Shoremen Speak: Harlem, Summer Newness

By Kay Wicker
Rising Lifestyle Editor

This past Saturday, seven other students and I went on a trip to Harlem. When I first heard about the trip I was reluctant to go. Not very many people from my class were going, so I knew I would be going with people I didn’t know. The trip fell right in the middle of a sea of work and my busy schedule. I was also scheduled to work that weekend. Basically, I had thought of every possible excuse to not go. And for what reason? Why was I blocking this opportunity from happening?

My homework load lightened and I found someone to cover for me, so by Wednesday, I had no real excuse not to go.

When my alarm went off at 7 a.m. Saturday morning, I was met with an excitement similar to the type I had as a kid on field trip day. I hurried to the shuttle that was waiting in front of the CAC and hopped aboard with the other students, English professor Dr. Alisha Knight, and Mrs. Siudzinski. As the shuttle pulled away, I turned my iPod on and allowed myself to catch a few hours of missed sleep.

When my eyes opened up again, the shuttle was traveling through the graffiti-covered boulders that line the mouth of the city. It took just minutes for us to arrive at our first destination: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

As the day unfolded, we went on a walking tour of Harlem described by Dr. Knight, and ventured around Harlem for lunch. Two other students and I decided to risk the streets of Harlem on our own for lunch instead of eating with Dr. Knight. After wandering around we found this Island Salad’s place, which was amazing–I got a wrap that was the size of a puppy! After lunch, we went to the Studio Museum of Harlem and before I knew it, we were boarding the shuttle Washington College bound once more. I was really happy I went. I got a cool mug from the museum, but I also felt so satisfied in having given myself the little push I needed to attend the trip.

Traveling to a city for a class trip isn’t really a new experience for me, but the reluctance I had got me thinking about the initial reluctance we all can have when faced with trying new things. With summer within our grasps, I’ll leave you all with a little piece of advice: you only live once. When opportunity knocks, it more than likely will knock again, but why make it have to–or risk it?

So this summer, try and enjoy it. Ignore the reluctance if it should arise and just get out there and have fun. Don’t be afraid to do something you normally wouldn’t, you never know what new found appreciation you can obtain. Or even what sort of new people you can meet. The summer is such an awesome time for picking up a new hobby or checking some things off your bucket list.

Whether you’re returning to WC in the fall or not, I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer. Stay strong during these last final stretches of classes. Thank you for reading!

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