The number one question I received when telling my friends that I would be attending a Partners in the Parks trip always concerned the fact that I would be in the woods for a week with 19 strangers.
At the end of my phone interview with Dan and Laura, I surprised myself with straightforwardness. “This is my first choice for co-op,” I admitted. “If you offer the position to me, I’ll take it.”
It was pouring rain and thundering outside on March 11th, and I was in an unfamiliar room surrounded by unfamiliar faces in central Arkansas, 1,480 miles from home.
After explaining for the hundredth time where Edwardsville was to all of my friends, family, and peers, I finally sat on a plane on a cold September morning, ready to venture into what I thought would be a weekend of recognition and admiration.
What strategies can we use to learn languages? Specifically, what strategies can adult second-language learners use to ensure success in their new language? Drawing from what we know about child language acquisition, we can begin to speculate on these questions.
I arrived in Arkansas in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane that had turned most of the Southern United States into a swimming pool. After seven hours of weather delays, a terror-inspiring flight featuring lightning flashing outside the windows, and an uncomfortable few hours spend sleeping on the floor of the Texas airport, I made it to the University of Central Arkansas, soggy and exhausted but ready for the hurricane-induced surprises to be over.
For my first trip out west, I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful place to visit and learn about than the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. With old, pre-Cambrian exposed rock and over 2000-foot vertical canyon walls, it’s understandable why John Gunnison himself was astounded and intimidated by the deep canyon.
Partners in the Parks was a great opportunity to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains and meet some interesting and talented people. First off, a big thanks goes out to our advisors, Bill Atwill and Christina McIntyre who organized the whole trip and looked out for all of us.
Great Basin National Park is a hidden gem in the Department of the Interior’s crown. When I arrived in the park with six other students from universities around the country, I wasn’t prepared for what I experienced: nothing.
Partners in the Parks allowed us the unique opportunity to get under the surface and hear about the mountains from seasoned park stewards.