Yesterday, I got to go on a field trip with one of my classes to downtown Champaign. I know that seems a little strange, but it’s not the first interesting field trip I’ve taken with this class… Let’s flashback a few months to the first of our field trips:
“We’re going on a field trip to rural America,” says my Communications 220 professor.
WHAT?? A FIELD TRIP TO WHERE?? CAN WE GO TO MY HOUSE!?!?
We met outside the Honors House to carpool to Atwood, IL, where my professor lives. As we were waiting for everyone to get there, the teaching intern started talking about the last time she had gone on this field trip. “We got to see a combine!! Like up close!! Do you know what a combine is?? Do you know how big those things are?!?! I even got my picture taken next to it!!!”
Oh, boy… What am I getting myself into right now?? HAVE I SEEN A COMBINE?!?! Well I don’t know… does riding at my daddy’s feet in my car seat when I was 8 months old count?? Or what about the fall that I was four, when I spent everyday like that, in my car seat at my daddy’s feet, singing nursery rhymes and listening to the hum and swish of the machine doing its job? YES I’VE SEEN A COMBINE!!
But instead of speaking all the sarcastic comments in my head, I just politely nodded my head and reminded the teaching intern that I grew up on a grain farm. I then took the car ride to Atwood to explain the harvest process to the other people in my car. Harvest was just beginning at the time so I explained how the combine, tractors with wagons, grain carts, and semis can all work together. One of my classmates asked why some of the rows go a different direction than the rest so I told them how end rows work. We drove through a few other towns that had grain elevators so I explained how farmers bring their grain there to put it on trains and send it out. They were even more amazed when I explained the grain elevators near me that are located on the Mississippi River and put the grains directly on barges.
Our field trip continued on to downtown Atwood and later to our professor’s home. After visiting her house, we had the opportunity to tour her neighbor’s barn. I checked out the style of the barn and quickly asked if the mow was stable enough to explore. I climbed up while my professor’s husband explained the difference between hay and straw.
Check out this video of the adventure!
For me, this field trip was more like a trip home. I wasn’t really expecting to learn too much. However, the trip was actually quite eye opening for me.
I had never been in a rural setting with so many people that hadn’t ever been in a place like that. Our field trip to rural America gave me a better idea of how people from the city and the suburbs see rural America.
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