Monday, August 25, 2014
Every other year I take a group of students on a traveling history course to Britain (you can look at the Castles and Cathedrals blogs from two of those courses here on Blogger). A lot of planning goes into creating the course itinerary, balancing the variety of sites we visit, making sure the students get some down time, and figuring out the public transportation logistics (can we actually get there from where we are staying?). While it is an enormous amount of work, I really enjoy the possibilities that creating such an itinerary allows me. I have three and a half weeks to introduce students to a country most of them have never visited before. What can I show them? What exciting places can we explore? What new experiences will they encounter? It is in the planning stages that I get to revel in these possibilities. Which cathedrals will we tour? Which ruined castles will we investigate? Which medieval monasteries call out for me to bring my students to? What other historical sites can I include? Last course we visited Eden Camp, a WWII museum in Yorkshire that had been a POW camp. Certainly beyond the borders of the Middle Ages that the course covered, but it was a wonderful opportunity for students to see this historical event from a different and non-American perspective. In the past, the course was limited to England and Wales. This coming year I have expanded the possibilities, which adds to the logistical issues, by including Scotland. If all goes as planned, we will cover the length and most of the breadth of Britain, from Inverness to Portsmouth, Conwy to York, Iona to Bath. Oh, the possibilities.