Ursuline has been hosting a team of seven individuals, deans and professors, from our sister school Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (http://www.wtuc.edu.tw/version/en/main.phtml?lm=1). They are here on a cultural immersion experience taking classes to practice their English, visiting with host families in the area and into PA, and exploring our great city and suburbs.
This past Wednesday Sr. E and Dr. B arranged for an afternoon tour of Lake View Cemetery and dinner in Little Italy and I was luckily enough to tag along! BT (Dr. B.’s trusty sidekick of eighteen years and my new partner in crime!) was kind enough to cart Dr. B., Peter1 and I around for the afternoon. First stop: Wade Chapel at Lake View Cemetery (http://www.lakeviewcemetery.com/index.asp). If you have not had the privilege to experience the beauty of this memorial chapel to Jeptha Wade, you must schedule a stop on your next out-n-about town. The glistening hand cut glass, smooth marble, and impressive doors create an impeccable place of reverence.
Next stop was the Garfield Monument. The sandstone structure has a commanding presence in the cemetery. Capitalizing on it’s perch at the top of a hill, the viewing deck boasts an encompassing view of University Circle, Lake Erie, and Cleveland’s skyline. Our tour guide was expressive and shared great detail of the Byzantine inspired interior and general architecture grandeur. Besides the unbeatable view, one of my favorite experiences was climbing the four flights of spiral staircase, which may sound out of the ordinary. When coming down, my feet kept falling into the natural mold and dip in the concrete stairs of all the previous visitors paying homage to the 20th President of the United States.
After a quick stop at the Rockefeller Monument, we headed down the hill to Little Italy for a walk through the shops and galleries in the rehabilitated Murray Hill School, tasty pizza at Mama Santa’s and Corbo’s for delectable desserts.
Our conversations were delightful! Peter2 told me of his project scanning buildings, sculptures and monuments with laser into a digital software in order to record their measurements down to the nearest 100th of a millimeter if needed. This technological tool is a great advancement for HiP documentation. Peter1, a professor of Humanities, expressed his concern and ambition to make sure to take the time to disconnect from computers, cell phones and administration work in order to be present for his students during the relished four hours of classroom time he is granted. The most difficult aspect of teaching for him is breaking the students tradition of learning from an assigned textbook filled with the “correct” answers. As experience has taught me in undergrad, Humanities is a discipline which requires reflection and thoughtful examination in order to gain understanding; a textbook is not going to provide the immediate answer.
I had a short, but profound exchange with Marcus. As was most of the team, he was impressed with our expansive campus full of trees, a pond and wildlife. Wenzao’s campus is in the middle of the city. The campus takes up one cramped block to hold all 9,000 students. The largest building stands sixteen stories tall compared to our three-story Mullen. Marcus’ connection to our campus came in the reverence of remembering to connect with wildlife by directly looking an animal in the eye in order to re-establish the foundation of our existence in nature and re-gain respect for human knowledge and language.
Needless to say, I had a wonderful time hosting our guests from the East and hope that one day I may travel to Kaohsiung to visit Wenzao and my new friends again.