Field Trips Outside of Princeton

June 17, 2020
Naomi Hess

Some of the best parts of my classes have taken place outside of Princeton. In three of my classes, I got to go on amazing field trips that greatly enriched my learning experience. All three trips were to New York City, which is only an hour and a half away from campus and accessible by the train (affectionately called “The Dinky”) on campus.

Morgan Library and Museum

In the fall of my first year, I took a freshman seminar called “Disability and the Making of the Modern Subject: From Wordsworth to X-Men.” After reading “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, we took a class trip to the Morgan Library and Museum to view the exhibit “It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200.” This exhibit displayed a wide collection of art and artifacts related to the book. Portions of Shelley’s original manuscript were on display, as well as scientific tools, movie posters and comic books. The exhibit showed me the lasting impact of the novel in pop culture. We also saw Pierpont Morgan’s library, which was one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever seen. I hope to have as many books as him someday.

Open manuscript in Morgan Library with shelves of books in the background

Bloomberg News

My investigative journalism class recently went on a field trip to the Bloomberg News headquarters. We got a tour of the building, including the newsroom, TV studio and its super cool curved escalator. Then, we heard from a panel of experienced journalists who have written many groundbreaking stories. One panelist even won two Pulitzer Prizes! The panelists had many useful tricks of the trade to share with us. It was an honor to be in the same room as them and learn from the pros about what it’s like to be a journalist. Another highlight of the trip was browsing the huge snack selection on every floor.    

View of New York City from the Bloomberg News headquarters

"Hadestown" on Broadway

“America Then and Now” is an interdisciplinary class that explores the concept of America over time. One of the three professors is a theater professor, so we read the script and listened to recordings for several plays and musicals. The best part of the class was when we went to Broadway to see Hadestown, which won Best Musical at the Tony Awards this year. Although based on a Greek myth, this show explores many topics of importance today, such as climate change, worker exploitation and xenophobia. I was blown away by the creativity of the story and beauty of the music. I had been wanting to see the show for a long time, and it did not disappoint. The producer of the show also spoke to my class as a guest lecturer the following week.

Hadestown playbill in front of stage

It was so exciting to step outside “The Orange Bubble,” or what we refer to as the Princeton community. These trips brought what I learned in the classroom to life.