Christian Bionat Blog: Day 4

Christian Bionat
Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day four. This trip has been going by a lot quicker than I thought it would, and I can contribute that to the amount of fun we are having and the chemistry our group has. We are lucky to have such a group that has been flexible and compatible with each other.

We began day four noticeably slower than most days (at least Will and I did); we did not need to be packed and ready to go until about 10:25 am, so most of our morning consisted of getting dressed, packing, and watching ESPN highlights from Veterans Day. At about 10:25 we left the hotel and were on our way to the Georgia Political Science Association convention at the Double Tree Hotel near E. Bay St. We arrived just in the nick of time for the start of our sessions. The topic I chose to attend was “The US role in the 21st Century”.

There were two panelists, the panel chair, and a discussant who evaluated each of the presented papers.  The first panelist came from Georgia Ginnwest College, and he presented his research on our nuclear proliferation policy with regard to Iran and North Korea.  His presentation was intriguing, and the audience was engaged throughout.  The second panelist discussed his research on NATO-Russial relationships.  He did a particularly good job presenting, but both papers were informative and interesting.

After the presentations, the discussant began his critique of the research, offering suggestions for improvements.  Following the panel discussion, I was able to pose questions to both presenters.  Both papers interested me, and they both related to the lectures of my International Relations class (taught by Dr. Jason Enia).

I had a great experience at the GPSA and it made me interested in creating my own research paper and presenting it for professional feedback.

After the conference, we left Savannah to begin our return voyage home. Our first stop came at Macon, GA. We stopped in to eat lunch at the Market City Café, where I ordered a club sandwich and their self-proclaimed “world’s best onion rings”. That’s a lofty self claim, but after eating the onion rings, I agree with their assessment.

The town itself was beautiful and peaceful (think Austin without the hippies). The buildings all seemed to have their own personality or that the city felt like it had its own personality and was shared through the architecture of the buildings. I had never seen so many greek-revival styled homes in the same area, but all were amazing to see. We had also visited “The Cannonball House” so named when it was struck by cannonballs with futility during the Civil War.  One hundred fifty years later, it is still standing.

After Macon, Georgia, we traveled to Birmingham, Alabama. Some of you know that I had went to school in Alabama for my first year in college, so Birmingham was no stranger to me. However, I had never visited the tall and mighty symbol of the industrial town–The Vulcan Statue. The massive statue was placed on top of a hill that overlooked the greater Birmingham area.

We had arrived there around 8:00 pm so from the statue all we could see were the city lights.

Birmingham at Night

To get to the observation deck of the statue, we had to ride in a glass elevator, a ride that scared our acrophobic brethren. When we arrived at the top, the first thing I noticed was the steel grated floor that made up the observation deck. The ground could be seen through the floor of the observation deck. I was not pleased with this situation so I moved myself to brace the wall, hoping that staying close to the statue’s mantle would prevent me from falling.

Christian the Ninja

The view can be compared to what we saw at the Tybee Lighthouse at Tybee Island in Georgia. We could see for miles; however the Vulcan statue was a lot more windy and challenged us as we took photographs.

 

After a few more hours of driving we are now in Jackson, Mississippi and we are all excited to see what tomorrow has in store for us. Until tomorrow…

 

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