On Nov. 16, students in the French and Spanish Clubs went on a field trip to the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. The students were able to see and learn about how different cultures structure the university’s Nationality Rooms. The students were also accompanied by a guide who gave them other facts about each country.
“I learned about different cultures and ways of life in different countries that I wasn’t aware of before,” said Lauryn Lubecki, a junior.
The Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning are used by professors apart of the university, so the students didn’t get to see all of the rooms. Instead, the students walked by the ones in use to peer inside to get a good look at the Nationality Rooms.
“I wish we would have been able to see more rooms, but there were some classes going on,” said Lily Jacquilard, a freshman.
“Classes were still going on. We weren’t able to go in, but we were still able to see inside when we walked by,” said senior Brooke Corley.
The Cathedral of Learning has 30 different Nationality Rooms; the students saw about 10.
“I would go back to visit the rooms we did not have the opportunity of seeing,” Lubecki said. “The classrooms were very interesting.”
Each classroom is very different due to it being specifically made to suit that country, and each has certain characteristics that make it different from the others. The students were able to learn a little about the characteristics that made the room special.
“The African American Room was my favorite because the interior design was very different, and the meaning of the stools in the center were interesting,”Corley said. “Each stool was made specifically for the eldest member of the family, and only that person could sit on the stool.”
“My favorite room was the Austrian room, I loved how the chandelier and the decorations reflected Austrian culture,” Lubecki said.
The Cathedral is also used as a place where students can sit and work on homework in the lobby area.
“There were many students sitting by the entrance working,” Lubecki said, “Believe it or not the classrooms were much smaller than our classrooms at Southmoreland. They were more well furnished and decorated, though.”
“The trip was an interesting experience and something I’ve never got to see before since the classrooms were so culturally significant to the cultures they represent,” Corley said.
The Nationality Rooms Program is having its 26th annual Holiday Open House on Dec. 3 from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. You will be able to sample different foods, watch performances by diverse ethnic communities, and tour the Nationality Rooms that will be decorated for the holidays.