Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholar Blog
Collin Kinniry ’23 – Prague
Two weeks before my senior year at Wabash began, I took a trip to the Czech Republic to attend a Blockchain Fundamentals course through the European Summer School. I spent time inside of a classroom from 9am-2pm every day learning all-things blockchain, and then I would have time to explore the beauty of Prague outside of class and on the weekends. Most of our activities included a guide from the program, so I often traveled with a larger group. However, I took full advantage of the opportunities I had to myself to embrace some of the different sites Prague has to offer. With such rich history, it was difficult to walk more than 50 yards near the City Center without being encapsulated by the beauty and mind-boggling nature of Prague’s deeply rooted and dramatic past.
One particular self-journey led me to one of Prague’s more famous sites, the John Lennon wall. As I came to learn, the John Lennon Wall was originally founded as a place where people would exhibit their frustrations with authoritative powers via graffiti. Without getting too deep into the history, the wall is now named after John Lennon due to the symbols of freedom and peace in his songs and messages. Ultimately, the Wall stands as a symbol of free speech, peace, and freedom. The wall is beautifully covered in vibrant colors and messages that display desire for a more unified world.
As I approached the Wall, the intense and vivid artwork filled my entire line of sight. In front of the wall, I noticed a large number of white papers hanging by clothespins. I curiously approached the papers, quickly noticing that they were poems written in different languages that contained empowering messages for Ukraine. One poem stood out to me, written by Lyla Lynn. The poem itself had a powerful message, but it became more real as the surrounding environment came alive. I began to read the poem line-by-line, feeling a strong sense of compassion and self-contemplation as I stood reading about the passive state of the world in the wake of such atrocities occurring in Ukraine.
The juxtaposition of the poem (pictured) in my immediate foreground contrasting against the thousands of messages on the Wall that held so much history and purpose filled me with a feeling that I’ll never forget. It was hard to leave the John Lennon Wall with so much to analyze and explore, but I’m extremely glad I got to experience it in person. Thank you to the Rudolph Family for allowing me to have this experience in the Czech Republic. I will never forget this experience!