On Wednesday, March 13, the New Mexico Minimester group traveled the streets of Santa Fe competing against each other in a scavenger hunt, learning facts about our nations oldest capital city. They then went on to visit the capital building where they were able to witness part of the state senate in session and visit the office of the New Mexico Lieutenant Governor who is a friend of Fr. Ray Flores, O.S.A. The Mustangs also were able to see the Miraculous Staircase at The Loretto Chapel.
The first Minimester program of 2018-2019 school year, the Chicago Cultural Tour, led by Mrs. Kupiac and Mrs. Earley got off to a great start on Sunday, October 28.
They led their students through Pilsen on a walking tour, visiting murals, a tour of Day of the Dead exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art and the annual Day of the Dead festival. They were introduced to the symbolism and importance of day of the dead in the Mexican culture. This is the first cultural stop for this Minimester.
There are three more cultural Chicago neighborhoods the group will visit by February 2019: Greektown, Little Italy and Chinatown. Each stop features eating local cuisine and visiting museums that represent each culture. At the end of visiting these neighborhoods, the students are each required to create a tourism brochure highlighting what to see and do in each cultural neighborhood.
This year, St. Rita introduced the "minimester" requirement which is an extra 30-hour course incorporated into the academic calendar. The minimester is an effort to offer students education through high-interest experiences and unique life lessons outside the traditional classroom setting. The minimester is a required course for freshman, sophomore and junior students and is optional for seniors. Students can select courses local to Chicago or they may select a course that includes traveling within the United States and even overseas.
The Philadelphia/New Jersey minimester is taking place this Christmas break. The first part of the trip involved visiting the Jersey Shore where among other activities, students visited a casino in Atlantic City to get a behind-the-scenes look at its operation and also made a visit to St. Augustine Prep. Other plans include visits to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Constitution Center, Olde St. Augustine Church (where the Augustinian Order first served our country), a walking tour of Philadelphia, Valley Forge National Park and surrounding sights such at Villanova University, Malvern Prep, St. Joseph University, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Also on the agenda was a visit to the Art Museum and a run up the Rocky steps.