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Sharks, Coca-Cola and A Jam-Packed Weekend

A Statue of a Soda Man at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia

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Jeremy Gardner, Writer
January 24, 2011
Filed under Student Life & News, Top Stories

The 2009 Cohort of the Martha West Teaching Scholars, a group of prospective teachers, spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend learning and exploring a new city. After a five-hour drive to Atlanta, Georgia, the West Scholars were free to roam the city for two-and-a-half days. Accompanying the seventeen scholars that went on the trip were Teacher Education professors Dr. Cyndi Osterhus, Dr. Bonita Bloodworth and Dr. Tiffany Hunter, along with Dr. Calvin Hunter of the athletic department.

The group departed the Ketner parking lot at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 15th and after two stops, they reached Atlanta. Their first stop was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Center, the site of the tombs of both Dr. King and his wife, Mrs. King. The site also had many historic items from the life of Dr. King. It was extra special to be visiting that site because January 15 is Dr. King’s actual birthday, and if he still were alive, he would be 82 years old.

After departing the King District of Atlanta, the group checked into their hotel, and was free to roam until dinner. Many students took advantage of nice hotel beds and relaxed, while others toured the city. Christina Faircloth and Amelia Baity shared a horse-carriage ride through the city, while Jarrett Jackson and I explored Olympic Centennial Park, the Georgia Dome and other parts of the city. Almost everyone joined back and went to Johnny Rocket’s for dinner, an old-timey themed restaurant with spectacular milkshakes.

The next morning, the entire group got a tour of the CNN Center and CNN studios with our excellent tour guide Adam. We saw many actual newsrooms, news studios and hard working people. We even took the tallest freestanding escalator, standing 200 feet tall and only supported at the base and at the top. After the group tour, the scholars were free to visit other great sites in the city. Many went and saw the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, Olympic Centennial Park and other attractions in the city.

At the World of Coca-Cola, you could learn all about the history of Coke, as well as try 170 different flavors of Coke products from all over the world. In many of our opinions, the Beverly from Italy was the worst, with Bibo and Frosty Melon from Africa being the best. Other options included Coke Orange, Cherry Sprite, and various flavors of Powerade and Dasani water, along with the basic Coke products that Americans enjoy daily.

The Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, was truly a site to see. Whale sharks, hammerheads, clown fish, otters, penguins, stingrays, and thousands of other fish are only a beginning to the massive building of water. Fellow Pioneer reporter Lizzle Davis actually went swimming with the sharks.

On Monday, the entire group visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Varsity, and the Zoo Atlanta. At the Fernbank, many activities were open. Maggie McKee, Denise Grissom, Casey Baucom and Amanda Terry made massive bubbles, and then tested their eyes with several overwhelming brainteasers. Jessica Everett and Suzy Williams paid extra close attention to the dinosaurs also located inside the museum. After the museum, the scholars went to the Varsity for lunch. In case you have never heard of the Varsity, it is a massive quick order restaurant where you will hear “What’ll you have?” if you do not tell them immediately what you want. They also had great milkshakes. The Zoo Atlanta was home to several Chinese pandas, the main attraction of the zoo, and the first place many people went to see.

After a very fun filled trip to the Empire State of the South, and non-stop action, the West Scholars returned to Catawba on Monday night.

The original intentions of the trip were to do everything that was done already, along with visiting Project GRAD, a series of schools located in Atlanta. However, due to the weather that plagued the south the week before, the school cancelled our visit due to a busy day of students returning to school after playing in the snow.

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