Students kayaked to Matagorda Island with SMU Outdoor Adventures. Read their blog.
SMU Outdoor Adventures took students to the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area near Port O’Connor, Texas, for Fall Break 2015. These updates are from Jessica, Outdoor Adventures trip leader: Sam and I woke up before the sun was up – and paid dearly for it, since mosquitos also wake up early, apparently. We started breaking down camp (all the while swatting at the bugs) and loading the kayaks. Everyone else got up and helped as well. We grabbed granola bars for breakfast and filled our water bottles. We started in our kayaks around 8 a.m. The water was as smooth as glass, and it took us about an hour to get halfway. We kayaked that morning in a little bit of rain, [...]
SMU Outdoor Adventures took students to the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area near Port O’Connor, Texas, for Fall Break 2015. These updates are from Jessica, Outdoor Adventures trip leader: An early start for everyone, we tried to quickly pack our dry-bags with gear and made sure everyone had lunch for later (when we would be on the water). We left the campsite around 11 a.m. and drove to Port O’Connor to the Fishing Center, where we’d launch our kayaks. Around noon, we were set to kayak the route to Matagorda Island. The kayaking conditions were excellent! This was definitely the best weather I’d seen on this trip in my 3 years of Fall Breaks! There were few clouds, it was nice and [...]
An update from Kendell, who is majoring in dance and human rights, and minoring in psychology: As soon as I stepped off the bus, the sun’s bright light and warmth hit me. Miles of green landscape stretched out before me, with only a small huddle of trees and a tiny visitor center. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at the Sand Creek Massacre site, but the environment that I standing in was not it. There was a small sign with two letters printed out. The letters were written by two members of the U.S. cavalry and described the horrible crimes that the U.S. army, led by Colonel John Chivington, committed against the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes on November [...]
An update from Margot, a senior majoring in mathematics: Although this trip is coming to an end, I feel my journey is just beginning. As I have seen all of the various forts, historical sites, museums, colleges and schools, I have come to realize some of what I already knew: there is much positivity and negativity within this country. As everyone powers through their days, we all have two things in common: strengths and weaknesses. Everyone learns their own at different rates and through different paths. I am learning my strengths and weaknesses every day, some at more rapid paces, and others not so much. We, as a nation, need to realize this and continually bring each other up instead [...]
A sculpture at Little Bighorn Battlefield, which students visited as part of the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program's tour of Native American sites in the American West. Read their blog.
An update from Amber, a senior majoring in human rights: As Americans, we celebrate our great nation and teach our young the price of "freedom." We are taught to celebrate our great victories in achieving this freedom. What we don't do so well, is teach our young the true price of that freedom and the importance of righting the wrongs inflicted on the people native to this great land who paid the ultimate price for the very thing we call freedom. Truth be told, the native people were robbed of their own freedom so that we could achieve our idea of it and expand our colonization "from sea to shining sea," as Dr. Halperin puts it. From the earliest days [...]
An update from Bettye, a graduate student in the Masters of Liberal Studies program: As we begin our journey home, I begin to think about the frailties of human nature. We are taught to believe in certain ways, and many of us, sadly, rest on the certainty of those assumed truths. But, it is like the old saying – “There is your truth, there is my truth and then there is the real truth.” Many of the interpretations of the history of Native Americans given by hired storytellers of our state and national parks are difficult to listen to – however, critically important to hear. History teaches us that most human problems arise due to a lack of understanding between [...]
An update from Jacky, a sophomore dance major: On any given day, the range of emotions that I have felt on this trip has been overwhelming. Yesterday I had a wonderful connection with our guide at the Red Cloud Indian School. The stories she told about her journey with her family inspired us all. Never have I felt so welcomed in a church. The integration of traditional native beliefs and Catholicism proves that we no longer have religious differences to blame for irrational hatred and fear-driven violence between societies. Yet at any one of the Forts, particularly Fort Robinson today, I felt overcome with grief. I cannot imagine the accomplishments that Crazy Horse could have made had it not been [...]
A mosaic, crafted by an artist at the Regina Mundi (Queen of the World) church in Soweto, captures the theme of the 2015 Perkins South Africa immersion course. A final reflection from South Africa, from Perkins student Matthew Bell, a Master of Divinity degree candidate (2017): May 29 – the final day of our trip before departing for the United States – was spent at the Cape Town Institute for Healing of Memories, which also has locations all around the world. This ministry’s mission is to continue the much-needed work started by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 1995. What’s the TRC, you ask? Chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the TRC was a national effort to reflect [...]