A.J. Clark '16 making his presentation in London
A.J. Clark ’16 making his presentation in London

A.J. Clark ’16 – Participating in this immersion trip to London has been a great experience thus far — and I have only been through the first day! It is exciting to see the diverse the city of London. The most memorable trip we took today was to Hyde Park. We visited the ‘speaker’s corner’, which is a space in the park where multiple people get on a soapbox and rant about whatever their grievances are. What is interesting is the number of people who take time to stop and listen to each speaker; hundreds of citizen’s and tourists visit the ‘speaker’s corner’ everyday. You can chose to engage in the conversations and attempt to have a productive discourse; or you can watch other people have unproductive civil discourse by arguing and yelling — which is very entertaining in itself.

Another aspect of the area surrounding Hyde Park I enjoyed was seeing the architectural memorials dedicated to horses and other animals that were used in World War I. I was so interested in the memorials because the research project I conducted for the immersion course dealt exclusively with the stage history of War Horse, which is a novel about a horse’s experience in the First World War. The information I researched told me about the deep reverence and respect the English culture had for horses, especially pertaining to their involvement in the war. Visiting the various memorials/statues dedicated to horses reified my understanding of the English culture’s ‘love’ for horses, which were used ubiquitously during the war. Horses were used to perform several tasks from supporting cavalrymen to hauling mass weapons as beasts of burden.