Writing is the litmus test of clear thinking. Free of distractions, unhurried by artificial deadlines, free of jargon and the need for solicitations of approval, serious writers use expository language to articulate their thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions, and experiences. And clear thinking is among the foremost challenges to students setting out with Semester At Sea on a unique voyage that engages four continents, 14 countries, and multiple cultures in the semester’s voyage this fall around the rim of the North and South Atlantic.
Field WorkCountry: Belgium
On the first day of our visit to Antwerp we will visit the WW I battlefield of Passchendaele in West Flanders. Taking a guided tour of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and experiencing what life was like in the front lines for the British and German soldiers, we will learn about strategy, technology, and the horrors of modern warfare. Visiting the largest British war cemetery in the world, the Tyne Cot Cemetery with its nearly 12,000 graves and a German cemetery nearby, we will be able to take some measure of the magnitude, sorrow, and loss of so many soldiers, many in their teens and early twenties. Students in the class will write an essay of 5 pages in which they weave their impressions of warfare in World War I with the powerful and moving visit to the site of so much futile gallantry, courage, and strategic stupidity. The intention is to create an article suitable for submission for publication in a newspaper or journal at the student’s home campus.