Wabash Blogs Immersion 2008: Glee Club in California

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A Trip to 'the Rock'

Nick Marzotto ‘11 - The most anticipated attraction on the trip for me was early this morning when the Glee Club traveled to “the Rock.” Alcatraz Island is the setting of two of my favorite movies “The Rock” and “Escape from Alcatraz.” Looking at the former prison from the streets of San Francisco is a wondrous sight; the large rock with several gloomy buildings on it gives the bay an unusual attraction.

            The boat ride over to the island was a beautiful one because of the view of the city as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. Once we arrived on the island, a few fellow Glee Clubbers and myself decided to listen to one of the park ranger’s talk about the prison and its involvement in multiple Hollywood productions. He explained to us that many of the scenes from those movies were taped on the island but were not always a part of the real prison but rather built on sight to fit the movie. He also told us about the “Birdman of Alcatraz” and how he really was not such a nice guy as perceived after watching the movie with Bert Lancaster.

            There was not a real tour around the island; instead one could walk around as they pleased. The cell block, on the other hand, had an audio tour which one could take. The cell block was incredibly spooky and grim. There were many exhibits about the most famous residents (Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert “Birdman” Stroud) as well as failed escape attempts by prisoners. The Alcatraz experience was one that is unforgettable and I hope to return to “the Rock” again someday…but only to visit.



Omar Guajardo '11 - This morning started out like any other: we woke up and convened in the dining room of the hotel by some ungodly hour for breakfast and a head count.  After we left the hotel we headed down to pier 33 for our tour of Alcatraz.  While waiting for the ferry to pick us up, some “glee-clubbers” and I took a journey to a different pier to look at sea lions.  In my opinion, the sea lions were more intriguing than “The Rock.”  I mean it was interesting to see Alcatraz for the first time and to learn about its history and little facts about it, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be.  Perhaps I anticipated something so much greater that when I finally saw it I was disappointed.  Needless to say I left slightly earlier than the others.  

After a few hours of eating, watching tv and, finally, napping I got ready for the nights concert. This concert was different from the others in a few ways.  The means in which we arrived to the concert location was very new to me.  We had to take something similar to Chicago’s “El” or Mexico City’s “Metro.”  This was called the B.A.R.T: Bay Area Rapid Transit.  They did not exaggerate when they called it “rapid.” We actually had to take three types of public transportation to arrive at our concert site: the more familiar MUNI, the less familiar B.A.R.T, and the more comfortable buses around the area of our destination. 

Aside from our newfound modes of transportation, the concert location itself was at a different location than we were used to.  We performed at Cal State University East Bay in Hayward.  The turnout wasn’t extravagant, but the people that did come, I’m happy to say, looked very pleased.  We have been performing very well the past few days, and I look forward to what tomorrow’s packed schedule brings.     


Scott Pond '10 - 7:15 am was the breakfast call this morning; the earliest call this entire trip.  We rushed to get the waffles in our mouths and gulped down a large amount of liquid before leaving the hotel.  It was as if Dr. Bowen was pushing us as hard as prisoners to get out the door and he was.  We were going to Alcatraz Island.After I spoke with all the people prone to motion sickness, we boarded the boat.  Tian and Tim both told me of how, in just the right circumstances, they felt nauseous.  

After we arrived at The Rock, I explored a little by myself and read the remaining pages of The Stranger.  The sun was shining just enough to be pleasant and I watched the city from afar.  I could picture what the inmates could have felt about being so close, yet so far.  An inmate drew pictures of the outside.  In every picture he had a bird as one of the main focuses.  Birds had a freedom that the prisoners did not have. I learned about what really happened at Alcatraz Island.  No, there are no man-eating sharks around Alcatraz Island, however three men were able to escape and were never seen again.  Overall, Alcatraz was a neat experience.

Well, I do not want to bore you so let’s get Super-reading.  There was:

Bologna sandwiches- Clay and I eat these during lunch to conserve money

A three hour lunch break – I took a nap, massive

Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) – Comfortable, Awesome.

East Bay Campus- 13,000 people on campus.

Comfort Inn Hotel – View of the Golden Gate Bridge at night, priceless

We finally returned and people were hungry (I think it was because the walking around all the time finally got to people).  I took a waffle from breakfast out of my fridge and am now eating it.  This trip is massive.