SPRING 2012 - Special Event Edition - Volume 22
NEW YORK - NEW YORK!
WHAT SCHOLARS ARE DOING!
New York City – ’08 and ’09 West Scholars
As noted in our February newsletter, West Scholar
juniors and seniors spent time in New York City in early January. With their return to campus, they took time
to share their personal reflections on the Big Apple experience. We hope you enjoy reading about the sights
and sounds from their journey north.
Their photo journals are pretty enjoyable, too!
Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum
by Whitney Corriher, ’09 Scholar, Salisbury, NC
On the second day of the trip to New York, the West Scholars took a ferry to Ellis Island to see the Statute of Liberty and the facility once used to process newly arrived immigrants. We could not tour the Statute because renovations were in progress. Ferry passengers could see New York City either from the top deck of the ferry, which was uncovered, or through windows on the deck below. From this vantage point, passengers could experience some of the sensation immigrants experienced when they first saw the city. The Ellis Island processing facility has been converted into a museum, providing visitors an opportunity to go back in time and learn about the different types of people who immigrated to this country, as well as the places and conditions they had left. Pictures located throughout the museum depict the immigration to this country. The museum also contained a timeline showing important events in the country’s history and marked the arrival of different groups of immigrants.
The museum reminded me of the fact that
most Americans view this country as an ethnic and cultural “melting pot,”
implying that a simple and easy blending of differences has occurred. That belief ignores the reality that many
immigrants clustered into enclaves, isolating themselves from the broader
community, and in the process, essentially preserving their native culture;
New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy being two examples. This caused me to reflect on the fact that a
classroom is often a place where students from different cultures and ethnic
groups as well as students with physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges
come together. The dilemma teachers
face is fostering respect for the differences and, at the same time, finding
common ground where all students can interact and learn. I believe one way of accomplishing this is
to create an environment in which cultural differences can be explored and
celebrated. For students with
disabilities, I believe a teacher can foster acceptance and respect among
other students by modeling behaviors that demonstrate a sense of valuing each
Diversity in New York City
by Suzy Williams, ’09 Scholar, Efland, NC
Our arrival and first day in New York was
filled with a scavenger hunt and sight seeing. Upon completing the scavenger hunt, our
group decided to take a tour of Central Park. We explored some of Central Park and then
decided to sit down and take a break on the benches by the carousel. While sitting in Central Park I proposed the
question, “Who do you think is a tourist and who do you think actually lives
in New York?” New York City is such a
diverse place that we had a hard time trying to decide who lived in the city
and who was just visiting, as we people watched in the Park. While sitting at the carousel, we saw a
diverse group of individuals and heard just as many languages. Within 30 minutes we heard English, Spanish,
British, Irish, Chinese, and French languages being spoken. After people watching, we came to the
conclusion that one couldn’t possibly tell who was a tourist and who wasn’t. The biggest clue that someone was a resident
of New York was whether or not they had a camera around their neck or if they
were walking their dog. The US Census Bureau records that the demographics of
New York include those who are White, Black, American Indian, Alaskan Native,
Asian, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic/Latino, and persons of two
or more races. While in New York I
think we definitely experienced multiple types of cultures and a great amount
People watching in Central Park, left to
right – ’09
Scholars, Maggie McKee, Suzy Williams, Lizzle Davis, and Heather Cheek.
Broadway Play Experience – Phantom of the Opera
by Christina Faircloth, ’09 Scholar, Belmont, NC
Broadway is a street running diagonally across the
island of New York City. New York is
an island that uses a grid system for simplified navigation, but it is still
possible to get lost. This street of Broadway contains multiple, very well-known,
and expensive plays – the nosebleed seating can even be over $100.00 per
ticket. For less expensive tickets, I
suggest waiting in line the day of the play you wish to attend, at the “red tkts” stairs. The play I attended was Phantom of the
Opera. Phantom is so well known
that now there is a movie based on the play.
To those that have seen the movie – the play is ten times better. We had the option of either seeing Lion
King or Phantom of the Opera. When
we attended the play, our seats were only three rows back from the stage,
which were very good seats. The
costumes were highly detailed and very well done, with the actors and
actresses undergoing multiple costume changes for the masque ball and several
operas. For those that do not know the
story, Phantom of the Opera is about a theater troupe that performs
several operas within the play that you see; the play is several plays within
a play. Then the phantom is a “ghost”
that haunts the theater troupe and secretly teaches a ballet dancer to sing –
he is her “angel of music.” For the
guys this play has action and for the girls this play has music and drama
with a love triangle. As with many
Broadway plays, this play is a musical with its most famous song being the
title song, The Phantom of the Opera.
