The Ottawa field study was the most anticipated field study’s this year. It not only was an amazing learning experience but also it fell on to perfect spot on the calendar. The Ottawa field study took place during the second week after spring break. I personally thought that other than it being a great learning environment, it was also a great way to make some new friends.
Some of the aspects of Ottawa that I found inspiring were, the architecture, the east coast culture, parliament, and most importantly, it opened my eyes to how big world really is, and that’s was just Canada. Even though I’m supposed to outline the major learning experiences which mostly is related to Canada’s involvement in WW1, I also think this field study was an incredible life changing experience, and it was one that I will never be able to relive, or rediscover.
I mean this quite literally, because Encounters With Canada has a one time visit rule. Other than the learning aspects of this trip there were the people I met and the experiences I shared with them. Even though through this isn’t school type learning I think it was vastly more important for a teenager from a small school, from a even smaller program, PLP, to encounter Canada.
In regards to Canada’s involvement in World War 1, going to this trip I had little knowledge going in to this field study. We had learned the basic knowledge from our history teacher in PLP. This included the main events/battles, trench warfare, and Canadian war victories and losses. We mostly focused on Vimy ridge, a victorious battle that occurred in France. It was the first time were all four Canadian regiments fought together. On our trip we learn a lot about WW1, and I mean a lot. Most of the museums were either war museums, or history Museums with exhibits about World War One, or World War Two. Some of the at house activities that we did at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre, in Ottawa were based around War too.
On example was an activity were You would create felt poppies out of different coloured felt. Other than the museums we also went on many field trip type activities. One activity that we did was going to the parliament building in Ottawa. When I first walked in to the parliament, I was immediately in awe. The way the ceiling arched and the small windows were shaped like the head of a garden shovel. The lighting wasn’t particularly good for taking a selfie. Which made sense since the original parliament building burnt down in a fire and the building ended up being built around the middle of World War One where oppression was common.
The only part of the building that was saved was the library. The library was built in a architectural design that amazed me. Compared to the rest of the building if was filled with a warm orange glow, and made of a light wood. There was a pattern of pointy awnings and a never ending supply of books. Out of the whole building that I would say would be my favourite room. As the week started to end the learning I think started to cycle around, and stay the same. There was definitely a caring capacity to our minds and when it came to WW1 I think we had reached it. I think that even though we went there to learn, it wasn’t the activity I will remember the most.
When I first came to Encounters I noticed that they had pictures on the wall of the past students and the tears shed an the final day of Encounters. I couldn’t imagine feeling so open and to be honest fragile to cry just because you were leaving a group of friends that you had only known for a week. Through out the week to my surprise, our bonds strengthened and to my surprise when the time came that we had to leave, we all were sorrowful. For we would never see those people again, and spending literally 24 hours with them creates a friendship that is out matched by many of my current friendships. Coming out of this experience there are many lessons I learned. I think I learnt more in that one week, than I have this whole term.