Week-long humanities seminar held at Flagler for high school students
Twenty-six high school students from across the state participated in Flagler College’s week-long humanities seminar this week, titled “Pirates, Protest and Preservation: Exploring the Stories of St. Augustine.” The seminar, funded by a $20,000 grant from the Florida Humanities Council, offers high school students a preview of college life and the opportunity to explore the nation’s oldest city through a number of humanities disciplines, including history, literature, women’s studies, rhetoric, and Spanish. Students also applied humanities-based questions in non-humanities fields by considering the connections between coastal biology, ethics and natural resource management.
As part of the experience, students also explored the narratives that have been created about St. Augustine by visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the former Ponce de Leon Hotel and some of the city’s important Civil Rights sites. Throughout the week, they engaged in lively discussions in classrooms and roundtables, and they presented on their last day “their” St. Augustine story to their peers and parents, which took the form of short films and narrative essays.
"The Flagler Room is the embodiment of the Gilded Age. It's gorgeous in there and the fact that we could have classes there is just incredible." — Ashley Teagarden, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
"The tours we did were great. My favorite was the trolley tour, because I had never been on one before that discussed civil rights. What surprised me was that I had never heard about the civil rights history in St. Augustine — and I grew up in Florida." — Alex Loew, Celebration, Fla.
"I want to work in film someday so I loved the film production piece of the seminar, where we tell stories of what we did here. It was cool to be behind the camera, and talk to the professor here about the program. This film project was my first piece of work." — Hailey Stack, Orlando, Fla.
"I chose this seminar because I really wanted to dedicate my summer to learning. It was a preparation of what college will be like and it’s nice to have that inside view of what’s coming in the future. I was super interested in history before, but no background of Florida history. This put so many details into perspective.
Within a few days of knowing each other, Ashley (pictured above, left) and I have become closer than others here and it will be a friendship that continues outside of this." — Victoria McKinney (pictured above, right), Deland, Fla.
Funds for the seminar were provided by the Florida Humanities Council through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Photo credit: Carlton Clinkscales