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Field Trip!

Sharaai's picture

So overall, I really enjoyed Saturday's trip, even if I felt a bit torn at time by some of the comments I heard and the things I saw.

One of the pictures I took can kind of explain how I felt through the entirety of the trip.

For me, this photograph shows a clear view of what is in the frame but it can also, very clearly, show that the person viewing the room is behind a chain/fence. That whoever is looking onto the cell and onto the broken down bed frame is an outsider.

Outsider. That is to me.

When I was in the trolley, I felt a bit uncomfortable looking like a tourist in a city that I have come to know in my time at Bryn Mawr. In no way do I know every part of Philadelphia, but I definitely don't feel like a tourist anymore when I walk the streets. But when I was in the trolley, I felt like I was being watched by the people in the communities and all at the same time, being judged. I don't want to assume that all of those looks were coming from a negative place, but I did feel kind of alienated because of our closed off location in the trolley. When we exited the trolley to view the healing and offender wall, I couldn't help but feel like more of a tourist when the community was having their picnic and listening to their neighbors play music for them. Though while I was there I enjoyed seeing it and seeing the community alive and awake, I felt that I shouldn't have been there once we left their neighborhood and had given them no acknowledgement.

Same goes with our tour of ESP. Though the outsider felt more physical than anything else, I also felt like many of the concepts explored with ESP were very foreign not only to my life but to modern society. The differences in the original idea of ESP and our modern prisons are just so overwhelming to me. But the moment I felt the most alone was when I stayed after and watched the film of the transgendered offenders. Their stories and the things they were talking about made me feel so sad and alone. I walked out of that room and I could feel, physically, what the monologues had done to me. I remember telling Owl that my body just felt weird.

I felt like I got a lot of the trip but I also felt like I came out with insecurities about new topics.