From June 6 through June 18, I went to Murray State University.
I went with the Whitney M. Young Scholars Program. For those of you who dont know, Murray State University is in Murray Kentucky,
which is in Calloway County. Murray is about 10 miles from the Tennessee/Kentucky state line. During the spring of 2003, there
were 9,148 students. Thats a small college here in the U.S. Murray is just a small college town. If you take the main road,
it will take about 5 minutes to cross town, and thats with the stoplights!
Overall, I had a good time. We had to take six classes. They were English, Math, Science, Dance, Computer,
and Personal Development. The Personal Development class helped me find what kind of personality I have and how to work with
other personalities. We also had a directed study time, but we didnt have to do that except for one time. We did have a little
homework, but it wasnt a lot.
We didnt work all day. We did have a few hours of free time per day.
We did events scheduled in the evening that were fun. The events included going to the movies (twice), having a dance, going
swimming, having a board game night, skating, and other things. There was only one movie theater in town. It only had seven
screens. I saw The Day After Tomorrow and Shrek 2. (Ask me how they were if you want to.)
When we had the dance, I just sat in the corner and read a book. We swam
in an indoor pool, which was probably used by the swimming team during the school year. Board game night was an okay night.
I didnt win any of the games, though. When I skated, I only fell twice. Thats pretty good because I havent skated in four
years and in that four years, I have had two knee surgeries.
On Saturday June 12, we went to Memphis, Tennessee. We toured the National
Civil Rights Museum. I found it very interesting. I saw where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and learned some interesting
facts about the Civil Rights Movement. I give the National Civil Rights Museum two thumbs up. After the National Civil Rights
Museum, we went to historic Beale Street and Peabody Place. We ate as a group at Jillians (which is pretty good) and then
spilt into groups and went our ways.
I remember that the group I was in went into one of the stores on Beale Street.
We looked around and one person bought something. I was one of the first people to leave. When I was looking back to see if
the other people were coming, I saw a sign in the doorway that caught my eye. It said that you must be 18 to enter. Everyone
that went to Memphis (as far as the kids go) was under 18. We were wearing Murray State University shirts (so the adults could
spot us better), so I guess the person that was working there thought we were old enough to come in.
One of the things that I missed most was home cooked meals. The food was good,
but you get tired of the same things after a while. The first week I was there, I had rice at lunch and dinner. After a few
days, I was sick and tired of it. The entrees were good, but the side items werent that great. Besides having a hot line,
they had a grill. We could get hamburgers and French fries at the grill. If I didnt want to eat something from the hot line,
I got into the line for the grill. I went to the grill about 4 or 5 times.
Overall, I had a great time (even though I was homesick). I do know one thing. I
did a lot of walking. I probably walked about 1.5 to 2 miles (2.435 km to 3.218km) each day. I hate to think how far people
have to walk if they were on a big college campus.
The only two things I didnt like about walking outside was the distance and the temperature
outside. On most days, it was around 88 degrees F (31.1 degrees C) with high humidity. Thats a little too hot to be walking
in, especially in the mid-day sun. I took a water bottle and Im glad I did. If I didnt I probably would have become dehydrated.
As many of you know, I am not like many teenagers. I dont like rap music and I dont like
a lot of the things that some of my peers do. The music that I brought with me really helped keep me from being pressured
into thing that I didnt want to do. My CDs came into play the most during the second week I was gone.
There is one thing that stuck out most in my mind. There was a special tree on the
campus of Murray State. It was a tree where married couples put their shoes. If a boy and girl meet on campus and eventually
got marries, than they put a shoe (one from the boy and one from the girl) on that tree. There were a lot of shoes on the
tree. Some of the shoes looked liked they were from the 1960s and 70s. I did take a picture of this tree. This is a great
idea that every college and university should have a tree like this one.
Im glad that I went on this trip. It has helped me see what college life is like
and what it is about. It has also helped me see how much I appreciate my Moms cooking. I feel that this trip will help me
in the long run. Also, I have learned how to become a little more independent. Now, as I walk into college as a freshman,
I wont feel so lost and lonely. I will be a little more self-sufficient than I would be if I didnt go on this trip.