Monthly Archives: March 2013

Backpacking in Canyonlands National Park

At 4:45 am Saturday March 9, 12 SMU Spring Breakers piled into the white Outdoor Adventure van, closely situated after only just learning each other’s names and majors. 14 hours later, at 7 pm Mountain Time, the van pulled into the Rio Rancho Comfort Inn, completing day one of the road trip to Canyonlands National Park, UT. For spring break 2013, SMU’s Outdoor Adventure Program took eight students backpacking March 9-17 through the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. The trip was planned and led by student leaders Jeremy, Grant and Karly. Program director Albert also tagged along. Students of different ages and languages came together for a unique experience. Graduate students Sanket and Leo, transfer student Chanesia, Jing Jing, [...]

2013-08-13T18:22:36+00:00 March 25th, 2013|SMU Outdoor Adventures|

Our scholarly family

  Our group with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse, who also was conducting research at the Library of Congress An update from Hannah, a political science and Spanish major who is conducting research on the Supreme Court's change in commerce clause jurisprudence since 1937: I can’t believe we’ve already been back in Dallas for a few days! The time in DC flew by as we finished out our week scrambling to complete our research and touring the Court and Capitol. Honestly, it was the best week of my semester. During our tour of the Court we got to see a private conference room and the Justices’ library. I was very excited to see the library again as it [...]

2013-03-21T21:49:21+00:00 March 21st, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|

Our Chief Justice sighting

An update from Julianna, a sophomore majoring in business who is conducting research on the exclusionary rule: It’s been a little over two days since we made our way back to Dallas. I don’t even know where to begin! My initial post-trip reaction was most succinctly conveyed in my conversation with my Mom. “Julie, tell me all about your trip! It must have been so exciting. Did you see the Capitol? How was the Supreme Court?? How was Obama doing?” “It was awesome. Sorry, gotta sleep…..” and then I trailed off in a stream of mumbles as slumber overtook me. I didn’t wake up until 4 pm Sunday. Yes, this trip was absolutely exhausting, but it was in the most [...]

2013-03-20T22:10:13+00:00 March 19th, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|

The end of the beginning

An update from Austin, a sophomore majoring in economics, public policy and political science, with a minor in law and legal reasoning, who is conducting research on the differing “absolutisms” of Justice Black and Justice Douglas’ First Amendment Freedom of Expression jurisprudence: Having been back in Dallas for a couple days, I have had a chance to step back and reflect on the whole experience of studying in the Library of Congress with my classmates for a week. The second half of the week proved as exciting, if not more, than the first. We got to tour the institution that we have been so closely studying, and even caught a glimpse of Chief Justice John Roberts in one of the [...]

2013-03-19T20:35:00+00:00 March 19th, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|

Trip to the Valley of the Giants

This weekend I went on a trip to Albany. My advisor had it all planned out, and we went to many nice tourist spots. My favorite by far was the Tree Top Walk in The Valley of the Giants in Denmark, Australia. The Tree Top Walk lets you get great views of the forest while walking on a boardwalk that is 120 feet in the air. That height is nothing compared to the red tingle tree that can grow up to 230 feet. This boardwalk was made for tourists to walk on to protect the delicate roots of this tree. I was pretty excited to visit this tourist destination after reading about it in Bill Bryson’s book In a Sunburned [...]

2013-03-19T19:00:40+00:00 March 19th, 2013|Rachel in Australia|

A connection to a defining moment

An update from Brandon F., a sophomore political science and accounting major who is conducting research on the development and eventual end of Brown v. Board’s doctrine of “All Deliberate Speed...”: Looking back on the week, all I can say is WOW! Spring Break in Washington, D.C., turned out to be the most academically satisfying experience of my life. My research, which focused on the period of desegregation, gave me a new sense of the magnitude of the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The papers at the Library of Congress allowed me to look directly through the eyes of the Supreme Court Justices, an experience that was truly one of a kind. Each day I was able to examine the [...]

2013-03-18T21:43:43+00:00 March 18th, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|

Freedom music

An update from Harvey, a junior majoring in economics and political science: After a full week of inspiring stories, historical context, and personal bonds, music summed up all of the emotions of this trip for me. Visiting the STAX Museum in Memphis has made me realize the importance of music in keeping up the spirits of many in the Civil Rights Movement. It's important to mention that it was the struggle toward equality that gave African-Americans and their allies the drive to do what they did, but it was also music that played a part in reminding them what they were fighting for. It reminds me of what they were fighting for. In other words, freedom music – as I shall [...]

2013-03-18T20:58:48+00:00 March 18th, 2013|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2013|

Rich week of research

An update from Taylor, a sophomore majoring in political science and Spanish who is conducting research on school prayer decisions during the 1980s and early 1990s: I’m back in Dallas, and I can’t believe it was already a week ago that we were checking in to get our readers’ cards at the Library of Congress. Eric and Taylor with Justice Blackmun's portrait The second half of the week was just as busy as the first half. Thursday started out with some more research in the Madison building before we set out on our tour of the Supreme Court. From the outside, the Court is truly imposing (even if we couldn’t see the front because they were renovating the marble). [...]

2013-03-18T21:52:28+00:00 March 18th, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|

Our ‘scholarly conversation’

An update from Brandon B., a third-year political science, history and English major who is conducting research on "swing Justices" on the Court: After an abbreviated day of research on Saturday and a long stay at the airport, we made it back to D/FW airport about 9 that evening. The week really flew by, and I was digging through files at the library basically until we had to start packing up. Considering the breadth of my research project, I knew that I likely would not get through everything I needed, but I was amazed at how much I did manage to see. All things considered, I probably ended up with significant qualitative data on over 50 Supreme Court cases (some of [...]

2013-03-18T21:38:39+00:00 March 18th, 2013|Political Science in Washington, 2013|
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