This play also has amazing special effects. My favorite special effect was when the
chandelier suddenly turns on and flies toward you as it reaches the ceiling. Another favorite was the ride over the lake
with the fog and lit candles coming up from the floor. If you are going to NYC for a play, after
the play is over and before you leave, make sure to grab some souvenirs
including a $10 program that is full of pictures. When I saw Phantom of the Opera, I
did not know what the program was and its importance. Now I regret not buying it because you are
not allowed to take photos once the play begins.
Advertisement for Phantom and a view from the front
row inside the theatre.
Battery Park Musician
by Brittany Myers, ’09 Scholar, Shelby, NC
Freddy Harrington is a teacher at Queens Vocational School in New
York. In his free time he sings in
Battery Park. We met him while going
to Ellis Island. He plays a guitar and
sings songs about the people he meets in Battery Park. At first, he just asked people their names
and incorporated those names into a song; then he began asking more questions,
such as, “where are you from, and what school do you attend?” When he found out that we were future
teachers, he asked about teacher evaluation and curriculum in North Carolina.
He invited the Scholars to visit his
school on a future trip to NYC. Before
the gathering ended, we were singing along with him. For one song we had to fill in the words
when Mr. Harrington paused. Most of
the time each of us said something different from one another, making the
experience even more fun.
The Empire State Building
by Denise Grissom, ’09 Scholar, Stokesdale, NC
The trip to the 86th floor of
the Empire State Building was breathtaking.
Being able to see all of the buildings that make up the New York City
skyline at eye level was astonishing.
When you’re up that high, everything below you seems so small and it
puts things into perspective. The
people working at the Empire State Building were very friendly and extremely
helpful. Being able to walk around the
whole building and see every view of NYC was amazing. The view of tall buildings and different
bodies of water made New York seem as amazing in real life as it appears in photos
or movies. While we were on one of the
tours, we were informed that the Empire State Building is lit up blue for one
period of time each year, and that is to support the NY Giants! Being able to experience this was
absolutely great and I felt as if I could have stayed there for hours just
observing the city in its purest form.
(Note: Below views from the Empire State Bldg.)
Cathedral Architecture and NY Public Library
by Sarah Moore, ’08 Scholar, Mocksville, NC
While standing atop the Empire State Building, listening to an audio tour of the city below me, I saw the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I looked at Professor Linda Kesler and said, “I would really like to go to that cathedral." I have an Irish heritage so; the thought of seeing a cathedral built by Irishmen intrigued me. We got our bearings and headed down 5th Avenue. Along 5th, we stopped at Harold’s Square and watched the famous bell men strike the clock bell at 10:00 a.m. We walked into Macy’s to ride the wooden escalators (the first escalators in the world) and continued to make our way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We stopped at the NY Public Library where they were celebrating their 100 year anniversary. We walked around with a tour group to get a better understanding of how the city library system works, how this particular building was set up, and the history behind some of the beautiful architecture in the building. Because of the anniversary celebration, all of the library’s most famous and prized possessions were on display in one centralized location. It was a wonderful collection of a broad range of items. There was Charles Dickens’s letter opener with the paw of his cat Bob, from 1862. The Gutenberg Bible, letters from Harry Houdini, an autographed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and so many more exciting things to see and read. Some of my favorite items on display included Audubon's spectacular Birds of America book which is the most famous and beloved illustrated book on a natural history subject ever published. It was beautiful! Also, the first book ever published using photography, by the first female photographer, Anna Atkins, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, showed the beautiful contribution women were making to science in the mid 1800’s. There were so many more spectacular things on display at that library, and I strongly recommend it as a stop on anyone’s itinerary. I stopped by the Map Room in the library to add my pin to the large map on the wall with “Where Are You From?” written above it.
We continued down the street towards our original destination, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most visited and famous cathedrals in NYC. The gothic style cathedral boasts two pipe organs consisting of more than 9,000 pipes, 206 stops, 150 ranks and 10 divisions, enough green to please any Irishmen, and some of the most beautiful stain glass I have ever seen. The architecture was phenomenal. Be ready for a sore neck when you leave that cathedral because you will be looking up at the heavens for the majority of the time!
