Thursday, October 20, 2011

boys room


Today on october the 20th, i learned a alot about foreign culture. First we visted the Hellenic museum, i learned that for greeks, food is the most important thing for them besides remembering their culture. the greeks came over in many different waves over to chicago making them a major influence on chicago culture. Besides that i dont remember much besides the cool trogan horse and Dr. Sheer walking into the glass door. i think i was one of 3 people to witness it and im glad i did. second place was mosque and i learned alot about the muslim culture and especially about how their are proven facts in the Qur'an that i didn't know about. Mcdonalds was good. We tried to go to the Field museum but our cab driver was retarded and took us to the wrong place. he proceeded to yell at us for him being wrong. Once we got to the field museum after what seemed like forever we walked around for and hour and a half viewing interesting things in the field museum. i learned a lot about the african culture and go reminded about 9/11. We tried to leave to go China town but our cab drivers again were being dumb so we had to stand in the rain for awhile to find a nice guy in a denali to take us to eat. China town was fun actually and i want to visit again. I'm a pro at chop sticks i found out. When we got down with China town we went to a symphony, which besides the long break between songs when i didn't know to clap or not and making fun of people for sleeping was actually pretty fun. although i didn't get to see a trombone player like i wanted to see.

We had a very busy day today. For starters we went to the Hellenic museum. The museum was not yet complete, but we had a nice presentation about Greek culture. I learned a lot about Greeks I did not know. Food is very important to them and lunch is the biggest meal. Greeks were discriminated against when first coming to the U.S. I also learned that Dr. Sheere can't see glass doors. Next we went to the Islam center. I learned so much about the Islam religion. I never knew how much alike us Christians are to Muslims. It was an eye opening experience for me. Next we had a quick lunch at the Mcdonalds across the street. It was also a new experience for me since the Mcdonalds was two stories tall. It was a nice lunch, even though I didn't get my drink. The field museum was up next. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. My favorite exhibit was the wildlife exhibit. After waiting for what seemed like years, in the cold rain, we finally made it to china town for dinner. It was fantastic. I had been to many Chinese places in my life, but never an authentic one. The tables were really interesting as they turned so everyone could help themselves. It was also very interesting to see everyone's feeble attempt at using chopsticks. We then got on the L after one of our companions had a panic attempt after thinking she was stuck in a revolving door. We went to the symphony which honestly I was not a a big fan of. After a long cold day being in the warm theater with soothing music made me extremely drowsy. It was entertaining looking at the diverse fans that attended.

First we attended the Hellenic museum. It was an enlightening experience because I did not know that much about Greek culture. She explained a lot about why they immigrated here and about the Greek customs. I also learned that they have a siesta in the middle of the day like the Spaniards do. After the Hellenic museum we went to the Islamic center. This was not as big of an experience for me because I have learned a lot about the Muslim religion when I went to the one in St. Louis my sophomore year. I did learn a few things about the Qur'an and about their pilgrimage. When we had lunch at McDonald's it was the first time I had ever eaten at a two story McDonald's, which was pretty interesting. After Lunch we went to the field museum. I had a pretty good time seeing all of the artifacts and history that they had available. I learned a lot about the early Americans, Egyptians, and about Tibetan culture. Waiting outside the field museum in the rain for a cab was not the best experience, but I got through it. We were finally able to get a ride to the Triple Crown Plaza to enjoy some authentic Asian cuisine. It was served family style, which was not a new experience, but it was enjoyable either way. The last stop on the trip was the Chicago symphony orchestra. I am not that into classical music, but this was a pretty good concert. The worst part was trying to concentrate on the terrible seats, but it was pretty enjoyable.

Reflection form Oct. 20 2011

Today was an interesting day in my native city of Chicago. We observed a lot of different aspects of culture, but the part that stuck out the most to me was the Hellenic Museum. It wasn't necessarily the content that I received, but the fact that our school got a chance to witness the beginning of a historical site for the Greek Community. The history that was provided to us about the culture was all intriguing because of the fact that our speaker was a native of Greece. I could most definitely identify with the oppression that the Greek neighborhood experienced in the 1800's because of the fact that many marginalized communities go through this vicious cycle. People are not necessarily invited into a community, but because of the opportunities available, they deal with the downside of being considered an outsider. Once established the Greek community stood strong while holding on to their cultural identity, with a the help of humanitarians like Jane Adams. This is exactly how their culture still survives today and they have become influential and respected persons. I can't wait to see what new experiences tomorrow brings!

