Historical College Adventures

It is toward the middle of October and I have yet to decide what colleges I want to apply. I look at everyone around me and they all seem to be sure on where they want to go for the next four years. In my case, I find that visiting a school gives me the chance to see if I would fit in to the university.

When I began my college visits, I began to listen to several events and the historical background from the universities. Whether it was listening to the music video about the school or listening to a college tour guide talk about their old traditions, I found that these small things makes up a big portion of the school.

Attending Bradley University, I expected to hear the basic information from their representatives. Information about how diverse and great they were academically and athletically. Of course this information is important; it was also something that I have already heard about in several other schools. What made Bradley University unique was the fact that they showed a YouTube video of one of their student’s, Josiah Williams.

Josiah Williams was so enticed by the school, Bradley University, and by the city of Peoria that he decided to perform a music video called One More Night in Peoria. The song was so catchy that I ended up singing it even after driving away from the Bradley campus. Today, the video has gotten over 25,000 views.

When the school representatives at Bradley showed that video to the students that were to take the college tour, I began to think in my head that Josiah must have really liked the school to make a music video out of it. At that moment, Bradley became of an interest to me.

Traveling to tour other colleges I also found that many other schools had something interesting to their identity.

Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, for example, has its own stories that catch the student’s attention. When walking around the Knox campus, the tour guide led us to one of the older buildings named Old Main where Abraham Lincoln hosted one of his debates on Slavery. In 1860, Knox awarded Abraham Lincoln with his first honorary doctorate as presidential candidate. Because Abraham Lincoln did not receive a high achieving education, this was also his first academic honor. The tour guide at Knox described Lincoln as a jokester as she continued to explain that Lincoln climbed through a window in Old Main to reach the debate platform so long ago saying, “At last I have gone through college.”

Big Mo cannot be forgotten in being mentioned as something historical that has become important in the Missouri community. Big Mo is a six foot, 150 pound bass drum that for a long time led the fans into the University of Missouri cheers at football games. What was different in this big drum was that Mizzou alumni were Big Mo’s handlers instead of the marching band. This of course has been a tradition since 1981. Big Mo has now retired claiming the third largest bass drum in the U.S. and is sitting up in one of the student’s centers at the university.

Whether this information is useful or not to students that might be looking at these colleges, I find looking at a university’s history and success important because it shows the type of fun and adventure that the school has taken part of. Each school has their own small things that make up their identity. I personally base a small portion of my college decision on a school’s unusual information because when I attend college, I want to have part in one of the school’s future events.  I want to leave that school and say, “Yes, I was in the background of that music video. Yes, at last I have gone through college or Yes, I had the chance to hit Big Mo right before the start of our football championship game.”

 

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May the Dance Moves be Ever in Your Favor

Club days at Lane have come and gone and the process of tryouts has begun. Many students are seeking the dates, the times and locations of the meetings to try and make it in the ethnic group in hopes that by the end of the school year, they may participate in International Days and Nights.

International week is the three day event that occurs at Lane where all ethnic groups come together and perform their traditional or modern dances.

“Lane is so amazingly diverse and its great to teach everyone about our ethnicity, traditions, and cultures. It’s important to share everyone’s individual background because it creates awareness throughout the whole school,” said Korynna Pepin, Div 479 and president of Aspira.

Melissa Stebbins, Div 481 and president of German Club, also emphasizes the importance of being a part of an ethnic club and shares her outcome in participating in a club.

“With all of the time you spend together, you make so many good friends,” Stebbins said. “I’m even dating someone that I became close with through German club. It’s just a ton of fun to get to know people and dance for three days straight.”

For the past week Lane’s hallways have been very crowded and busy as many students tried to pursue their dreams in becoming part of Lane’s cultural dancing clubs. Aspira, alone got an average of 50 students to try out near the lunchroom area. Lithuanian club had an average of forty try out by staircase M on the second floor. German club also got around forty students trying out by the main office area.

Among these students, Leanna Mata, Div 476, will be trying out for the German and Pakistani club in hopes that she will get in to at least one of them.

“I’m so scared,” Mata said as she walked into class and sat in her seat. “It’s nerve wrecking because there’s limited spots.”

Although many students try their hardest to make it in the club, not all students get accepted. Onix Nava, Div 669, tried out for El Salvadorian club but unfortunately did not make it.

“I was nervous because I wanted to join the club. [It was a chance] to meet new people and be in International Nights,” Nava said. “It went better than I thought though and I had fun.”

With several clubs that are offered at Lane, it is easy for any group to become competitive.

“I definitely believe that there is a friendly competition among the other Hispanic clubs,” Pepin said. “We all have similar music and dance genres so it creates a challenge to stand out. I love it because it makes us all work harder to improve as dancers.”

German club on the other hand wishes to exceed last year’s performance in hopes that the club be respected.

“We’re trying to be equal,” Stebbins said. “German club is always taken as a joke and last year was the first year we’ve actually felt equal to the other European clubs. We are reinventing ourselves this year.”

With the tryouts this week and the want to become recognized and respected, Lane’s students and audience will be awaiting the end of the year where these clubs will come together again and show off what their progress has been. But for now, students will continue to seek the place, the club, where they belong.

Field Trips in High School Do Not Exist

Taking a break from school is always something to look forward to. I remember in elementary school I was constantly taking field trips with my class.

As a class, we went to the zoo to learn about the different animals, in December, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry to learn about the Christmas trees decorated to represent cultures around the world. I even remember a time that i went to Navy Pier and took a boat tour. After having gone through the sea sickness, I remember we went into the Imax theater to watch The Polar Express.

Now, as a high school student, I find myself in the same classrooms every day in a duration of a school year. I get lucky if my class goes outside the doors to the parking lot of my school for my science class to test out some experiments. Besides that, I can not seem to escape the walls that I will forever feel like I’m trapped into. I love attending school, but sometimes I would like to take a break from the everyday life that I’m so accustomed to and go back to my younger years to take those field trips.

Besides having a break from my classes, what I liked about field trips was the real life application that the field trips tried to emphasize. It Is always great to learn the concept in the classroom but I believe that students can also learn from the trips that applied those concepts and creat a master piece from it. In eighth grade, my class took an overnight trip to Washington D.C. and we learned about World War II and the Holocaust. When we walked through the Holocaust museum, it was as if all that I learned became real. It was no longer information that I needed for class, they were real life situations that taught everyone the power of discrimination.

In my opinion, it is very unfortunate that most high schools, or maybe its just my high school, that do not use field trips to emphasize what we learn. At Lane, there are a few classes offered where they take field trips to represent what we learn. Taking Journalism II, I have already had the opportunity to attend a journalism seminar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and learn many new things through different workshops during a school day.

Later in the school year, I know that my physics class will take a trip to Six Flags where we will apply our understanding of kinetics: position, velocity, and acceleration. My statistics class will also have their own trip to a Cubs baseball game to calculate the statistics that go along with the game. Field trips are what schools need for a student to feel a sense of relaxation but also to encourage the students to learn during class. I know for a fact that I am looking forward to the field trips later this year, but for now, I will be inside the classroom learning about kinetics, outliers and exponential growth and decay.