The other sights we saw along 5th Avenue, include a detour to Central Station, St. Thomas’s Cathedral, and the Presbyterian Church on 5th, which at the time it was built, was the tallest building in NYC! I would recommend to any person traveling to the Big Apple to take a stroll down 5th Avenue, leave their money in their wallets and instead enjoy the wonderful architectural, intellectual, and American masterpieces on display!
Shopping in New York City
by Amanda Terry, ’09 Scholar, Cordova, NC
New York City is “the city that never sleeps” - and
when you are there why would you want to? With all the attractions and events in New
York, nothing beats a day of shopping at the finest shops and stores. New York City shopping has something for
every need, taste and budget and no visit to the city would be complete
without visiting the upscale stores on 5th Avenue. Manhattan is where fashion happens. Savvy shoppers visit the right stores in
Manhattan and NYC to get the best deals on the latest fashions, leather
goods, designer purses, jewelry, accessories and the always popular, souvenir
New York City T-Shirt. Everyone will
fall in love with the collection of toys at FAO Schwartz or the new Toys R Us
at Times Square - the biggest toy store in the world, with a
full size ferris wheel. The world’s
largest department store is Macy’s, and it offers a Welcome Savings Pass that
can save 10% on almost everything for five days - you can not beat that deal.
Manhattan Mall is all about shopping
in Manhattan and is located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, one half block
from the Empire State Building. It
houses several famous brand name companies. Sephora is the leading retail beauty make-up
chain and is popular in the heart of New York for beauty. Even though prices are quite expensive in
New York, some can expect to find the bargain of a lifetime on Chinatown’s
crowded streets. You will find a
mind-boggling collection of knockoff sunglasses, handbags, fragrances, shoes,
and watches. Overall, the saying that
New Yorkers love to repeat is that “everything is bigger and better” – and it
is true, especially as it applies to shopping. The Big Apple is one of the best shopping
destinations in the world from my experience. The price range might be a little out of
proportion, but it is still worth the experience of a jaw dropper with the
thousands of stores the city has to offer.
Bargaining in Chinatown
By Lizzle Davis, ’09 Scholar, East Bend, NC
There were many chances for the West Scholars to
take time to explore the city on our trip to New York. A couple groups of West Scholars, comprised
of girls on the prowl for a good bargain, headed for the bustling sections of
Chinatown to seek out its vendors, shops, and diverse culture. Wearing our “mugs” as the tour guide had
phrased it, we went in looking stoic and determined to do some bargaining for
items such as hats, sunglasses, watches, scarves, and purses. We trickled through the shops, forming a
snake like pattern as some of the shops were not wide enough for two or more
people to stand side by side. The shop
culture had its own sort of lexicon; it was not as if you’re there to make
small talk or make some ripor with the locals. If you were looking to buy something, talk
was business and it could get as intense as an auction. Not to say that the vendors weren’t
generally friendly, but as anyone can guess, price negotiations can become
tense quickly. We picked up on this
“shop speak” very quickly, and I’m proud to say that we came away with a lot
of good deals. Which was more fun,
finally getting the item you wanted or the love of the hunt? It’s hard to
say. But with Chinese restaurants,
produce stands, and diners dotting the corners of every crosswalk, Chinatown
offered a completely fresh cultural experience in the form of a shopping
New York Transportation
by Stephanie Riddle, ’08 Scholar, Faith, NC
HONK! Transportation in New York City was
crazy. I have never seen so many
yellow cabs in my life. It started
when we got off of the plane and took a shuttle bus to the hotel. The driver was speeding through the city
while trying to text at the same time.
Needless to say I was a nervous wreck.
My teeth cringed and I tried to just look in the other direction. The next means of transportation, in
between walking what felt like 1,000 miles, was the subway. Each attempt to get to a particular
location was a difficult task. We got off at the wrong location several times,
but we just laughed and started walking.
Walking is definitely the easiest way to get where you need to be in
New York City. Not just any walk
though, you have to walk with a purpose.
It is nothing like a “southern stroll” here in North Carolina. If you try that, you will get run
over. The final means of
transportation was a taxi. If you have
ever played the game “Crazy Taxi” then you have an idea of what kind of an
adrenaline rush was prompted by a ride in a New York City taxi. You stick your thumb out and three taxis are
fighting for your service. You tell
them where you need to go and the race is on.
As you are riding along, you can touch the car next to you if you were
to put your hand out the taxi window. New
York City is a beautiful and bright city, but transportation is a wild ride!
L to R: ’09 Scholar,
Maggie McKee, ’08 Scholars Taylor Doss and Stephanie Riddle.
Air Travel to New York and The Hotel Wellington
by Heather Cheek, ’08 Scholar, Ramseur, NC
Flying by way of US Air from Charlotte
a first time flyer, I can say that my emotions on the way to the airport were
very mixed. While I was excited about
actually getting on a plane and the overall experience I was also extremely nervous.
Upon arriving at the airport, we were
all pretty out of it, since we had to be at the airport two hours before our
actual departure time (meaning we had to be at the airport by 6:00 a.m.). We were all just coming off Christmas break,
and it was really nice seeing everyone and catching up as we waited to go
through security. When we finally got to security, the actual security
process went by very smoothly. After
getting through security, many of us stopped by Starbucks to get some
caffeine in our systems. It was not
long before we got to board the plane. As we boarded, I started to get more and
more anxious. It made me feel better
to know that I would be sitting with people that I knew and not with strangers.
As the plane began to take off, I was
glad that I did not have a window seat for my first time flying. On the way back I was not so lucky and was
seated by a window. The actual flight
was not as bad as I imagined. Many of
us listened to our Ipods, while others brought books to read. While the takeoff was very smooth, the
landing was the complete opposite. Again, as this was my first time flying, I
did not think the rough landing was out of the norm. I was later informed that this was not
normal and that landings are usually a lot smoother. While I am not yet a fan of flying, I do
feel a little more comfortable now that I have actually experienced the
The Wellington Hotel, at Central Park
our stay in New York we had the pleasure of reservations at the Wellington
Hotel. The Wellington Hotel, in my
opinion, was the perfect location for many of the things the group wanted to
do. The hotel is located within
walking distance to both Times Square and Central Park. Also close to the hotel were many restaurants
and small shops. A favorite place
located across from the hotel was the Carnegie Deli. This Deli was a popular place for many of us
to go and get muffins or cheesecake. A
subway entrance was also conveniently located right outside the hotel. I really liked the staff that worked there. The concierge was very helpful to a group of
us one night, in particular, when we needed to know what train to take to get
to a comedy club. The hotel doorman
was also very polite to us when we walked in the hotel late at night; he
always had a smile. The hotel was also
very welcoming to our group by providing us the use of a common place to meet
and discuss what we had done throughout the day. I believe we all had a great stay at the
Wellington Hotel. I would definitely recommend
staying at the Wellington during your next visit to New York.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
by Julie Gilley, ’08 Scholar, Dobson, NC
On Sunday we were given an opportunity to choose
from a variety of New York's museums for our outing. For my choice, I traveled to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Although
it took me a while to get there (Central Park is a huge place to cut
through!), it was well worth the trek. The Met offers a huge variety of art from
Classical Greek and Roman to Modern American. While my feet didn't give me a lot of wiggle
room for walking the entire museum, my time there was well spent in the
Classical, Greek and Roman art, as well as a traveling exhibit of Renaissance
portraits. The Met's art collection is
nearly unrivaled around the world, so it was thrilling to see it in person! I'm glad to say I crossed this adventure off
of my bucket list and am thankful for the opportunity. The Met is worth every penny for both the
art and experience itself.
Broadway Play Experience – Wicked
by Hannah Gagnier, ’09 Scholar, China Grove, NC
On Sunday a small group of us went to
see the Broadway musical, Wicked. The show was absolutely amazing. I have been looking forward to seeing Wicked
on Broadway since I was a junior in high school, and used the book by Gregory
Maguire for a book report. The story
is based on The Wizard of Oz, but
is told from the Wicked Witch of the West’s point of view. You get to meet her before she turned
‘wicked’ and see how she was friends with Glinda the Good Witch. My favorite part of the show was when
Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) defied gravity and flew up on the stage. The soundtrack is wonderful and the cast is
so talented. The musical lived up to
my expectations, keeping me on the edge of my seat the entire performance. If you ever get the chance to see Wicked on Broadway, go see it. It will be worth your time.
The stage at Wicked and an advertisement on the street.
Night Tour of Manhattan Island
by Casey Baucom, ’09 Scholar, Marshville, NC
For one of our nights in New York City we hopped
aboard a double-decker tour bus for a night tour of The Big Apple. You would
not have known it by his radio broadcast-like voice, but our tour guide was
actually from Brooklyn and he was a great source of entertainment and was
very knowledgeable about several landmarks throughout the city. Our tour started at Times Square and
continued on through Brooklyn. He told
us about several of the buildings and the history behind them. For example, he spoke about the Empire
State Building, and told us all about the new towers that are currently under
construction at ground zero. The
tallest tower is projected to be 1,776 feet tall when it is completed; this
number is symbolic for the year that the Declaration of Independence was
signed. Another important thing that
the Brooklyn native taught us about is one of the most common saying repeated
in New York City, “fuggetaboudit”
(aka forget about it). He also
explained to us the best way to avoid salesman on the streets; he said “Don’t look like tourists!” He told us about the New Yorker’s “mug”, or face that says “Talk to me and see what happens to you”. Evidently this is the way New Yorkers are
able to navigate through the big city every day without hassle. In all honesty, my favorite thing about the
tour was that the top of the bus had a cover around us. It was bitterly cold outside and I do not
know how I would have been able to sit through the tour if not for the
covering. Overall my experience in NY
was a good one. I got to do pretty
much everything I could have ever wanted to.
With that being said, I was happy to return back home to a milder
climate and some sweet tea!
Natural History – Dead Sea
by Jarrett Jackson, ’09 Scholar, Huntersville, NC
During the West Scholars’ trip to New York City we visited several museums. I visited the Museum of Natural History and the Discovery Museum. Having visited the Museum of Natural History in the past, this new trip again enlightened me to how immense the collection in the museum is. I explored parts of the museum I had not discovered on my previous visits. The most interesting experience I had in the Museum of Natural History occurred in the section dedicated to the Universe. I descended down a spiral walkway which explained the formation and development of our universe. When I reached the bottom I read about how the known universe is expanding every year. That doesn’t mean that the universe is growing; according to the text, it meant that scientists are measuring how far light that reaches Earth, from distant reaches of the universe, has traveled and that measured distance increases every year. This means that every year we’re obtaining more data about how massive our universe truly is. The new information I gathered made that trip exciting and interesting and also reminded me that even though I’m not required to take science classes anymore, I’ll never stop being a science student.
My visit to the Discovery Museum granted
me the opportunity to view the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition. I have wanted to see the Dead Sea scrolls
for several years, and sadly missed them when they were in Charlotte. The Exhibition was eye opening. The artifacts presented, along with the
scrolls, painted an interesting history of not only my Christian faith, but
that of Judaism and Islam too. It was
fascinating to see the scrolls up close and read their translations. The exhibition also presented an opportunity
to send prayers to be placed in the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing
Wall) in Jerusalem. The Western Wall
is the only remaining piece of the Second Temple which stood during the time
of Jesus and Rome’s occupation of the area. The only disappointing aspect was that the
piece of the scrolls with the Ten Commandments on it was not present because
it needed to be sent back to Jerusalem to prevent degredation. Overall, these experiences made the New York
City trip educational and awesome I am glad I went, and glad I got the
opportunity to visit those two wonderful museums.
Jazz in New York City
by Amelia Baity, ’09 Scholar, Hamptonville, NC
On our last night in New York City, four of us decided to go to a jazz club. Brent Messenger did all the research for us, finding out where the club was, and making reservations. He even found a club that gave discounts to college students (which is a big plus in my book). So Monday night, Brent, Jessica Everett, Jarrett Jackson, and I, made our way from where the group was spending the evening at Rockefeller Center and headed to the Jazz Standard.
First of all, we knew food would be expensive at this place, so we ate at a Subway before going (yes, at a Subway, we were really living on the edge and experiencing the new and different that night).
Second of all, I have to give kudos to Brent Messenger’s skills of direction. Getting around in NYC is not necessarily difficult, but if you’re not from there, you have to wrap your head around it. Brent had already figured it out before we even left and had our route mapped out from Rockefeller Center to the club and back to the hotel. His planning made this little adventure go off a lot smoother and much more fun (getting lost in a strange place is an extremely effective way to make me unhappy).
The band we saw playing was the Mingus Orchestra. I didn’t
know entirely what to expect. As music
education majors, Brent and I were interested in getting as many
musical experiences as possible on this trip.
So after we got back, I did a little research on the band. The Mingus
Orchestra performs the music of Charles Mingus (1922-79). Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, pianist,
bandleader and composer. He recorded
over 100 albums and wrote over 300 scores.
