This past week was incredibly busy. On Monday afternoon, the Ecology & Environmental Chemistry team split into three groups so that samples from all of the river sites could be taken in the same day. We used a YSI probe to take measurements such as pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and temperature from the river water at each site. These recordings can clue us into the health of the ecosystem at that spot. We also collect water in bottles to take to the laboratory. To do this, we have to stand in the river and face the opening upstream, wash the bottle out with river water three times, and then fill it and cap it. Pretty simple, but we had quite [...]
An update from Thomas: As I walked down Brick Lane, I felt the metaphor of “Brick Lane as a river” swirl around my ankles. The Sanskrit street signs, Jewish buildings, Christian churches, and curry restaurants proved that this was a very deep river. A river of cultures extending back through generations of relocated families, all of whom had carved their place in the terrain. I saw the sign for Katz’ string and bag wholesalers, an example given in Sinclair’s article, faded against its brick backdrop, the letters of the sign as permanent as the history of the Jewish people in the area. I saw Bengali restaurants and merchandise lining the streets — a more recent group to call Brick Lane [...]
An update from Lexi on some of her discoveries during the class scavenger hunt at the British Museum: 1. Elgin Marbles as “metonyms” for the Parthenon: This picture left of one of the remnants can be seen as a metonym for the people’s observance of rituals and for the importance of ceremonies. In this sculpture, the women are carrying incense for sacrifices, showing their respect and admiration for the Greek gods as they pay homage to them. This depiction right can be seen as a metonym for the valor and bravery of men in combat. It could also symbolize the superiority of men (such as defeating beasts or figures of “the Other”), and it shows how the Greeks valued strength and [...]
Kerri is a graduate student in medical anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. She was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Internship for summer 2013 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. She is working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a non-governmental organization focused on gender and racial equality.
An update from program director Kathy Windrow: Drawing Maitani's reliefs on the facade of the duomo in Orvieto.
After a long week of classes and presentations, Tirimbina was the perfect day trip and escape from our daily lives in Heredia! A short two-hour drive from Heredia, we arrived just in time for our chocolate tour. However, to get to our chocolate tour, we had hike through the rainforest (seeing a Toucan was definitely a highlight) and cross the longest suspended bridge in the country, walking high above rivers and the rainforest. Scary moments when the bridge would sway back and forth proved to be worth every minute when we came to the tiki hut set up for the chocolate demonstration (see photo to the right). The next hour and a half flew by as we learned about the history [...]
An update from program director Kathy Windrow: Studying mythological scenes on the Francois Vase in Florence.
An update from program director Kathy Windrow: Drawing the Etruscan temple ruins in Fiesole above Florence.
Visiting Mysore As I continue to navigate through daily life in India, I find myself constantly wondering, how did I get here?! I think back to last semester at SMU, and everyone around me was panicking over summer plans. People were constantly updating their resumes, systematically visiting career fairs, and relentlessly networking with everyone with whom they came in contact. I cannot remember anyone telling me to do otherwise. As a then freshman, I knew that I did not see myself in a traditional internship. To me, engineering is finding solutions to problems that people don’t know exist. But what about the problems that are prominent in the world? As an engineer, I am a problem solver, or [...]
An update from Georgia, a Perkins School of Theology student studying in South Africa: My trip to South Africa has been truly awesome. The most emotional tour for me was the visit to Robben Island. I had not realized that it was also a whole community and not just a prison. The place was cold, hard, echo-layered and haunting. The very thought of Nelson Mandela surviving 27 years of imprisonment there was almost unbelievable. You could sense the evil and the hatred with each step taken. Yet, in spite of this — and upon his release from prison — Mandela called for reconciliation and forgiveness. This truly exemplified the teaching of Jesus Christ. Robben Island Prison Nelson [...]