Careers in Politics: Day 1–According to Brian King

On September 20th, 2013, seven students (including myself) from Sam Houston State University’s L.E.A.P. (Law, Engagement, and Politics) Program departed from Huntsville, Texas en route to Dallas, Texas for the New Politics Forum Event, which takes place on Saturday, September 21st. This event is geared toward college undergraduates and graduates, who are interested in a future career within the field of politics.

Despite the windy, rainy weather during our travel, we successfully managed to stop for lunch at the Woodbine Hotel / Restaurant in Madisonville, Texas.  Madisonville, as some of you know, is the mushroom capital of Texas, so it wasn’t surprising that many of the fine entrees came with mushrooms.  The lunch also offered the chance for us to know one another.  We had an International Business major, a Criminal Justice major, and, of course, Political Science majors, but we were all united in our desire to be engaged in civics.  The Woodbine also offered us a chance to see interesting antiques, the most interesting of which was an antique phone booth.

Continuing through the rough weather and mild traffic, the students arrived in Dallas, Texas around 4:30pm and went to the Sixth Floor Museum, located at Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas.

Dealey Plaza Marker, Dallas
Dealey Plaza Marker, Dallas

The Sixth Floor Museum examined the life, times, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. I really enjoyed the museum’s depiction of John F. Kennedy, along with the countless photographs and memorabilia from the time of his presidency.

Following the Sixth Floor Museum tour, the students ventured to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. At the restaurant, we continued to talk about political and school related affairs, as well as who our favorite presidents were. Some students liked Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Calvin Coolidge, while I opted for Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After dinner, the students embarked to the Dallas Museum of Art, which offered a special late night tour. Throughout the Dallas Museum of Art, I admired the American Art, as well as the Egyptian Art. Leadbelly, by Michael Owen Jr., is an example of one of the sculptures I enjoyed, especially given the background of the sculpture only taking a month to create.

Huddie Ledbetter, AKA Leadbelly
Huddie Ledbetter, AKA Leadbelly

I should also note that this piece has a connection to my adopted hometown of Huntsville, Texas, which features a mural of Leadbelly on a downtown storefront.

Coffin of Horankh, representing a coffin in the form of a human body, also caught my attention. This body of art was common within the Egyptian culture, as a means of “magically” assuring eternal life.

Coffin of Horankh
Coffin of Horankh

Overall, I enjoyed the first day of the New Politics Event Forum trip, from the Chicken Caesar Salad at Woodbine Hotel / Restaurant to the aspect of engaging in different cultures at the Dallas Museum of Art. Finally, I look forward to sharing my experience from the New Politics Conference tomorrow at Southern Methodist University.

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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