Black River Students Close down U of M!


Gregory Dykhouse

AP students gather (pre-social distancing)

Gregory Dykhouse, History Teacher

Fifteen AP students (European and Art History), Mr. Middleton, and Dr. Dykhouse arrived in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, March 11, 10:50 am, and promptly closed the University of Michigan down for the academic semester.

The first stop was the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.  This venue shared artifacts from the collapsed societies and civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.  Among the works on display included chiseled stone and rock dating between 300,000 and 1.5 million years ago, which suggests the tools come from a pre-human society.  Various Venus figurines graced a display case, which depict the human anatomy in diverse designs and purports.  

The next site was the Museum of Art, across State Street.  For forty minutes, students considered various prints on Inuit art and thousands of years of expression from India, China, Korea, and Japan.  A docent then led the group for over one hour through six hundred years of European art history (Medieval and Renaissance, Neoclassicism and Romanticism, Modernism and Postmodernism).  A fine moment of reflection and inquiry included Joseph Wright’s The Dead Soldier from 1789, which illustrates well a social criticism of the cost of war and empire.  It was during this tour that students became aware of Michigan State University closing for the semester, a possible casualty of the BR bus passing by East Lansing.

After considering marvelous works of world art, the group descended unto Zingerman’s Deli, to enjoy fine sandwiches and each other’s company.  A BR alumnae, Logan Kibler, stopped by to say “Hi” to her sister and our group.  

The trip allowed students to consider together “historical thinking skills” such as change and/or continuity over time, causation, comparison and contrast, and contextualization.  The outing was generously supported by a grant through the National Society of High School Scholars.

After the BR students’ return to Holland, the University of Michigan announced its closure for winter semester.  BR students create waves of disruption wherever they go!