Tag Archives: architecture

A Semester in Italy – Siena and San Gimignao – by Donovan Chock. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

A Semester in Italy – Siena and San Gimignao – by Donovan Chock. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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Ciao, This semester I am also studying in Italy with Sara Desrocher. The nature of my reports are to give readers an alternate perspective of the same program. I’m currently a senior at St. Scholastica studying computer science. I believe computers could play a significant role in environmental sustainability in the future. Many farmers in Minnesota are already using many forms of hardware and software for production like geographical information systems, global positioning systems, big data technology, etc. However, 16 credits is not the only reason why I came to Italy. On the weekends we are completely free and encouraged to travel so that’s what we do.
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One day we took a trip to Sienna and San Gimignano, two very significant medieval cities. In Siena you’ll find The University of Siena for foreigners. It is also the university in which we’re enrolled (even though we’ve only been on campus once) and where one of our professors works. Our professor was giving us a tour of the city when we came across another student from the school repeatedly giving a public service announcement: “Chicchirichì!” which translates to “Cock a doodle doo.” Apparently fraternity hazing is perfectly acceptable here and an hour of that was his initiation. Another hour later, we became brothers.

Apart from its medieval architecture and cultural integrity, Siena is known for its horse racing. They hold two horse races a year around the edge of the Piazza. They say it gets intense and people die every year. The piazza/race track is roughly the size of 1.5 soccer fields so you can imagine how tight it gets in there. The name of the tower is “Torre del Mangia” and stand in the Piazza del Campo. The tower was once one of the tallest secular towers in Italy and built to be exactly the same height as the Siena Cathedral as a way of saying that the church and state were equal.

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Inside of the tower is also a famous monument of Romulus and Remus – an interesting myth about Rome’s founders. The twin boys’ father, Numitor, was king of Alba Longa until his brother, Amulius, killed him, seized power and abandoned the twin boys to die. The twins were later found by a female wolf that suckled them and kept them alive. When the twins grew up, they killed Amulius and restored Numitor’s name to the throne. After they gained power, they got in a dispute about where to build Rome. Romulus killed his brother Remus and then build Rome on Palatine Hill.

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Later that day we went to San Gimignano which was like the Manhattan of Italy in Medieval times due to all of the tall towers. Rich families gathered there and built towers. The taller your tower was, the higher status your name was. They also have Gelateria Dondali which is globally ranked as one of the best gelato shops. I can’t quite remember the flavors but I think they were saffron, chocolate, and another original of the shop. As an ice cream fan, I think I would have to agree; it was some of the best gelato in the world. Aloha!

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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The Oldest Building — The Grant House, Rush City, Minnesota – The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

The Oldest Building — The Grant House, Rush City, Minnesota – The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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The Grant House in Rush City, Minnesota was built in the year 1880 in the heart of what was then a flourishing milling town. Rush City was growing due to the completion of the railroads that covered Minnesota from the Twin Cities all the way to Duluth. As more and more people traveled the railroads for trade and farming, they would often stop in Rush City to eat and sleep since this was the halfway point along their route. For this very reason, Russell H. Grant, second cousin of President Ulysses S. Grant, decided to build the Grant House to serve as the central building of the town where people gathered to eat, rest, and relax during their travels. The president himself was said to be a popular visitor at the Grant House, as he was often in the area for trout fishing on the Sunrise River.

After a fire destroyed much of the original hotel and restaurant in 1895, Russell Grant decided to build a more solid foundation upon the original foundation which had survived the flames of the fire. The new structure of the building included 16-inch thick bricks and some of the original woodwork, which can still be seen in the Grant House today. Then in the fall of 1896, Russell Grant sold the Grant House, and ownership of the building has been since passed to several different people, the latest being Barbara Johnson, who purchased the Grant House in 2012. I went to the Grant House on Sunday morning and spoke with Barbara, who was both very knowledgeable, and also quite excited to share information with me after informing her that my research was for a history class I was currently taking in college.

Growing up in Rush City, I heard many stories about the building from people in the community, but never really had read or done any research on the Grant House for myself. It has been one of the buildings in my town that has always been in business, despite the hard economic times many have recently been experiencing. The endurance and strength of the building holds such significance to both my community and me. It is not only a symbol of why our community was started in the first place, but also a symbol of the town’s historic value. Today, it continues to be a place where the residents of the surrounding communities can come to have a nice meal, and even stay the night if they chose to do so. As my research came to an end, I concluded that buildings hold a very important significance as a place where people can gather and talk about their days or share stories and pieces of history that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

[From Professor Liang’s Spring 2015 World History II class]

The Oldest Building. World History students at our host institution, The College of St. Scholastica, were given the assignment to find out about the oldest building in their hometown. The structures students ranged from the modest to grand, and while some were well-documented, the history of most was hard to find. Through their research students found valuable local resources as they found out more about the development of their hometowns. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal’s online learning community and outreach program with undergraduate and K-12 classes around the world. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, Norway, northeastern China, Micronesia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing reviews of books, documentaries, and films, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers. We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Photo-Essay — Tower Hall, St. Scholastica – The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Photo-Essay — Tower Hall, St. Scholastica – The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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[Photo 1. This photo is the front of Tower Hall, which was the first building on the college’s campus.]

As I began to explore on a quiet, Saturday afternoon, I realized that The College of St. Scholastica’s campus, the campus that I attend class on almost every day, is much more than I ever thought. I had always known that Tower Hall, the oldest structure on the campus, had been built as a result of a group of Benedictine sisters arriving in Duluth, MN in hopes of beginning their own diocese. What I did not experience and realize until my peaceful walk through the historical building was the amount of intricate details and the amount of time it must have taken to include those things while the building was being constructed. What really caught my attention and interest during my little journey was the windows of Tower Hall. It must have been the time I toured the building, which happened to take place while the sun was setting, because the light coming through the stained-glass windows lightened the place like I had never seen. There were so many different colors and shapes being reflected that I knew then that I wanted to focus specifically on the windows within Tower Hall for this photo-essay.

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[Photo 2. This photo is of the window found on the first floor of the library. The glass is very colorful and appears to be the colors similar to that of a sunset.]

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[Photo 3. This photo is of the stained-glass window found on the third floor of the library. The woman [Saint Scholastica?] in the window is often referred to as “Our Lady, Queen of Peace”.]

As I thought about what the stained-glass windows may have meant to the sisters that started the school, I remembered why they traveled here in the first place and that helped me come up with some possible theories. I believe the windows were made mainly for religious reasons since several of them included portraits of saints that were women. This could have been a way for the sisters to show God their love and loyalty to him since creating such windows could have served as daily reminders of God as the nuns walked past them. Also, I think it is important to note that the people in these windows were often females, which the sisters could have created with the purpose of showing the strength that women embody. Since this building was constructed at a time when women did not have many of their own rights, I believe this was a way for them to say to the world that women could create amazing and powerful things, just as men were able to during this period of history.

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[Photo 4. This photo is of one of the windows found on the doors that lead into the “Our Lady, Queen of Peace Chapel”.]

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[Photo 5. This photo is of a panel of stained-glass window that is found in the doorway leading from Tower Hall into the hallway that leads to the chapel.]

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[Photo 6. This photo is of one of the stained-glass windows that can be found on the third floor of the library. The color palate is very bright and noticeable to the eye.]

A photo-essay is different than a typical essay because it allows the reader to interpret a lot more on their own, compared to strictly reading the thoughts of the author. I think it is interesting how looking at photos of something can cause people to feel different emotions and have different experiences versus someone else who may not have had those similar reactions. I think it is good to mix things up and look at photo-essays once in a while because it stimulates your brain differently than if you were reading an essay, and also challenges you to think abstractly. I genuinely enjoyed walking around The College of St. Scholastica’s campus and the sense of peace looking at the stained-glass windows was able to bring me. [From Professor Liang’s Spring 2015 World History II class.]

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[Photo 7. This photo is of one of the stained-glass windows that can be found on the third floor of the library. The blue and yellow colors are now the official colors of the college.]

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[Photo 8. This photo is of the stained-glass wall that can be found right inside the chapel. ]

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our program. We also welcome Duluth East High School and other schools around the world. The North Star Reports has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing reviews of books, documentaries, and films, projects on historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers.

We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org The NSR is sponsored by The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact chief editor Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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