Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spotlights - FIN!

Kaitlin Blair Talley

Kait "Delicate Hands" Talley is a sophomore English major, minoring in political science and Ben Tracy. As a co-celebrity blogger for the DC team, Kait was able to demonstrate her expertise in writing, editorializing, and hearing voices. Back at BSC, Kait is very ACTive in EnACT. Haha. She's also a regular volunteer for First Light Women's Shelter, and this summer will make a triumphant return to DC as a Hess Fellow for Vital Voices. Her main goal, however, is to make it back to DCCK and win the heart of Ernesto (sorry, Ben). Not even this, though, can overshadow her greatest DC triumph - taking a picture with Barak, and holding the safe coffee pot as Michelle. Democrats represent!

Did someone say something?!

Helen Foster Marchman

Helen "H-Money" Marchman is a junior voice performance major from Florence, AL. Her interests include singing, blogging, not eating cheese, and trying to keep Pooja from stealing her stuff. While in DC Helen took advantage of the many opportunities to learn more about her values and passions - namely, that her favorite Krispy Kreme donut is chocolate sprinkles, rather than original glazed. Helen is most afraid of Ms. Dot "busting" her, but in times of crisis she finds comfort in wondering, What Would Paris Do? When she grows up Helen wants to be a Disney character. In the meantime, she's devoting herself to being Eric's number one facebook fan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Final Word...

Hello readers! Long time, no see!

We have left the Pilgrimage and Washington D.C. and are currently at the Blue Mountain Lodge in Knoxville, Maryland. We're here till Tuesday when we head back to Birmingham via plane. The purpose of our stay here is just to relax and reflect on our time in the District before entering the "real world" again. So far, we have enjoyed a morning of silence, group and individual reflections, yoga, and some delicious food prepared by the lodge's owner.

Our last entry left us wrapping up Day 12 of the journey. By this point, we'd been to all of the organizations at least once, and were looking forward to revisiting.

Day 13

MLK Day- One of our less strenuous days, we had the morning free and then headed to DCCK for the night co-op shift. Then, free time! More museum visits (update on favorites to come!), shopping in Adams Morgan, or just restful afternoons.

Day 14

We went to Food and Friends for the second time and worked in two groups, some in the kitchen and some outside doing ground maintenance. In the afternoon, we took a tour of the Capitol building. We unfortunately did not meet any Senators or see the meeting rooms currently in use, but seeing the original meeting rooms of the Senate and House was exciting. Once again, connecting our service experiences to advocacy has been very beneficial to understanding our work here more completely.

Day 15

Some of the group went to DCCK in the morning for an optional shift, as the Kitchen had just received a large donation and needed volunteers. But the group met back at the Capitol that afternoon for a photo with AL Sen. Jeff Sessions and then headed over to AL Rep. Artur Davis' office. Big day. Unfortunately, Rep. Davis was not in town, but we were able to meet with his Chief-of-Staff and ask questions that we had for the Congressman about homeless advocacy and other things on our minds. For more information about legislation concerning homelessness, go to the webpage for the National Alliance to End Homelessness

Day 16

We had a morning shift at DCCK, and this was our last time to be working there. After eating the provided lunch, we chased down the staff we'd grown close to for pictures. We think we can probably speak for everyone when we say that we'd love to visit and volunteer at DCCK in the future and hope this won't be our last time. We even offered some of the staff t-shirts from our trip, so hopefully they will never forget us. Yes, they are booked with volunteers until June so they see quite a few people, but we like to think our Southern charm rubs off on people.

The rest of the day was free so we took advantage by visiting museums and monuments we hadn't gotten to yet. (Again...keep reading to find out favorites!)

Day 17

Our last day of service in D.C. We split up into two groups to work at Thrive DC and Martha's Table. The team then met up for lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street, enjoying chili in various forms and taking advantage of the gift shop of the local favored restaurant. Once again, we took the rest of the day for one last round of sight-seeing. Our last day was sad, but I think the team all agreed that the lack of sweet tea and Southern accents was starting to get a little tiresome. We will be excited to come home...

Day 18

The team woke up for cleaning and packing and headed out to the Lodge in a Yukon and 12 passenger bus. When asked beforehand who the better driver was, Kent assured us it was him, but only because of his age. An hour and a half later, we arrived at the house in Knoxville and settled in for the short stay.

Day 19

Started off today with a few hours of silence. We all took advantage of this in different ways, taking walks, reading, collecting thoughts in our journals. We came together for a writing exercise and then had a yoga session. After yet another delicious supper and stimulating reflection, we are wrapping up the night with some rowdy games of Family, Spoons, and various other competitive games. We are still trying to figure out how to beat Mike Popwell at poker, but so go.

AND NOW, THE MOMENT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! Our nominations and final vote on favorite tourist attraction in D.C. The Washington Post wants this information as well, so feel privileged to receive it first.

And the nominees are...

Holocaust Museum-
"Capitol Steps" Political Comedy Show
Lincoln Memorial
Mt Vernon
The U.S. Capitol
Alexandria (Old Town)
White House
Real World House
National Museum of the American Indian
National Museum of American History
Library of Congress
Ice Skating
Folger Shakespeare Library
Air and Space Museum
Natural History Museum
Portrait Gallery
The D.C. Metro

And the winner is...

