Sabres in the City


Group of Honors Program students (left to right) Allie Percy, Emily Salm, Brenda Ordoñez, Sarah Mereness, and Emma Lewandowski at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Brenda Ordoñez, Reporter

On April 13th, honors students attended the infamous Chicago trip. Thirty-two students were up bright and early on Saturday morning eager to mount the bus and get a taste of the Windy City. The Marian University Honors Program has several more trips and events that are offered throughout the school year to students within the program. Some events include barbecues, ice skating in President Manion’s backyard, and a weekend field trip to Chicago. 

It was a 3-hour bus ride early in the morning, yet one wouldn’t be able to tell as the bus was filled with chatter, laughter, and excitement to arrive at the first destination on the itinerary. The Honors Program is always trying to enrich students with knowledge and culture and this field trip was no exception. The first destination that everyone was eager to arrive at was the Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant. Here, students were able to have a taste of another culture’s cuisine. The food arrived in large platters and was meant to be eaten without silverware. The food served on the platters varied; there were three types of lentils cooked in different ways ranging from spicy to slightly sweet, along with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and spinach all being cooked in different sauces. Alongside these foods was chicken and steak cooked to perfection.  This food was served on top of a spongy, thin bread-like food that was meant to be used as a base to pick up the vegetables and meats in a taco like manner.  

The reaction to this culture’s foods varied across the board. Junior Brock Weston enjoyed the food very much and said, “It was fun to experience.” He noted that the spongy bread was “kind of flavorless, but a good substance.” Brock recalling his delicious experience with Ethiopian food contrasts sophomore Emily Salm’s recollection of the experience. Salm thought the “meat and vegetables were good; the bread was not.” She went further to describe the spongy bread which “looked like a tortilla shell but full of bubbles…[and] tasted like cloth.” There were several others that enjoyed the food and there were some who didn’t, yet every student was given the opportunity to try something new and that was the goal.  

After some Ethiopian food, the students mounted the bus to head to their next destination, an opportunity to learn about Mexican culture at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Here, the students were able to have a self-guided tour and explore the exhibits freely. Here is where Salm and Weston both learned two big things. Salm learned, “There are a lot of people standing up for their rights and standing up for their culture.” This was in response to viewing numerous exhibits of Hispanic artists showing pride in their culture and heritage. Weston learned, “From the Mexican Art Museum how much Christian influence there was and the variety of foreign painters that were identified as Mexican art just with heritage.” These realizations from this museum were another goal and accomplishment the Honors Program had for the students on the trip. 

The students climbing the bus for the third time had not lost momentum. They were eager and ready to go to their next destination, the Lincoln Park Zoo. The students were able to break into groups of four and roam the zoo. They were given a scavenger hunt that challenged them to think and get out of their comfort zone. Within the scavenger hunt, they were tasked to get eight different signatures of people who spoke different languages, with no repetitions. It also required the students to find out the protein of a rhino’s horn and then draw the protein. These are only a few of the challenging, yet fun questions on the scavenger hunt. It may seem like it wouldn’t be worth it, but what was not mentioned was that there was a cash prize for first, second, and third place winners. This was a big enough incentive to have every student asking strangers questions about their languages and finding out more about the different cultures. This part happened to be Salm’s favorite part of the trip as it “was cool to find out all the different languages people spoke.” Weston’s favorite part was also at the zoo as he states, “I haven’t been to the zoo since I was a little kid, it’s not something you do in college, so this was a lot of fun.” 

Finally, the scavenger hunt ended. Students mounted the bus to the final destination of the night, the Palmer Hotel. This hotel was luxurious, expensive, and beautiful. Once here, the students were given their room keys and they were set free to explore the hotel, and the city for the rest of the night. Salm spent her night walking along Michigan Avenue, going to shops and enjoying delicious pizza. Weston being 21 years old enjoyed the nightlife of Chicago a little more as he was able to enjoy drinks and dinner at a rooftop bar and a ping-pong bar. Both students enjoyed their night on the town and can’t wait to go again next year. 

Sunday morning, Chicago was hit with snow and bad weather prompted the cancellation of the outside market. However, the students were still able to stop by the Jane Addams Hull House before heading back to Fond du Lac. The bus ride home was silent, as students were tired from the event-filled weekend. The bus was filled with yawns and snores as these students snoozed and relaxed. This Chicago trip can be described by both Salm and Weston as being a “humbling cultural realization.” Salm said, This trip has allowed me to experience what big city life is like and it also allowed me to meet more people through the honors trip and have new experiences,” and added that this is her second time on the trip and won’t be her last. Weston, being a veteran of the Chicago trip as it is his third time attending, encourages other students to join the Honors Program as it is enriching in many ways. “We have more class options, are encouraged to attend co-curricular activities and trips like the Chicago trip, and all options force you to look beyond your norm.”  

The 2019 Chicago trip was a success. The co-directors of the Honors Program could not be more pleased as to how it went. Now that it has passed they are excited to start planning next year’s trip – will you be on it?