The music pulls in influences from classical style music. This band was made up of some typical jazz
instruments including bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone, saxophones, and
clarinets. It also included some
instruments not usually associated with jazz, including a bassoon, French
horn, and flute. It was a truly new
and interesting musical experience and to experience it in the atmosphere of
an authentic club in New York City was an excellent opportunity.
Experiencing Ground Zero
by Jordan Farmer, ’09 Scholar, Walnut Cove, NC
I am very grateful for the free opportunity the West
Scholars gave me to visit New York City.
Overall, the trip provided me with a glimpse at a different culture
and an entirely different atmosphere. On
our trip to New York, I was fortunate enough to visit many cultural icons
(The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, etc.). However, by far, the most moving place I visited
was Ground Zero. I went to the site
with two fellow West Scholars along with two other friends, who are from New
York. The trip was especially moving
for my friends because it was the first time they had seen the memorial and
the first time they had visited the location since the Twin Towers were still
standing. For me, the experience was
especially moving because I recall sitting in fifth grade watching the planes
crash into the towers. I never
expected to visit the same place ten years later. In order to visit Ground Zero we had to
obtain a pass from www.911memorial.org. Then, of course, we had to pass through
multiple security checkpoints. When we finally reached Ground Zero there were
people everywhere. The twin reflecting
pools were engraved with the names of the victims and the heroes who lost
their lives that day. Despite the
noise from the nearby construction of the new tower, Ground Zero still seemed
like a place of solace. I remarked to
my friend, Megan (from New York), that it felt weird to smile in such a sad
place. What she said hit me straight
in the heart - “This is a sad place,
but it is a happy place because this had to happen in order to make us a
stronger country. Now it is okay to
smile because it has united us.”
In a sense, I feel that she summed up my experience to Ground Zero
perfectly. There is a feeling of loss
there, but knowing that we are slowly overcoming it together creates a sense
of happiness. The spirit of New York
and the spirit of the United States is now reflected in the Freedom Tower
being built behind the reflecting pools. When the tower is completed it will stand
1776 feet tall and will be the tallest building in the United States. I hope to return to New York one day, to see
New York City- Not As Big As You May Think
by Aubrey Barton, ’09 Scholar, Salisbury, NC
It was our last night in New York City, and we were headed from Rockefeller Center to find somewhere to eat. We had learned during our time in NYC that being stopped by a street vender trying to sell you tickets to something, was nothing out of the ordinary, but this time we actually stopped to listen. He was selling tickets to a comedy show. We stood there taking in his spiel as he explained that this was a famous comedy club and we could get tickets for only $15 but only if we bought them from him on the street. He said he would only be there for about 30 more minutes. We told him thank you and that we would think about it. He said “Don’t kid yourself, I’ll never see ya again!” Well we proved him wrong by coming back a few minutes later to purchase our tickets, thinking we didn’t have anything better to do but enjoy an evening of laughter on our last night in NYC.
Four of us went to the show, myself, Hannah, Heather,
and Casey. After buying our tickets the vender told us
a bit more about the Comedy Club. It
is called they NYC Comic Strip Live, and is actually where some big names
such as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Ray Ramono and Jerry Sienfeld got their
start. In fact, the opening credits of
the show Sienfeld were taped in this comedy club. In order to get a spot in the comedic line
up at this particular club, comedians must have three previous television
appearances. Needless to say when we
arrived that evening we were expecting a good show, and that was exactly what
we got. It was an evening full of
laughter and fun, and since we were placed at a table right at the front of
the stage, we were interacted with quite a bit by the performers. The biggest surprise came with the first
comedian when we discovered a connection. He was going through his act and asked us if
we went to school together, we replied “yes,”
and then he proceeded to ask where.
We answered “Salisbury, North
Carolina.” Without hesitation he
replied, “Catawba College?”. At this point we were a bit creeped out but
thought that he might have gathered that from a previous conversation the
host had included us in, earlier in the evening. Later on in his act he asked us if we knew
Dana Anderson, a theater professor at Catawba. That had us really thinking “Wow he isn’t
kidding”. What really made us
believers is, as he left stage, he leaned down to us and said, “I lived in Woodson, I’m not joking
around, I went to Catawba.” The
rest of the night was a blast, but that moment will forever stick out in my
mind. What are the odds that we would
meet another Catawba Indian while on our adventures in New York City? Sadly, we never got his name, and couldn’t
find it on the playbill. Forgive the
cliché but it really is a small world after all.
