Fee and his class in DC

Prof. Chris Fee's homelessness First-Year Seminar featured in Washington Post

A previous year's seminar group in Washington, D.C. is pictured below.

English Prof. Chris Fee's First-Year Seminar on homelessness was featured in an Oct. 12 Washington Post article.

Fee's seminar, Trying to Find a Way Back Home: An Introduction to the Literature and Legacy of Homelessness in America, consists of 16 first-year students and travels to Washington, D.C. every fall over reading days for a service trip. Read the blog about this year's trip.

The trip, during which students helped prepare meals for the homeless and interacted with homeless individuals at shelters and more, was the focus of Sunday's article.

Fee has written at length about homelessness, including a Huffington Post article which mentions Fee's father who became homeless, and pieces on veterans' homelessness in the Patriot-News and Fair Observer.

From the Washington Post:

Freshmen from Gettysburg learn about D.C. homeless people by working with them

Gettysburg College professor Christopher Fee is teaching two courses this semester: Medieval Drama and another with a much longer title: Trying to Find a Way Back Home: An Introduction to the Literature and Legacy of Homelessness in America.

The second class is deeply personal — Fee’s father died after falling into homelessness 26 years ago — and on Saturday, it had the professor leading 15 students down Massachusetts Avenue NW in the District.

To his right, under the lightly falling rain, he spotted an older man who seemed homeless: grizzled hair, a flannel shirt, rolled-up pants.

Chris Fee“Good morning!” Fee said.

The man smiled.

“Good morning!” the man responded. “How are you?!”

Fee and his students were on their way to D.C. Central Kitchen to help staff members prepare some of the 5,000 meals for the needy. This visit marks the 12th consecutive year that Fee has brought students to Washington from his Pennsylvania school as part of the homeless class. Its aims go well beyond a student service trip. Students work next to homeless people, sleep next to them in shelters and get to know them.

As the professor walked, he realized that his students had overlooked something important: Like so many people, they had been so busy getting from point A to point B, perhaps distracted by something like the weather, that they had missed a chance to extend a simple measure of dignity. He stopped his students.

“So how many of us said ‘Hello’ to that nice gentleman back there?” he asked.

They said little, and looked at one another.

“Okay, let’s work on that,” he responded.

Read the entire Washington Post article.

Fee's class isn't the only First-Year seminar to have a profound impact on Gettysburg students. Read about the experiences of Jeff Maynes '05, KJ Sanger ’17, and Christiana Fattorini ’15.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Sat, 11 Oct 2014

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