Lincoln Kyle ’17

Students spend time at Chicago’s Chinatown at the Emperor’s Choice Restaurant.

Saturday night I set my alarm for six a.m. so that way I would have time to get up and shower before heading to the train station at 6:30. As I went to bed, I had several thoughts about what my trip to Chicago would be like, but I really had no idea what I was going to experience. I am not sure what time I fell asleep, but I know that I woke up well before my six a.m. alarm. I woke up and looked at my phone and it read “5:00 a.m.” I lay there and tried to go back to sleep, but was unable to do so as thoughts of excitement raced through my head. Eventually I just got up and got ready. 6:30 a.m. finally rolled around and my friend kindly drove me to the train station.

I got there at the same time that Zach Anderson did and as we stood their waiting for the rest of the group to arrive we discussed our different views of how the week would go. As the rest of the group showed up we shared our views and asked them how they thought the week would go. I think that we all had somewhat of an idea, because we have all had friends that have taken the class before. Just hearing their stories was not enough though. The train arrived, a little late unfortunately, and as we boarded I stated to feel even more excitement knowing that our trip was actually beginning.

I was able to stay awake for a little bit of the train ride just because it was my first time experiencing anything like it. After that excitement left me, drowsiness overtook me and I fell asleep. I was in and out of sleep the whole trip but was fully awake as I heard one of the voices come over the intercom to tell us we were ten minutes away. Even more thoughts started to race through my mind as we started to come up on the city. I was able to see the skyscrapers and all that the entire city had to offer and I knew that this was going to be a good start to the week.

I was still pretty tired at this point but was able to push through it due to all the curiosity I had about the city. As we walked to our hostel, Dr. Seltzer would tell us about different streets and different places that she knew about. I tried to pay as much attention as possible knowing that I may not be here again for awhile. I wanted to make sure that I was taking everything in. We finally arrived at the hostel and we were able to relax for a little bit, but not too long.

After about thirty minutes of just sitting around and relaxing, Dr. Hensey arrived and an orientation while we ate lunch. We ate sandwiches from that café that is located in the hostel. They were rather tasty. Once we were done eating, Dr. Hensey took us through a presentation and helped us learn more about Chicago Public Schools, our own individual schools, and the public transportation system. This was all very helpful because as soon as that was over we were sent to find our own schools by ourselves.

Zach Biddle and myself walked out of the doors of our hotel took a left, took one more left, and then walked until we reached the point where the orange line stops at Wabash and Adams. The orange line is the train route that we take to get to our school, Thomas Kelly High School.  We scanned our transit cards; obviously it took us a few tries to get right. We sat there and waited a few minutes, but the train finally arrived and we boarded. We were a little nervous about getting to our school, but in total it only took us thirty minutes to get there. Thankfully we did not have any problems at all.

Art Institute of Chicago

Once we got to our school, we found the front door and looked around the area so that we are not surprised in the morning. After that, we headed back to the hostel and finally checked into our room. Once in our room, I tried to relax a little, but it was difficult. I was tired, but I was still filled with eagerness. There were still things that needed to be done. As four o’clock rolled around we all got dressed and ready and took off towards our next destination, Chinatown.

I did not know what to expect from Chinatown, but it did not disappoint. As we walked from shop to shop I tried to take in all of the culture that I am so unfamiliar to. We walked into several different shops to look around and see what the different vendors had to offer. There were some pretty amazing stores that we walked in to. There were way to many stores for us to walk into all of them, but I think that we were able to get a good sense of what it’s like in Chinatown on a daily basis, it just wasn’t as busy as it probably would be.

After going through the different shops we went to eat at Emperor’s Choice Restaurant. As we sat there and ate I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be on this trip. I am thankful that for the opportunities that Wabash College has given to me. We have been given the opportunity to experience something we may never get to experience again while trying to impact the lives of these children at the same time. Hopefully this week is all that I am expecting and more.