Broadening our horizons is what most college students want to accomplish during their education, but most don’t get the opportunity to do so. After just one day in Dallas, however, seven SHSU students are getting just such an opportunity.
This is my first educational field trip at SHSU, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Thus far, it’s been great, offering me the opportunity to meet fellows students (now new friends!) with similar interests as myself.
Our first stop was lunch at “The Woodbine” in Madisonville, where I ordered the grilled Chicken Alfredo. The Woodbine is also a bed and breakfast and a very well preserved building of the Victorian era. Its historic look and the fine food already have me wondering about a return trip in the future.
From there we trudged north, through rain, and arrived at Dealey Plaza, the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The Sixth Floor Museum is so named because it was the sixth floor from which Oswald shot the President.
The Museum is well done, with audio accompaniment and thousands of artifacts showcasing the Kennedy era—the Cold War, Civil Rights, and, of course, the assassination. It’s disconcerting to move from the “Kennedy Family” exhibit to the “Assassination” exhibit, and have the tour change from an upbeat history to the terror of a presidential killing. The sniper’s nest used by Oswald is amazingly well preserved, so much so that this section seems frozen in time.
The most interesting section was the Kennedy Funeral. Not only did Kennedy’s death mark an end to an era—the end of Camelot—but, as a Catholic, I felt a personal connection to the funeral ceremony, which honored the life of the first and, thus far, only Catholic President.
The Museum offered a special exhibit on presidential photographs. We saw photos of Harding shaking hands with Babe Ruth…
…Nixon meeting Elvis…
…but none, unfortunately, of my favorite President, Calvin Coolidge (editor’s note: for good reason)…
After a stop at Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner, we headed to the Dallas Museum of Art. The Museum has floors dedicated to various exhibits, from the “Art of the Americas” to the “Art of Europe” and art from India, Africa, Greece, and other civilizations. I’m not astute art admirer, but there were some names I recognized: Rodin, Monet, and Picasso. But my favorite was “The Adoration of the Shepherds” by Paolo de Matteis.
As I wrap up my first day on my first trip I look to ahead to broader horizons and more opportunities in the form of the New Politics Forum’s Careers in Politics Seminar at SMU.