Bronx Collegiate Academy (BCA)
Our visit to the urban public school titled, Bronx
Collegiate Academy (BCA), was nothing short of an eye-opening experience. For one, most of us, including those that
have visited NYC in the past, had never been to the Bronx. Seeing that side of New York was exciting
and surreal. There were metal
detectors, fences to protect the sparse patches of precious green grass, and
everything else was concrete. However,
once we were welcomed into the hallways of the BCA, everything seemed
brighter. I got the feeling that the
administrators of the school worked hard to make the environment feel as safe
and warm as possible. The teachers
were open and eager to answer our questions and the students I spoke to were,
as well. David Ward, Assistant
Principal of BCA and a Salisbury High graduate, acted as our host. He guided us throughout our entire stay. I
feel that he represented the school and its mission very well. Although he admitted that there were many
things that BCA still needed to work on, such as dress code, tardies, and
absences, there were also many things to be proud of. He shared statistics of progress in
student's test scores on many different required courses offered. The one point that I believe he stressed the
most was that BCA was about “motivating
students intrinsically rather extrinsically.” What I took from what he
said was that if students have a close relationship with their teachers, who
act as positive role models, students will be motivated to follow the rules
and do their work because they have someone to look up to, that they do not
want to disappoint. This method of
accountability and friendship serves students better because it requires them
to make the decisions on their own rather follow protocol because "they have to" or because of
harsh punishment. It seems to me that
a school has to serve its student body. In an area where children already grow up in
rough conditions more often than not, harsher punishment doesn't necessarily
have an impact, whereas, experiencing the disappointment of a teacher who one
looks up to, probably does. I took a
lot from this visit and am now considering teaching in big city schools.
Reprinted (below) from
last month’s Newsletter are the three additional reflections on New
Saint John the Divine Cathedral
by Brent Messenger, ’08 Scholar, Kannapolis, NC
One of the
most exciting parts of New York City, for me, was when the a small group of
us visited The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. We went to listen to a Choral Evensong
concert. This service included
numerous pieces from the cathedral's chamber choir. I'm pointing out that it was a small chamber
choir of only about a dozen singers and these few singers were fantastic and
really filled up the massive cathedral. It was interesting to hear the contrast
between the traditional high church style cantoring and the more contemporary
hymns. The differences in harmonic
structure really stood out to me. The
responses and the singing of scripture passages had much more simple
harmonies and larger intervals whereas the more contemporary piece displayed
the dissonance and harmonic complexity indictative of 20th Century music. My favorite part of the service was when the
whole congregation sang the hymn. Because
of the small choir we were allowed to the sit in the choir stalls adjacent to
the choir and when it came time to sing the hymns it made it feel like I was
part of the choir. I would heavily
recommend visiting this cathedral for anyone who visits NYC, and if you can, make
arrangements to be there on a Sunday evening for the Choral Evensong you will
not regret it. This was easily one of
the best parts of my trip to NYC.
Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
by Taylor Doss, ’08 Scholar, Boonville, NC
On my senior scholar trip to New York I went ice
skating at Rockefeller Center with Maggie, Sarah, and Suzy. This was the
first time I had ever been ice skating, and I had the time of my life. Suzy and Sarah were very good and helped us
to get comfortable on the ice. I also
learned an interesting fact about Suzy that I did not know. She took ice skating lessons when she was
younger. On the ice rink were people
of all ages and abilities. There were
people from all over the world. We
spoke with one from Columbia and another from Costa Rica. It was a great experience.
Broadway Play Experience – The Lion King
by Maggie McKee, ’09 Scholar, Mt. Airy, NC
When I was growing up, I often went to support my
sister in the community theater performances she participated in. Since being at Catawba, I have also had the
opportunity to see some amazing actors in our own school productions. In New York with the West Scholars, I had
the opportunity to see yet another play.
A play on Broadway! I chose to
see The Lion King because it has always been one of my favorite Disney
movies and I was curious to see how the Broadway actors would become the
animated cartoons that I've loved for many years. In a packed theater, the Saturday we arrived
in New York, the curtains rose with the famous opening scene of the gathering
of all the animals for the presentation of baby Simba. This scene was very powerful and made me
cry. Several other scenes left me with
goosebumps. The actors wore head
dresses with lion faces on them, or they were practically human puppets
(Zazoo, Timon). This was a very unique
way of becoming the character and I, surprisingly, hardly noticed the actual
person, but rather the puppet or the mask.
