Every year, the CCSJ Honors Community Students go on a trip to Europe. They tour the country they pick and explore the different culture. This year, junior students from the Honors Community went to Spain. Luke Matulewicz, President of the Student Body and member of the Honors Community, shared his experience with The Shavings.
When Andy says goodbye to April as he leaves Pawnee, IN for London in the hit show “Parks and Recreation” he says, “Just remember every time you look up at the moon, I too will be looking at a moon.
Not the same moon, obviously, that’s impossible.”
Well, when we, the Honors Learning Community, left Whiting, IN for Spain, I unfortunately did not tell anyone about my belief in more than one moon.
I did reenact the scene from “Armageddon” when they sing “Leaving On a Jet Plane.” I might be kidding about that too. The important part, however, is that we got into a big metal cylinder with some wings and engines, remained in the sky for nine hours then landed in what we believe is Spain—it can be the moon landing all over again, I’m not positive.
Spain, unlike the moon, maybe, was definitely not a movie set! For 8 days, we were able to experience “The Rain in Spain” first hand. Contradictory to the musical, the rain in Spain stays mainly with the Honors Learning Community. There may have only been one day of this incredible trip that we were without rain. However, that never stopped us. On our eight day stay, we visited six different cities, each beautiful in their own right. In Toledo, Spain, we saw handmade swords and what is left of the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus. In Avila and Segovia, we had the opportunity to try the traditional dish of suckling pig and look at the magnificent churches that have both the Catholic architecture but also the influence of the Moors from their occupation of Spain. In Cordoba, we took an in-depth tour of the Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba—a Christian Temple, turned Catholic Basilica, turned Muslim mosque, turned Catholic Cathedral. The most incredible part of the Spanish churches is the merging of Muslim and Catholic tradition with very little problem. A big eye opener for most who only hear how Christians and Muslims must remain divided.
The majority of our time was spent in Madrid and Seville. Madrid is the capital of Spain and is much bigger than Seville. However, Seville was where the culture was much more prevalent. Madrid had a Chicago feel—tall building, lots of cars and people, and a great night life. Of course, Madrid is much more historic than Chicago. Seville is more like South Bend—much smaller, not as busy and not the night life of Madrid. Even if we had four days in each of the two cities, we would be rushing to see it all. I feel as though my classmates and I will never forget the time we spend in Spain.
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