On Nov. 1, Cadets Harrison Pittman, Gus Farley, Joseph Roach, Spencer Semeliss and Byrce McIlwain from Spanish instructor Joshua Allison's Spanish I class attended MAYA: The Exhibition at Union Station, accompanied by Allison.
The exhibit gives a holistic image of Maya culture and shows how it has changed overtime in relation to environment — from its peak to the present. Through immersive exhibition spaces, visitors experience Maya architecture, decipher hieroglyphs, learn about the Maya calendar, explore the ancient burial site of Uxul, and learn how the Maya civilization built complex cities in the middle of the jungle and why these cities were eventually abandoned. The exhibit aims to show how modern indigenous populations in Guatemala, Southern Mexico and Belize maintain a cultural continuity from pre-Hispanic times to today.
The cadets’ museum experience began with a video that discussed the people who once ruled the lands that the Spanish language and culture now dominate.
“At the end of the video, the screen ascended into the rafters, and our group was invited to walk through the void into the exhibit — almost like the unveiling of a secret treasure,” said Allison.
The cadets worked on an academic exercise as they explored the exhibit. Allison said the myriad of colors and unique shapes of Maya art and architecture are sure to remain in the cadets’ minds for some time.
Prior to the trip, cadets had been studying Spanish food terms and learning about dishes from several Spanish-speaking countries. After the exhibition visit, the group stopped by a small Latino market to purchase items to prepare Spanish meals in class.
Allison wishes to extend a special thank you to the parents who helped finance the trip and to Dean Mike Harding and Mr. Elliot Goodwin, activities specialist, for preparing the paperwork and approving the field trip. See more photos on Flickr.