the importance of this space for the Aztecs (as we saw in Templo Mayor), for colonial New Spain (as we saw in the architecture) and for modern Mexico (as we saw in the social and political activity). More difficult still is to stand in Tlatelolco square, without recalling a time when the square was not empty (as it was yesterday) but filled with young people, before they were mowed down by the military in 1968. Yet the plaza is named for three ¨cultures,¨ represented by Aztec ruins, an early 17th century church, and 19670s public housing. In the north of the city, there is another large square, outside of the Basilica de Guadalupe, where countless Mexicans have traveled on pilgrimage. These are all historic spaces. These are all sacred spaces.
The students have FELT the history of Mexico in these spaces. They have told me so, and they have told you so. They have experienced another culture, at first tenuously, and now with confidence… all in one week. Among the many surprises for the professor is the facility with which they move around the city on their own. The best learning occurs when directed by the learner, with occasional help from the professional. They have not only learned about Mexico, however. They have united as a group, supporting one another in the struggles in visiting a huge city in a developing country. When we thought one of us was lost in the metro system, several of us immediately began a search. One of us fell ill and was supported by the others. Some of us do not speak Spanish, and were led around the city by those who do. The group has come together, transcending boundaries. These Wabash men are self reliant, and they are cooperative. I am proud to have traveled with them.
If we listen to our reflections, we can learn still more.
In Photos: Top Right: Professor Rick Warner describing some sights, Bottom Left: The class enjoys a meal together the last night in Mexico City