Student Blog: Spring Choir Tour Experiences
Day 9 - Salisbury, NC (HOME!!!!)
by Brianna Smith '08
Thursday, March 6th
We met at 8 to ready the buses and sort out luggage and garment bags. For the first time we were headed in two different directions and the tour bus wasn't really a tour bus anymore. For the crowd headed to Chattanooga for the South Eastern Theatre Conference, it was a ride to work (and job prospects); for the crowd headed to Salisbury, it was a ticket home.
I was on the big bus headed home. It was mostly "magic nap time" in the morning, and lunch was a quick stop at a fast food mecca that we met along the way. Those of us who chose Chik-Fil-A found ourselves on the on the better end of a bribe: ice cream in exchange for a song. We stood and sang "The Earth Adorned" and were each given a large portion of vanilla soft-serve for our efforts. We enjoyed the opportunity to sing for yet another responsive crowd (and the vanilla ice cream afterwards).
Once lunch was over we remounted the bus for our final film watching experience aboard the bus: Across the Universe.
We stopped once more for fuel, more ice cream, and last-minute kitsch purchases at a rest stop before boarding the bus for the last time, homeward bound.
As we neared our destination, we laid the groundwork for a new tradition, singing "The Earth Adorned," all together, aboard the bus. Turning into the circular drive in front of the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel, a mixture of relief and sadness permeated through all of us. We were tired and glad to be home, but nevertheless very aware that this was an experience that we would never forget and never be able to emulate with precise accuracy with these people in those places ever again. Our first tour in twenty years was a resounding success.
That night, as I prepared to open the doors of my own home to many of the same people I had just spent 9 days on board a bus with, I realized that our tour wasn't only a success because it bridged the gap between Catawba College and the churches and communities we sang for, but also because it helped bridge the gaps in Catawba herself. We may have missed three days of classes for the sake of tour, but I learned more in those nine days about professionalism, hard work, leadership, gratitude, travel, touring, performance, organization, music, social-interactions, the importance of meeting new people, history, hospitality, teamwork, sleep, love, kindness, memorization, focus, improvement, listening, money-management, artistry, multi-tasking, sharing and split-second decision-making than any lecture could have ever taught. This tour was exactly the kind of real-life application that we, as students, need to help round-out our education.
We were also learning to appreciate the gifts and knowledge of our peers and how much fun we would miss if we never took the time to step out of our comfort zone and experience things and people that we wouldn't naturally see in our normal routine. We were athletes and musicians, dramatists and businessmen, scientists and teachers learning about each other and letting others help us learn about ourselves.
And really, isn't that the kind of lesson that brought us all to Catawba in the first place?