Travel Writing students spent Valentines Day with an un-lively crowd during a Winfield cemetery tour.
“We went and it was really windy,” said Laura Welter, English senior. “I felt like my head might blow off, but it didn’t thankfully.”
Welter along with other classmates started to tour Winfield cemeteries in bitter cold winds on Sunday. “My thighs were tingling with cold and I couldn’t feel my fingers,” she said. “Basically I complained a lot. We left and said we would do it again.”
Welter plans to finish the cemetery tour before the Travel Writing class meets again Thursday evening. Though cold, she was able to make a few notes. “An empty police car was sitting there facing the cemetery waiting for something bad to happen like vandalism or grave digging,” said Welter.
The group of students observed various tombstones and noted their surroundings in small moleskin notebooks, which contain the sum of their traveling thus far.
“I really like that the class gives me an excuse to do the things I want to do for fun anyway,” said Welter.
So far, Travel Writing has traveled to the Cowley County Historical Museum, The Wichita Art Museum, Il Vicino’s wood oven pizza restaurant and Henry’s Candy store in Dexter.
“It’s all in the name of homework, so it’s not like I’m procrastinating,” said Welter. “I also like that the class started from the very beginning of writing.”
Welter said the class assignments focus on writing sentences in concrete detail, rather than turning in a finished assignment. “We’re starting at the other end with the sentences and the note taking,” said Welter.
Travel Writing has proved to take more time then some students expected. The class started out with nine students, and was left with seven after two students withdrew due to schedule conflicts and time commitments.
“The class took more time than I anticipated,” said Stephanie Wilson, English sophomore, who withdrew from the class. “We had class every Thursday evening from 6:00 to 9:00, but we also traveled on the weekend, read each other’s work and had assigned reading for the class.”
Wilson said she was excited to take the class, but when her schedule fell into place she realized she didn’t have the time needed to devote to it. “I had to leave class a couple of times early because I had to dance at the basketball games on Thursday night, and every Saturday morning I had theater workday,” said Wilson.
Travel Writing will be offered every other year and Wilson does not expect to be as busy when her senior year arrives. She said, “I plan on taking the class the next time it is offered and hopefully I can plan better for it.”
Those still in the class look forward to the weekend journeys. This weekend the class will take one of three longer trips during the semester.
“The trip to the Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson is scheduled for this Saturday,” said Travel Writing instructor John Scaggs, associate professor of English and English program coordinator. “The plan is to leave Winfield at eight in the morning, to be at the Museum at ten.”
Brodi Phillips, English sophomore, has been to the Underground Salt Museum before and looks forward to visiting again. “It’s not like what you would think of a museum,” said Phillips. “It’s not clean and pretty. You go down the mine in this beat up elevator and you can see all the rock inside the windows when you go down.”
Phillips said the inside of the museum, though underground, is bright and well-light. “There is the actual museum part, like a museum, but underground. It’s pretty cool.”
Following the weekend after visiting the Underground Salt Mine, Travel Writing will take an evening trip to the Lake Afton Public Observatory. The week after that they will journey to Marland Mansion in Ponca City, Okla.
“I’ve never been to Marland Mansion,” said Welter. “I’ve always meant to. It’s going to be the best day of my life. Quote me on that one. Ask me about it later too.”