A TIE! Between the Lincoln Memorial and the Holocaust Museum!!

All in all, we saw too many wonderful things to really decide on a favorite. But for the sake of remembering some of what made our trip so fun, we thought the list might help.

In closing...we thought we would leave you with the quote that helped begin, inspire, and complete this trip:

"Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
-Desmond Tutu

Thank you all so very much for your loyal reading!

With love from Harpers Ferry,

The 2010 Service Learning Interim to Washington D.C.

p.s....we WILL finish the spotlights. Not to worry :)

p.p.s.- Sara Doughton FINALLY won a game of Family. We can now all go home happy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spotlights revisited

Sara Marie Doughton

Sara Marie Doughton, Assistant Director of the Bunting Center at Birmingham-Southern College, is a graduate of the English program at Birmingham-Southern College with a concentration in being a boss. She is engaged to marry Webb Lyons, but got a tattoo of the name "Ernesto" on her left shoulder while on this trip. For those who do not know, Ernesto is an employee of DCCK and one of the best people on Earth. Sara's favorite form of a potato is a fry, and her least favorite smell is the boys' room here at the Pilgrimage. When Sara hears rap music, it makes her want to "get down." She is a lover of this blog, silence, college students, and the Potter's House in D.C. When asked who stole the cookie from the cookie jar, Sara responded "Massachusetts". Very deep.

Kent Steven Andersen
Professor Andersen is an English professor at Birmingham-Southern College, but he originated in Iowa. Professor Andersen has been on several service-learning interims including Ecuador and India. From all of these experiences, Professor Andersen has come to the conclusion that college is really for critical thinking and falling in love. Professor Andersen has four beautiful cats: Kitty, Emmet, Snoopy, and Daymo (also known as D-Dog). When asked what book made him cry the most, the professor responded "Three Cups of Tea...I cried through the whole thing." On another note, his favorite ice cream is Pralines and Creme. Professor Andersen most often gets compliments on his eyes, and if he could master any one language it would be English. However, service-learning has his heart as well. Please note the picture of him above from service learning 2008 and guess which one he is.

Caitlin Hammond Barringer

Caitlin is a Senior Psychology major from Chatty, Tennessee. Known in the group as a spectacular joke teller, she gives us one for her home state- "Are you from Tennessee? Cause you're the only ten I see." Her favorite Halloween costume so far is a ceiling fan and next year she is considering dressing up as Ms. Dot from DCCK. One of her favorite activities is following the Presidential family on Twitter, although Caitlin prefers to use the more politically correct terms POTUS (President of the United States) and FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States). This past semester, Caitlin taught a rat named Phyllis to play basketball. Following this great success (see Air Phyllis MVP), Phyllis is currently under negotiations with numerous NBA teams. Although she was able to enjoy several museums and monuments during her first visit in the District, one thing Caitlin wasn't able to check off her list was landing a helicopter in Dupont Circle, Robert Langdon style. She does, however, want everyone to know that she doesn't always joke, but she did invent the internet. Respek.

Alysa Brooke Hand

Brooke is a Junior from Tuscaloosa, AL and is studying Biology and Religion. If she could be any character from a book, she would choose Hermione Granger, because she loves red heads and is highly intelligent. At home, she has a huskie named Balto and drinks REAL sweet tea...not like what they serve here in the Capital. Her favorite class at BSC has been Hebrew Bible with Dr. Cottrill, but if she could travel anywhere she would go to Europe..."anywhere in Europe." Brooke's favorite childhood memory is when she and her sister dressed her brother up as a barbie doll, and her favorite cereal to this day is the Scooby Doo brand. If she could rent any movie right now to reflect the mood she is currently in, it would be "Up." One thing the interim team has learned about Brooke is that when she is comfortable with people, she becomes very sarcastic. We are honored to say that we can appreciate this fully now.

Pooja Reddy
Pooja is a Biology major, Business minor with a focus on Krispy Kreme donuts. Her interests include indulging in Krispy Donuts, making sure others know the calories in Krispy Kreme Donuts, and leading discussion groups about Krispy Kreme donuts...specifically, the beauty of the original donut: glazed. Pooja is from Huntsville, AL, and her favorite Disney movie is "Aladdin." Here on our interim excursion, she is considered the thief of the group as she is accused of many mysterious disappearances including eye glasses and M&M bags. Helen appears to be the frequent target. Her favorite restaurant in D.C. is Bangkok Thai, and she enjoys asking for recipes. She also asked our hostess here in Knoxville (Beth) how she makes her rhubarb cake so delicious. Pooja was an excellent patron for the museums and monuments in D.C. However, when asked what person from history she would most like to get to know, she replied..."the founder of Krispy Kreme."