The music in the play included all the memorable songs from the movie,
as well as some new songs that helped tell the story a little better. The voices of the actors were amazing! I was also really impressed that the young
Simba and Nala were played by 9 year olds.
They were fabulous! The
giraffes were my favorite costume because they were played by men on four
stilts. It really looked like the size
and the legs of an actual giraffe. I
also thought the use of the floor as a prop for the setting was very cool. For the pride rock, the floor rose up and
formed a spiral staircase, and it looked very similar to the rock from the
movie. The lighting also played a big
role in how each scene made me feel. I
left the theater in awe. I had never
experienced anything like that before.
I am so glad I was able to experience The Lion King on Broadway, and I can't wait to go again to see
Farewell New York City!
- North Carolina Teacher of the Year
February 23, 2012
- ’11 Scholars Breakfast with NC TOY
February 23, 2012
- ’10 Scholars Excursion Planning
February 28, 2012
- ’10 Scholars Atlanta Excursion
March 16 through 18, 2012
We are profiling the ’08 and ’09 Scholars who spent the end of their winter break in New York City together. Twenty-one Scholars and four chaperones captured more of the sights and sounds of the Big Apple than you can begin to imagine. All of the photography is provided by the Scholars, and they truly documented every experience.
This special issue features only one event. Enjoy hearing about our Scholars’ visit to New York City (in their own words).
A New York State of Mind
Enjoy photos from the ’08 and ’09 Cohort Excursion to the Big Apple in January, compliments of the Scholars, themselves!
Yes, that would appear to be Cookie Monster on the left side of the photo!
Street vendors galore
’09 Scholars, Maggie McKee, Heather Cheek and Lizzle Davis
Julie Gilley and Stephanie Riddle
Ellis Island Immigration Entrance
Display inside Ellis Island Museum
Ellis Island Museum
The crowds of people in NYC
Students made their play selection prior to the trip. Some went to Phantom and others to Lion King. There were also a few who gave up their “on their own” time and went to Wicked for a matinee performance.
Lion King marquee
Wicked street advertisement
Dressed and ready for a Broadway play, L to R: ’09 Scholars, Hannah Gagnier, Heather Cheek, Casey Baucom, and Aubrey Barton
L to R: Hannah, Heather, Casey, Whitney, Brittany, and Aubrey
On the observation deck of the Empire State Building, ’09 Scholars - Brittany Myers, Whitney Corriher, Aubrey Barton, Amanda Terry, and Casey Baucom
’09 Scholars Heather Cheek, Jordan Farmer, and Hannah Gagnier at the Empire State Building
Inside lobby at Empire State Building
Julie Gilley at the Met!
Cathedral in the city
Amanda Terry, Casey Baucom and Jessica Everett touring the city
They don’t consider this a traffic jam
L to R: Hannah, Heather, Stephanie and Jordan sightseeing
L to R: Amelia Baity and Hannah Gagnier at the Stardust Diner
That is Casey Baucom’s reflection!
Dinner in the City
L to R: Julie Gilley, Stephanie Riddle, Taylor Doss and Denise Grissom – heading out to Broadway
L to R: Denise, Taylor and Julie at the Lion King
L to R: Denise, Lizzle, and Julie on the subway
What a view
L to R: Christina Faircloth, Stephanie Riddle, Heather Cheek, Hannah Gagnier, and Casey Baucom - serve you?
Looks like normal food – but we bet it was even better in NYC!
We saw it all!
The city at night is spectacular
One last subway ride
The street sign says it all
’09 Scholars (L) Casey Baucom and (R) Amanda Terry – trying on exciting head gear while shopping. Cute, eh?
’09 Scholars, (L) Jessica Everett and (R) Christina Faircloth out dining
’09 Scholars, Casey Baucom and Aubrey Barton
’09 Scholars (L) Christina Faircloth and (R) Amelia Baity at the Empire observation deck (burrrrrrrr)
L to R: Brittany Myers, Aubrey Barton and Whitney Corriher on the streets of NYC
Casey Baucom and Amanda Terry checking out the pizza in NYC
Maggie McKee, Denise Grissom and Taylor Doss (with a little friend) dancing on the keyboard.
On the ferry dock. Heather Cheek found something hilarious – oh, and this is the only photo we found that included one of the four chaperones. That’s Ken Osterhus in the back.
The Serenity found at
The 9-11 Sphere
One of the reflection pools
A reverence for so many lost
Never to be forgotten.