Padre e Hijo
When I asked senior
Joe Orozco at our farewell dinner to explain the unusual camaraderie of
this group of students, he answered easily.
A lot of it is because of Warner and Rogers.
The history professor who once cooked for Pete Seeger and the Spanish
professor who fell in love with Spanish literature as a Mormon missionary
reading the forbidden One Hundred Years of Solitude have two very strong
and potentially antagonist personalities.
Witness Rogers calm demeanor as he waited at the airport for Wabash
staff to bring the passport hed left in Crawfordsville. He passed
the time getting a notarized affidavit of citizenship. Warner shuttled
nervously between the airline counter and the security check, moving among
the students like a sheepdog and eyeing his watch every 30 seconds.
Ive never found a problem that I couldnt get around,
Rogers said as Warner walked quickly back to the gate. You know,
I think Rick is a bit of a worry wart.
Warner has a motto of his ownprior planning prevents piss-poor
But Rogers and Warnernicknamed Padre y Hijo (father and son) after
an indigenous woman confused Warner for Rogers father, much to Dans
delightshare a love of Mexico, a respect for each others intellect,
and a passion for pushing Wabash students to take risks and learn. It
was a perfect match.
While Rogers knowledge of Aztec history made him the ideal guide
through Mexico Citys National Museum of Anthropology, Warners
skeptical eye as an ethnohistorian nudged students to think critically
about archaeological issues in the ruins we explored. Where Rogers was
always pushing the group ahead, Warner kept an eye out for the stragglers.
And their genuine enjoyment of Wabash students was never more apparent
than on bus trips, when theyd often shun the front seats reserved
for them to hang out with students in the back.
Rogers ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers
paid off more than once for the students. While speaking with an indigenous
man at Agua Azul, he casually referenced having seen Zapatista leader
Subcommander Marcos in Mexico City during his triumphant entry the previous
I was there too, although you wouldnt have recognized me,
the man said. A Zapatista himself, hed worn the black hood the rebels
don to avoid being identified. The resulting discussion Rogers had with
the man about an indigenous rights conference being held nearby brought
us an insiders reaction to current political events in the region.
If David and Nancy Orr showed students how to live in a new culture and
reach out to it, Warner and Rogers showed them how to embrace and revel
in it. As Joe Orozco said:
Their excitement for this place, the way they get along, work things
out; they set the tone for the whole trip.
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