(Robert Monroe and Mariana Zimmerman are reporting for Temple Update while participating in the Temple London Study Abroad program this semester. Mariana Zimmerman reports here on an unusual night for one class.)
Instead of sitting in a classroom on Wednesday evenings, Temple students can be found roaming the streets of London exploring all the different neighbourhoods and sampling some of the fine cuisine.
Professor Brian Ridgers, who teaches a Travel Writing class for the Temple London program, has an unorthodox teaching style, and he knows what he wants his students to take away. “Experience, thinking critically, engaging London as a place,’ Ridgers says, instead of “sitting in and doing things when we could be out and exploring — there’s no substitute.” Journalism major Sunil Chopade agrees. “It’s a really engaging class. It’s traveling, in a sense.”
On a recent Wednesday evening, Professor Ridgers and his students explored the famous Brick Lane, and walked the same path as an infamous serial killer: Jack the Ripper. “I thought the tour was great – a little creepy,” says MSP major Nick Senft,, “it’s really great to have a teacher who could show us small alleyways and get to different sides of the city and explain why, all of a sudden, we are in a different structure.”
With Halloween just around the corner, the Jack the Ripper tour made for a perfect Travel Writing class adventure. “Jack the Ripper stuff is sensationalist,” says Professor Ridgers, “and it’s also amazing to come to the place it happened, which is still a part of the city that is still pretty vibrant.”
With their appetite for history — and crime — satisfied, Professor Ridgers took his class to a fainl stop: dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant.