Make The Connection

Travel-Learning Course, ‘Cervantes and the Quixote’

December 12, 2014 – by Katie Nunner '15

Tyler Wake ’16

Learn how OWU’s Course Connections, Travel-Learning Courses, Theory-to-Practice Grants, and other programs prepare students for global citizenship and leadership and help them…Make the Connection.

OWU students visited Spain in May to continue classroom studies of ‘Don Qixote.’ The experience enabled them to make connections between literature read in class and the culture, society, history, and arts of Spain. (Photo courtesy of Roger Skidmore-Nieto ’15)

Roger Skidmore-Nieto ’15

Name: Roger Skidmore-Nieto ’15
Major: Accounting
Hometown: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Experience: Travel-Learning Course, ‘Cervantes and the Quixote’

Lesson Learned:

“Spain is now probably my favorite place in the world! This Travel-Learning Course gave me the opportunity to see different Spanish cultural sites and learn more about the literature discussed in class.

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting Toledo, an interesting city for its diverse heritage: Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic. I also enjoyed exploring Almagro, a small town in the province of Ciudad Real.

“In this town, we visited the only functioning 17th century Spanish theater and then toured a few sites and towns mentioned in the novel ‘Don Quixote.’ It was amazing to see how small towns attract so many people from all over the world by bringing back to life literary texts that are centuries old and still have great cultural value.

“Another highlight of the trip was spending a few days in Madrid – Spain’s current capital. Exploring the city gave the whole group a different perspective on our class.

“Being able to walk through the same streets as some of the greatest writers and artists discussed in class was surreal. We even visited some of their houses and saw a few theater productions of their plays.

“I can definitely say that this opportunity allowed me to learn so much more than I expected. I got to see paintings, amazing architecture, and even a medieval castle. This experience made me realize how important Miguel de Cervantes and many other writers of the 17th century still are for Spanish culture.

“Being in these cities for 10 days made me feel like I was introduced into a whole new world.”

Tyler Wake ’16

Name: Tyler Wake ’16
Majors: Economics, Mathematics
Minors: Spanish, Management
Hometown: Plymouth, Michigan

Lessons Learned:

“My Travel-Learning Course (TLC), ‘Cervantes and the Quixote,’ was an incredible experience. It involved studying Cervantes’ most famous novel but also some of his many plays (comedias). At the end of the semester, we traveled to Spain for 12 days. …

“Linguistics is perhaps the discipline most readily described as ‘theory-into-practice,’ which makes our trip even more in line with the mission of OWU. Language acquisition only comes from practice, and although I have studied Spanish since eighth grade, my experience on the ground in a Spanish-speaking country is limited.

“To me, there is no more empowering or rewarding experience than being able to navigate a foreign country in its own language, and OWU helped me to feel empowered.

“Learning the history of a country hundreds of years older than our own is almost inevitable in Europe, and I had that experience in Spain. The most unique experience I had was at a stop we made in the rolling hills of La Mancha, the home of our brave knight-errant.

“Our class visited the ancient fort of the Calatravan Order – a policemen-like order of warrior-monks – who lived and worshiped at this base high on a mountain. The history, the view, and the weather were amazing.

“I hope I can go back there one day and experience the history all over again. I am so incredibly grateful to OWU for making this experience possible, and I hope to go on another TLC.”