On the morning of Friday, September 26, over 50 Meredith College Honors Program students and faculty boarded the buses and made their way to Charleston, South Carolina. The trip location was tied to the Summer Reading Program selection, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. While we were there, we participated in nine different mini-courses designed to help enhance our understanding of Charleston. The mini-courses topics included segregation and integration in SC public schools, a historical perspective on the Gullah people, Charleston’s religious history, and engineering the CSS H.L. Hunley. Many of the courses were also designed to take us out into Charleston, and overall, students visited the Dock Street Theater, the oldest theater in the South, important sites to the Grimké sisters in The Invention of Wings, and a synagogue and Huguenot French church.
Catherine Koontz, an Honors freshman, was in the “Dramatic Charleston” course. A Engineering Dual Degree major from Havelock, NC, Catherine has jumped into college life, already playing the drums for the NC State Jazz Ensemble. Here’s what she had to say about the weekend:
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Charleston last weekend. With all of the newly added stresses that have come along with my first month of college, I was really looking forward to getting out of Raleigh for a couple days to decompress and explore a new area with my peers. I had so much fun learning about this Greek drama called The Bacchae. Everyone in my group was so enthusiastic about this play, and we all had so much fun bonding over this learning experience together; we even took roles in the play and read and acted it out together! As for me, I’ve been involved in the Arts for as long as I can remember. I sang in my church choir as a child, and I have been playing drums for the past 5 years and my clarinet for 7 years. Being involved, musically, has opened up so many doors for me and has exposed me to so many other great artists who have gone to do famous performances. I’m definitely not an actress, so learning about theatre and acting this past weekend really opened my eyes to a whole new area of performing arts. I think being culturally enriched in this field has helped me become an overall well-rounded individual, and I think it’s so important for people to be exposed to what it all has to offer.
“I am also happy to announce that I am a new contributor to this website and I can’t wait to start writing about all of the other things that go on in our Honors Program. Writing has always been a sincere passion of mine, and sitting down to craft and perfect a piece of writing is something that brings me so much joy. I’m excited for my time here as a Meredith student and I can’t wait to blog about the adventures that our program entails.”
Ellen Cleary, another freshman in the Honors Program, was also a student in the “Dramatic Charleston” course for the trip and compared her weekend to her anticipated first Corn Huskin’ experience:
“The Honors Fall Trip, you truly just have to experience it.”
Katie Murphy talked about how beautiful the churches she saw were. Katie was in the Religion group for the weekend and really enjoyed learning about some of the old buildings of Charleston:
“Charleston was absolutely gorgeous. Many of the buildings have historic value and cannot be torn down so they are repurposed There was an H&M in what looked like an old theatre. The churches there are magnificent as well. It seems like there is one on every block and they are some of the oldest in the south.”
Our yearly Honors Fall Trip holds a reputation of being one of the most enjoyed activities we do together each year, and providing opportunities, such as these, for our honors students allows for them to explore and analyze the world around them.