Day 1: Chicago

Despite the rain, we had an awesome learning experience here in the Windy City. Our first stop was the Hellenic Museum. Although still under construction, we got to be the first school group to go through. We learned that there are more Greek Orthodox Churches in Illinois than in IA, MO, MI, IN, and WI altogether. The first group of Greeks that came to Chicago came by ship in the 1840's. In 1910, Chicago was the largest community on the west side "Delta." The Dove ice cream bar was started by a little boy whose father got upset for paying money for extra things that he already had in his own shop. We learned about a very influencial woman named, Jane Adams, a mother figure to the men who had to leave their wives over in Greece due to lack of money. She started the Hull House, which was a meeting place for the men to eat dinner, talk, and to take care of them. Good food and gatherings were very important to them and still are today. Each year they have a Greek Picnic which is held at the church with food, dancing, and celebrating their culture.
Another stop was the Islamic Center where Dr. Sabeel shined much needed light on this greatly misunderstood religion. We learned that like Christianity they have a day of worship. Instead of being Sunday, they come together on Fridays, also known as the Juma Prayer. Islam in the fastest growing religion in the world today. There are a total of 11 million in the United States with 50,000 converting every year. The Quran is the primary source of Islamic law for Muslims. It is written in Arabic. An interesting fact that we learned is there are 11 million people memorize the Quran. There are 5 pillars of Islam: Declaration of faith, prayer 5 times a day, charity, month of fasting, and pilgrimage. We learned that when they pray 5 times a day they do so before sunrise, early afternoon, late afternoon, after sunset, and right before bed. The 5th pillar is pilgrimage where they travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This is where they come together in unity for atleast 10 days or longer as they so choose. The porpose of life is TO WORSHIP THE CREATOR (anything to please God). The biggest thing that we walked away with from the Islamic Center is that all faiths have extremes and we should not judge them by the radicals.
The Field Museum, although the usual stop for most tourist, does not get the respect that it deserves. Walking in you already have many exhibits to choose from, including the African Safari. In the African Safari it had anywhere from the clothes they wore, to the pottery they made, and the hardships they went through including salvery. The most interesting thing that we learned is that the boudires between the old generation and the new generation is no different from in America. Tabaski is an important holiday in Africa where everyone dresses up in their best. The woman wear their grand boubou-a huge, richly hued, flowing robe that is heavily embroidered. While the older women decided to wear head cloths to cover their hair. The younger women do not to show off the modern hair dos.

Alaura & Katelyn Day 1

Today was our first day in Chicago and it was quite an experiance. We started the day with breakfast at the hostel, which was a new experiance for all of us. There was a wide variety of choices but doing your own dishes was not what we were expecting. It was still really yummy though. Our first stop was at the National Hellenic Museum, the only one of its kind. It is a greek history based museum that is still under construction, but we were lucky and got to listen to a presentation and view what exhibits they had completed.
Next stop was at the Downtown Islamic Center. That was definately a culture shock, especially for us girls. We had to cover our heads which made us greatful that we don't have to do this everyday. Dr. Sabeel was our speaker and really taught us about Islam. We learned about what Islam really is and the differences between the sterotypes we know. We spent more time at the center than planned, so we had a rushed lunch at McDonalds which made us late for the Field Museum.
We were supposed to arrive at 2, but we didn't start looking around until about 2:45. We had to rush through the exhibits which was a real downer. One thing we really missed out on was being able to enjoy the museum and soak it all in. We were able to see the African, Ancient Americas, Tibet, and the Ancient Egypt exhibits. Then it was time to catch a cab which was a lot harder than might sound. After standing in the rain for 45min, we were finally able to get cabs. Once arriving in china town, we had some of the best chinese that any of us had ever had. It included walnut shrimp, rice, orange chicken, vegetable lo mein, and much more. We headed to the symphony after dinner, taking the L. It was a great experiance for all of us, since none of us had ever been to one. This trip is going to be one that we won't forget.

Susan and Jules' Blog

We started off the day by traveling to the Hellenic Museum in Greek town. This is the first Greek museum outside of Greece. At the Hellenic Museum we were able to view an exhibit on the Chicago marathon and on the Greek Orthodox Church. The first marathon completed in Greece was ran in the nude because they were worried the competitors would cheat. There are 500 communities in the United States with 34 Greek Orthodox churches in Illinois. We heard a presentation on Greece as well. During that presentation our presenter talked about Jane Addams and the Hull House. The Hull House was a major center for Greeks where Addams taught music, theater, dance, and English. She was a mother figure for the boys there, so when she died the whole Greek town shut down.

After the Hellenic center we went to a presentation and prayer session at the Islamic Center. We first, as ladies, were required to cover our heads and then everyone had to remove their shoes. This was a new experience for all of us as we have never had to do this in our daily lives before. We heard a presentation by Dr. Sabeel on many different aspects of Islam. There are 80 mosques in Chicago and eleven million Islamic people in the United States. The book they use is the Quran. We learned that Allah is the creator of Islam, which means God. There are 99 different names for Allah, which means love and kindness. One thing that we all found somewhat surprising was how similar Islam is to our religion. Following the presentation we attended a prayer session where we observed men doing one of their five daily prayers.

We then traveled to the Field Museum where we explored the African exhibit, the Tibet exhibit, and the Ancient Americans exhibit. At the African exhibit we learned about the many different animals and the culture of Africa. At the Tibet exhibit, we learned about the Dalai Lama and where Buddhism fits into Tibet.
Finally at the Ancient Americans exhibit we learned how human creativity leads to innovations and lifestyles through different tools and culture.

For dinner we ate at Triple Crown Chinese restaurant. Many different dishes were served, one being egg drop soup which we had never had! Our favorites were the walnut shrimp and the egg drop soup. It was quite an experience. Following dinner we attended the Chicago Symphony which is number one in the world. The music they played was beautiful and kept our attention throughout the whole performance. We are now about to head to bed after a long day and prepare for another exciting day tomorrow.