Seniors Head Downtown to Visit UT Museums on Final Field Trip

Avery Deen, Reporter

On May 23, students loaded up onto a yellow school bus as teachers stood at the front counting heads and attempting to call roll. Friends squeezed together two to a bench, claiming a row for their squad as everyone filled into place. Bound for the UT campus, the students rolled out on their last field trip.

Seniors in Michelle Iskra’s English IV and AP classes, as well as those in Kirsten Aguilar’s AP European History and Kris Campos’s Spanish V classes were all invited to make the trek downtown, squished aboard the yellow bus, to relive the classic field trip experience and visit some unique museum exhibits. Stopping at the Benson Library and Harry Ransom Center, students were able to see various manuscripts, art pieces and other artifacts which related to the curriculum. Each student seemed to find one item that they found to be truly magnificent, such as senior Miranda Van Doren.

“One of the most interesting pieces that I saw was a self portrait of Frida Khalo,” Van Doren said. “Apart from being able to appreciate her surrealistic art style in person, it was also cool since I studied some of her work in Spanish; and it’s neat when the things you study in school align with an experience of yours. There were also several manuscripts of different author’s works, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude.’ It was really interesting to see such a prominent authors’ artistic process and how they each had their own style of creating a story.”

The Harry Ransom Center was the crowd favorite and held a wide array of artifacts including the ones mentioned above. The center is dedicated to showcasing the artistic process and has a massive archive from which they pull materials to display on their museum floor. They pride themselves on their possession of a Gutenberg Bible, of which there are only 10 in North America and 20 in the world. Tour guides lead the students through the center explaining each item’s history to the students, and the Gutenberg got its own small room and a section of the tour dedicated to an explanation of their rarity and significance.

“The coolest thing we saw was the Gutenberg Bible,” senior Sarah Ray said. “It was amazing to see the first book that was ever printed en masse and the history behind the book and all the potential it held was very stunning to see up close. The Bible represents to me the beginning of civilization as we know it, and without the printed word and the accessibility to knowledge that it offered the lower class we wouldn’t be here today.”

However, for many the trip was more than just a journey downtown to see some old books, it was an end to an era of field trips and academic adventures as they closed out their grade school careers much the way they begin, on a bus surrounded by friends and teachers, chatting away as they bounced along on their way to education.

“I loved being with some of my closest friends during the trip, especially since it was one of the last times we would all be together before we graduated,” senior Erin Ryan said. “It was very memorable even thinking back to field trips we had together in middle school, and now we’re graduating. We’ve grown up a lot from our goofy. Awkward selves into beautiful young ladies, and our friendship has grown even stronger with the time we spend together.”