Lauren Kethan: Day 4, JF Spring Trip

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The highlight of our day was to attend the Arkansas Political Science Association Conference at the University of Central Arkansas. Although we visited the campus on Thursday to see Ms. Eisenhower, today was a much prettier day, and it really brought out the beauty of the campus.

The campus grounds were very well kept and portrayed an energy that I didn’t find while visiting many schools in my search to find the college I wanted to attend.

I had never been to a political conference so I had no clue what to expect! In the first session of the conference I chose to listen to the undergraduates of The Univeristy of Central Arkansas talk about research in political theory and political identity. All three students were very well informed of their topics and delivered them nicely and effectively. It was inspiring to see college students actively participating and getting serious about their political science degree. In the second session, I was interested in hearing about the different topics in the panel about American Politics. The researchers had very interesting information and all of them made me think about politics in a way I never had before. The most interesting discussion included research on the Coverage of Deaths in Newspapers. I enjoyed this presentation the most because of the way that it was delivered. It was very easy to follow and the presenter was able to explain the information in a way that most people were able to understand and find interesting.

After the second session ended, lunch was served! The guest speaker was Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggins. He told us in great detail of the events of last year’s tornado that struck Arkansas. Judge Scroggins was humble and appreciative of all the hard work it took to rebuild what the tornado destroyed. If I lived in Faulkner County, he would have my vote for re-election!

Judge Scroggins, Faulkner County

After the conference ended we headed over to the Clinton Presidential Library. I was very impressed by the library, and I found a lot of the information to be interesting and educational! The most exciting part of the library was being able to sit in the President’s Chair in the White House’s Cabinet Room, although the outside was pretty, too.

Junior Fellows Outside Clinton Presidential Library

The outside could also be exciting, especially from the perspective of a cardboard toboggan and a large hill!

Lauren Kethan Sliding

Our next stop was Natchitoches, Louisiana! What is interesting about Natchitoches is the legend of how it and its “sister city”, Nacogdoches, Texas, were founded. The story is that an Indian Chief sent his twin sons on a three-day journey, one toward the east and one toward the west. The boys were supposed to stop and settle down on the end of the third day. One twin named his settlement Natchitoches and the other named his Nacogdoches! I will give credit to Ryan Brim and his excellent story telling skills for entertaining me with this old legend!

Upon arriving to Natchitoches I found that it looked much like Nacogdoches. Both cities have a brick street running through the main part of town which is a feature with which I was fascinated. For dinner, we ate at The Landing. I tried my first meat pie there and to my surprise it was quite enjoyable. I ordered the seafood gumbo that just so happens to be the best gumbo I have ever eaten. The bread pudding caught my eye for dessert and it was unlike any I had tried before. After dinner we headed to Blind Faith Cabins, which is where we are staying the night! It was dark when we arrived here, so I am looking forward to getting a better view of the city tomorrow!

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