We first made our way back to the Fred Jones Art Museum for the second day of the conference where another round of panelists awaited us. The first series of panelists included research papers by undergrads and grad students from various universities in Oklahoma. Today’s research topics included:
- Media focus on candidate traits by gender
- Children’s perceptions of authority figures over time
- Reframing substance abuse from morality to illness
While Jessica, Zach, and Professor Yawn enjoyed a brief discussion on the transformation of higher education from online education, Dulce and Constance had the opportunity to hear from a panel that discussed the “Identity and Legitimation in Authoritarian Regimes”. Speakers Derek Steiger and David Stroup both gave insight on the effect of nationalism on maintaining the Chinese Communist Party. Both speakers conveyed their arguments in a clear, concise, and captivating manner. The next two speakers, Burcu Degirmen and Daniel Brown, spoke on the Turkish Summer and the misconception of it relating to the Arab Spring rather than the “Occupying Wallstreet” movement. An accomplished writer and expert on southern politics, Scott E. Buchanan closed out the conference over lunch with his speech about the changing electorate in the south and its implications on the nation as a whole.
The experience of the conference was uniformly positive, from the setting in the Fred Jones, Jr. Art Museum…
to the hospitality of the organizers, to the chance to do some old-fashioned “telephone booth stuffing”…
…to the chance to meet undergraduates from different institutions, to the interesting topics, this was a great opportunity, and we are grateful.
After our conference concluded we were happily surprised by gourmet cupcakes. We enjoyed various flavors including but not limited to Canadian maple bacon, bananas foster, salted caramel, and German chocolate. We also got to see some of the fall’s changing colors, something we don’t see much of in Texas.
We had to rush to meet our two o clock tour at the Oklahoma State Capitol Building, but we were impressed by its architectural significance when we arrived. The capitol beautifully captured all aspects of Oklahoma’s history and its people.
Jessica, who has been to many state capitols, enjoyed this immensely and particularly liked the Senate Chamber.
Zachary’s favorite part about the capitol building was how different parts of the state’s history and its people were displayed throughout the halls.
Dulce’s favorite part was the recently added rotunda. Although it was added onto the capital in 2001, the dome blended seamlessly into the standing architecture of the capitol building.
Constance’s favorite part was learning of the history of the building from the charming tour guide, who was extensively knowledgeable in everything from architecture to political change and ramifications that have shaped Oklahoma’s history.
We also learned, it’s worth noting, that Oklahoma, like Texas, has two Supreme Courts, one that addresses criminal issues and another that addresses civil issues.
Leaving the state capitol building…
…we took a short drive through Oklahoma City to reach our next destination, the National Cowboy and Heritage Museum.
With only an hour and a half to enjoy all the museum had to offer, we made our way, soaking in as much as possible in such a short amount of time.
Dulce most enjoyed the Western Performers Gallery, as she was able to test her knowledge of popular western television shows through an interactive quiz. She got a 12 out of 13, matching theme songs to television westerns, and enjoying the exhibits associated with Western Performers.
Constance’s favorite painting happened to be “The Quarrel” by Frederick Remington since she could almost create her own story behind the argumentative body language of the cowboys and their hostile nature.
Jessica’s favorite part happened to be the Ronald Reagan statue because of his history as a president and a cowboy.
The John Wayne and Charlton Heston Statues stood out most to Zach.
Everyone pretty much enjoyed the beautiful art in the Museum, the “Canyon Princess” sculpture…
…the Lincoln Sculpture…
and The End of the Trail Sculpture, the latter of which serves as the Museum’s centerpiece…
…and the museum grounds were pretty, too…
To wait out the hectic traffic of Oklahoma City, we enjoyed a coffee and scintillating conversation at a local starbucks. With growling bellies, stories and recommendations of restaurants were swapped until it was time to head back to Norman for dinner. Locating “Hideaway”, home of the “best pizza in the state”, we scarfed down appetizers and delicious pizza to satiate our voracious appetites after a long day of touring the city.
The day’s activities left us exhausted and in much need of an early night’s sleep. Tired as we are, we cannot wait to begin the adventure again tomorrow.