Thursday, January 10, 2013
After we fueled up our stomachs, we headed off to the Huntsville jail in Houston. It was pouring outside the epitome of the phrase, 'raining cats and dogs.' Thankfully, our amazing bus driver James was able to handle whatever Mother Nature threw at us!
The Huntsville jail was a really beautiful building architecturally. It was all old brick and the rain added this sort of bleak dreariness that almost represented the regret and sorrow inside the building. We ended up getting a tour from the warden himself and there was far more history to this prison than I expected there to be. There is one old tier that is said to be haunted that no one goes down anymore, and we learned about a hostage situation in which a couple inmates years ago took a couple officers and teachers as their hostages. We were also given a fairly vivid history about the prisons death row and how it has changed over the years. I thought it was pretty brutal but I understand we just have different cultures in which some things are considered a travesty whereas to someone else it's second nature. Overall, I loved the jail tour. It was super educational and something I was definitely interested in.
We then went to NASA's Space Center which was pretty exciting. I was mostly excited to see Jodi at the center, since she's been talking about going since the semester started. Being at the center made me feel like a child again, and it was nice to just let go and have fun. I ended up playing a game trying to save a satellite, learned what it was like to love in a space ship, made different sound waves, and a bunch of other things. I also bought some neopolitain space ice cream which was delicious. :)
For dinner we went to this Mexican restaurant where John Travolta once ate. I had a plate of nachos because I didn't want to eat anything too heavy. Saying that sounds funny to me, because a plate of nachos is pretty heavy, but I honestly didn't have much choice- after all, everything is bigger in Texas!!
I can't wait for what Thursday brings!!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Yesterday morning we went to iHop for breakfast. It was the first time I I had been to iHop and it was delicious. After breakfast we went and did our community service at a homeless resource center. It was such a magnificent experience. Coming from New Hampshire I had never truly experienced homelessness first hand. I had of course seen and heard about it in the media but it is such a rarity in New Hampshire that I had never really seen it.
Pulling in to the center was not what I was expecting. There were people outside sitting on the street trying to stay warm and dry from the cold rain. It was really sad and heartbreaking. Then we went inside the center and I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and I felt so uncomfortable. I felt their eyes glued to all of us parading through their territory. I felt terrible knowing I had a warm place to go and had clothes on my back that were clean and dry. Guilt overcame me and I think I had a nice taste of what it feels like to be a minority under the scrutiny of the general public.
This center that we went to had so many resources for the homeless and it was unbelievably impressive. They had a dental work office, medical center, mental health help, and a food pantry plus so much more. Our project was to sort out holiday donations and sort donated coats. It was extremely exciting to me. I loved doing it- organizing like that is so entertaining for me and I knew I was helping the greater good.
After our community service we went to Dealey Plaza where JFK was assassinated. We went to the Sixth Floor Museum which was an interesting experience. I got to take a picture from a floor above where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. I was surprised to learn as much as I did and I was surprised I was as interested in the subject as I was. I didn't find myself to be bored like I expected myself too. There were also a lot of amazingly restored original photos and videos from that day and the clarity in some of them astonished me. There was also a giant picture of JFK and then another of Jackie Kennedy. The two pictures mere made out of 55,000 tiny pictures of each other. It was crazy m see the close up view of the tiny pictures and then the big picture.
For dinner we went to an authentic BBQ place which I had been waiting for since I joined the class. I got a giant plate of delicious pulled pork, Mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. It was so delicious but I got full so quickly. I can't wait for our next adventures to an old jail I'm Houston and then the NASA Space Center!
Monday, January 7, 2013
The plane ride was definitely an eye opening experience. I loved it. I think I would've loved it more had I not had a tension headache from all the stress. I think then I would've really been able to take in all the scenery. When I was on the flight I decided I wanted to try to put my life into perspective in comparison to the world around me. My internal problems are insignificant to what's going on in the world around me. There is so much more I could be doing instead of wallowing in self pity.
I think I'm coming to realize I need to DO something in order to overcome my problems. Physically go out and explore the world around me to prove just how insignificant my problems truly are.
This is day ONE of the trip and I'm already having these revelations. I cannot wait to see what the next six days bring. :)
Tomorrow we will be doing community service and going to the JFK museum. Honestly I'm looking forward to the community service more than the museum. I love helping others and knowing I've made a difference in someone's life. It helps me keep my reality in check and I love making someone feel important and WORTHY of help.
More to come tomorrow!!
Here are a picture of my bed and room key. :)
Oh my word- definitely not as petrifying as I thought it would be. I think I can attribute most of my terrifying thoughts to media. The worst part was waiting before taking off. Once we started to move and take off, my nerves actually subsided a bit. What really calmed me down was looking out and seeing the gleaming white clouds which looked like whisps of cotton candy strands. Being able to see clouds from the other side was definitely a neat experience. Whenever I look up at the sky and see clouds, I usually see darkness. But being UP in the sky, and looking DOWN on those clouds gives me an entirely new perspective.
I am going to be cliche and say that the world truly is such a large place, waiting to be explored. Looking down on the ground made me realize- there are people leading their own daily lives, not giving a second thought as to where the airplane overhead is going, and why the passengers are on the flight. Its such an eye opener. Yes, people know that others go about their daily lives, but does anyone truly sit down and think about it? Think about how the world continues to turn despite whatever it is you're doing at the time.
The world never stops, so why should we?
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Aside from the nerves of flying, the excitement of actually being in a completely new place is starting to build rapidly. I am so incredibly excited about being in a new, fresh environment where I know absolutely no one except for my classmates. I think I need this new experience, not only to grow as a person, but to help me find myself again, since I lost that sense of self long ago. I've never even been out of New England so this will definitely be an experience for me, and I cannot wait. I can guarantee that my life will be forever changed for the better after this experience, and I am looking forward to becoming a better person on the other side!
More to come! I will update tomorrow after the flight and after I settle in to the hotel. I cannot wait to be in a nice comfy bed!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
I am writing this short blog on my new Google Nexus that was purchased for me, and the rest of my class to use during the duration of our time in our One America class!
I am so extremely thankful for all of the amazing opportunities that Bay Path College gives me. I am eternally grateful for the experiences I will be able to have through my college. I truly go to an amazing school, and I couldn't ask for anything better.
More updates to come as the class progresses and the gap of time before I go to Texas becomes shorter and shorter!