Saturday, February 25, 2012
Today we attended the event that originally prompted the trip: the Arkansas Political Science Conference hosted this year by the University of Central Arkansas. We were given leeway as to which topics we wanted to sit in on, and I chose Public Policy for the first session.
This session featured papers ranging from policy implementation, to the environment, to water conservation, to immigration. This was a great mixture of ideas, expertise, and topics within public policy. It was great to be able to listen to professors speak on subjects that I do not study often and the conference gave great insight into not only their field of study but their differing research methodologies.
For the second session attended the International Relations and Comparative politics panel. This was a session for undergraduate research and was very interesting. What was so interesting about this session is that every presenter was younger than I. It made me wish that I had participated. I think this was a wonderful opportunity for the students and was very thoughtful of the Arkansas Political Science Association to allow students to present their research.
I also am grateful that the Junior Fellows were able to participate on this trip. It’s been a great opportunity for us to travel, learn about many interesting topics, and see the country. Our trip is not over but I have been able to experience many new places, foods and ideas.
After lunch with special guest Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin, we headed to Little Rock again to tour the Clinton Presidential Library. The tour was interesting. The library has scale models of the Oval Office and Presidential meeting room, staged just as they were when President Clinton was in office. Of course I had to sit in the “President’s Chair” with my Secretary of Defense, Christian Bionat, to my left, the Secretary of Housing and Development, Santiago Casas, to Christian’s left, the Secretary of State, Ryan Brim, to my right and the director of the Central Intelligence agency, Stephanie Brim, to his right. Vice President of the United States Lauren Kethan sat across the table from me, along with the rest of my fictional cabinet.
We are headed to Natchitoches for the night and will be touring the Melrose Plantation before starting our journey back.