Traveling abroad is one of the quintessential college experiences. New-found freedom to pursue meaningful interests, a heightened sense of scholastic adventure, and an “Ahh, what will a couple thousand more bucks hurt?,” attitude brought on by mounting college costs, all combine to make international travel a genuinely viable option for a lot of college students- especially at Transylvania.
The value and heuristic impetuses traveling abroad inspires cannot be discounted, but sometimes college students become so distracted by the glamorous novelty and uniqueness of foreign countries they overlook just how special several places right here in the United States of Wal-Ma….err America, really are.
Oh joy! Ive just remembered an interesting anecdote that will exemplify my previous assertion wonderfully. Yay, serendipity!!
I recently had the opportunity to travel with professor Gary Deaton, and three majors from the Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication department to the Southern States Communication Association’s regional conference, held in San Antonio, Texas. The experience, from the outset, was outstanding, in no small part due to the sharp uptick in temperature I exalted in upon arrival.
But the weather wasn’t the only thing heating up around San Antonio. Transy’s representatives turned up the heat during their respective presentations of senior seminar papers. Monica Lawson, one of the three seniors, even had her paper named “Best In Conference,” from a field of hundreds! It is important to note that this was not a competition in any way, but I went ahead and kept score anyway…it’ll suffice to say the 7-0 skunk rule was employed quite liberally.
The culture of San Antonio was breathtaking as well. I witnessed live flamenco dancing, real-life, honest-to-goodness mariachi bands, and my first taste of “real” Mexican cuisine. Being a standup member of society and a tireless studier, of course I didn’t partake in any of the famous San Antonio night life, but on several reconnaissance missions it looked quite entertaining. 😉
Ironically, the best part of the entire experience may well have been the conversations Erin, Erica, Monica, and Gary had together. It is rare to find an, or any, amalgam (or a better couched alliteration) of people who are so different individually, but through intelligent responsiveness can engage in festive collusion that leaves all involved feeling refreshed and happily engaged. But, *brushes dirt off shoulders* alas, students at Transylvania HAVE been awarded the NBKA (National Bee-Keepers Association) “Bee’s Knees” award several decades running, so I’d be lying if I said I was shocked the experience was so enjoyable.
One day I hope to experience for myself all that another country has to offer, but until then, it’s nice to know one can have an educational, enjoyable experience right here at home.