Hiram College

Written by Abigail Stevenson ’19

This blog post is written in response to Abigail’s trip to the United Kingdom in the Spring 3-week of 2017 led by Professors Rick Hyde and Paul Gaffney.

DAY 16: May 4th, 2017 

Art in our world has been reduced.

We want it now, and we want it fast. However, there is more time that we think possible. This trip has truly made me realize that.

After a late and great night in Braemar’s peaceful Scottish hostel, this morning’s breakfast in pajamas was spot-on. I felt more connected to those around me than I had in a few days. Being in the city made me anxious, and WilderScott (the name we had given this Scottish twin to Wilderhope Manor) was exactly what I needed. I think it was what we all needed.

Early into the morning, we had a class discussion that showed evidence of that fact. We all bubbled over with insights from the trip. We wanted to show the creativity of our thoughts and the personal growth we had undergone. By the end of the discussion, I had concluded that there is a certain level of art education that we all should, and I am sure Shakespeare did, learn.  We need to understand that art will never be understood the same way by two people, especially if those two people are not the creators. More than that, it is our responsibility to preserve, reinterpret, add to, and understand those ancient texts that have shaped our philosophies. There is an art to this structure, and I want to contribute to this process of record keeping.

Art is interpreted differently by every soul that touches it, BUT, it is our duty to keep those images complicated or, at least, thought-provoking in a similar way to the original intention. If we let the philosophical, playful sides of our nature disappear, we lose something vital to human innovation and existence. If we let those sides of our art history disappear, we lose the human innovation of our past and are forced to start from the beginning again.

We will never understand Shakespeare’s plays the same way that he did. He put more subconscious and conscious meaning into each word and line than anyone but himself could understand. Even Professor Hyde still finds new meaning in Shakespeare’s plays each time he reads them, and he is a theatre professor.

Afterwards, we explored the castle ruins of Malcolm III. After the exploration, I was still yet in awe of the capability of our ancestors. They pushed through so many terrifying and strength-defying movements.

A walk in the wilderness later, I found my connection to the world around me again. I am a part of it, but I am also able to manipulate it. That, and the consciousness I have of doing so, is what makes me human. The beauty of something like those natural forests that I could never create reminded me of how important nature is now and of how important it was at a time that city life was new and under-developed. Nature is our escape and beginning.

To broaden the scope of my reflections, I took a walk, or rather, a sit, out back in the sun. I had not been alone on this trip until that moment.

The world around me is beautiful because I work to understand it. I work hard because education is one of the most important tenants of my life. This trip has brought me back to the world of the emotional living, from which I have ran many times. I pursued knowledge instead and lost a part of my social connections. Now, I want to find a way to balance both. I do not want the Green World to be just a vacation I grab once a year. I want it to be one with my logical life.  The plays we have read try to separate the two worlds through travel. In life, I do think it is possible to make both parts live coexist.

Suddenly, some ants crawled up my legs, so I went back inside.

Then, we cooked, like a family, our breakfast-supper with a dash of harmonized musical attitude. The following bewitching group presentation (the leaders were acting like witches) on Macbeth opened our eyes further to the difference between Scotland and England.

A small, deceased bunny after the presentation brought us eerily into a circle. In the circle, we all felt like the bunny needed a send-off, so, we sang the bunny Amazing Grace and covered its frame in flowers. In this moment, I experienced the difference between the dark and light Green Worlds: enjoyable, liberating mortality versus ominous, yet enticing, thrill.