Charlsie Diana Wiggles Wigley

Charlsie Diana Wiggles Wigley comes from Anniston, AL, and is a Junior English major. Her favorite color to wear is red, as evidenced in some of the 30 hats in her "crazy" collection. On campus, she is in over seven organizations, giving her a chance to wear the many different hats. Haha.Charlsie's favorite thing about interim so far is working with team members and being awesome at "family", a classic service learning interim game. Her favorite thing to do as a kid was dance with her daddy, and she still holds this spirit by saying "when I grow up, I want to be a toys-r-us kid." Or a lawyer. You know, whatever. However, if she does make the big bucks, her number one vacation spot would be Central Park in New York City. When asked what book had a profound impact on her life, Charlsie replied The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Her equally serious answer to "what is the theme song for your life?" was "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix Alot.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Claire Ward Hubbs
Claire Hubbs is a Junior Sociology/Psychology major, Art History minor and is from T-town, AL. Roll tide. When asked what her choice wallpaper would be, Claire responded, "Definitely Caitlin Barringer on her Crusin' Cooler." See Crusin' Cooler for the full effect. She was also asked to "fill in the blank: I am so much smarter than _______", and she responded "everyone." So, obviously, she's the genius of the Service Learning team. Which should be no surprise since she is the daughter of the esteemed BSC historian and archive collector, Dr. Guy Hubbs. Ghubbs. In addition to being supremely intelligent, Chubbs is also obsessed with technology, specifically her cellular device. She is currently running a picture text service to a select friend base..... A Picture A Day in the Life of Claire Hubbs: Washington DC Edition.

Katelyn Camile Taylor Eun Hancock
Katelyn Hancock is from Vestavia, AL, but Eric would claim her a Seoul sister. Katelyn is a Senior Art major, with a distinction in leading (also known as Leadership Studies). Her favorite medium of art is drawing. During the trip, we have come to find that Katelyn has a not-so-secret obsession with squirrels, in particular the black species. When asked what three musicians, writers, or artists would be joining her ideal dinner party, she responded Lady GaGa, , Frank Warren, and Amy Tan. Her commonly unknown hidden talent is piano, which she played for fifteen years. When asked what compliment she receives the most, Katelyn responded "I'm just really awesome...I don't know how to break that down."

Sarah Rose Parkinson
Sarah Rose is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and is a Sophomore Elementary Education major and Psychology minor with a concentration in auto-tune. She is also an expert in Sassy Girl. When asked what television shows she watches most, she pauses dramatically and responds, "I appreciate a wide variety of reality TV. Especially "Keeping up with the Kardashians'", as she is the missing Kardashian. If she could be on any game show, she would choose "Newlyweds" with Caitlin Barringer. They're not engaged, they just want a free trip to the Bahamas. When asked how well she sings in the shower on a scale from 1-10, her modest response was "13"...especially when she's being auto-tuned. Go shawty.

Virginia Ann Jordan

Virginia Ann Jordan (aka VA) hails from Centre, AL and is a Sophomore Political Science/Economics hybrid major and Spanish minor. On campus, VA is a member of the leadership studies program, saves lives as a lifeguard at the Striplin pool (not to be confused with the lake- you can't swim there!), and especially enjoys her time as a Resident Advisor in the freshmen girl's dorm Cullen Daniel. If she was a candy bar, she would be a chunky bar...because she's a little bit of everything; sweet and crunchy. In her spare time, VA can be found cooking, baking (ask for the apple love!), and reading. By the way, if you're looking for her appendix, you won't find it. But if you're looking for a helping hand or sweet smile- look for VA!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A WHITE SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Team Member Spotlights! Take 2

Benjamin David Tracy

Ben is a junior Urban Environmental Studies major with a concentration in society and policy. He is going to change the branch at a time. In high school, he played basketball, baseball, track, roller hockey, basket weaving, and dabbled in amateur bouldering. He speaks French, Spanish, Yiddish, Pig Latin, Cantonese, and a dash of Persian. His childhood dreams of becoming a professional baseball player disappeared quickly when he realized that he just wasn't that good. No Sandy Kofax for this Jew. Did we mention he's Jewish? He's very proud. He is also currently dating celebrity blogger K Money. When asked how he handles the pressure of dating someone so famous, he responded...."Blogging is a profession?"

Michael Anthony Popwell

Also known as Popz Vegas 88, Mike is a Sophomore Accounting major. When he grows up, he wants to go to seminary at Duke, Emory, or Vanderbilt. Basically...the big leagues. Mike enjoys online poker and has developed quite the poker face. He loves everything Armenian (*wink wink*), but can be found in sketchy Thai restaurants in D.C. during the month of January. He prefers Backstreet Boys to Nsync, Elvis to the Beatles, Santa to the toothfairy, and will watch any movie starring Nicholas Cage. One day he hopes to discover the President's Book of Secrets and take your money in poker.

Katelin Marie Adams

A graduate of Alabama School of Math and Science, Katie Adams is a Sophomore Spanish major, English minor. She really loves languages. One of her favorite activities are online mad libs, followed by correcting people's grammar. When she's in a really bad mood, she will DuPunch you (copyright Caitlin Barringer). Her favorite dessert is plain cheesecake, and is accepting gift cards to Cheesecake Factory. When asked what's weird about her, she replied "my right arm doesn't straighten all the way." It's true.