Santana Studies Down Under

by Josh Santana ’15

On July 14, 2013, I set off for my first adventure outside of the United States. I remember standing in the security line at the Louisville airport and being fearful of leaving my home country. It was the first time I had ever flown on a plane without my family, and I had no idea of how to accomplish getting on a connecting flight.

My journey started in Louisville Kentucky, and after over 35+ hours of total travel time, I arrived in Sydney, Australia. The flight from Los Angeles to Sydney took around 15 hours alone. I stepped out of the plane, met my study abroad group, and breathed my first breathe of Australian air.

While in Sydney, IFSA Butler had set up activities for us to do. IFSA Butler is a travel agency that helps students study abroad.

Our first activity in Australia was a tour of downtown Sydney. We walked all throughout the streets of Sydney with a guide who showed us all the important building of the city.

The most memorable building to me was the Sydney Hospital. This was because they had a huge statue of a hog sitting in front. It was so obscure to have that in front of a hospital; it caused me to remember it. In addition, the actual structure of the hospital was beautiful. I was not just your ordinary-looking hospital. The building had different architectural structures that made it look like a very old-fashioned building.

After going past the hospital and other unique parts of downtown, we came upon the coolest part of Sydney, the Sydney Opera House. There it was, standing in front of me was one of the most recognizable parts of Australia. Many people have seen pictures of it, but I can say that I have actually seen the building in person. It was not the first time that I had seen the structure because we could see it from the hostel we were staying in, but seeing it up close in person made it even better.

Also, in Sydney, I saw my first ever cruise ship. It was parked in the Sydney Harbor.

The people that accompanied me in Sydney were students from all other the United States. All of us were studying at different locations in Australia, but we all had orientation together. I became great friends with some of these people in just three days. Some of them even flew from Melbourne to come visit me in Townsville. After spending my three days in Sydney, it was off to James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

The first week of classes was hectic. I was 50 minutes late to my first history class because I was not used to finding my way around a big university. Although the classes were very hard, I learned a lot. The political science class I was enrolled in studied policies from all over the world. What made that class even more fun was that there were people from all other the world in the class. I met people from Europe, Papa New Guinea, and other places. I was the only American in the class! This class will be invaluable to me because it opened my eyes to new parts of the world.

The math class that I took was very difficult, but my professor was awesome. He met with me once a week and went over the lessons that I did not understand completely. The thing about Australia that I am most proud about is that I did not miss a single class. I was there to learn and that is exactly what I did.

On top of all the learning, there was time for some fun activities. I made sure that I got five workouts in a week. The weight room was super expensive to use over there. Let me correct that, everything was super expensive in Australia. The United States dollar is pretty much equivalent to the Australian dollar, but the minimum wage around $20/hour depending on your age. This made traveling somewhat difficult to accomplish.

However, I had the opportunity to visit the Whit Sunday. This place is by far the most beautiful place that I have ever been in my life. Off the coast of this part of Australia exists 70+ islands. I had the opportunity to visit Whitehaven Beach. The water is crystal clear and the sand is perfectly white.

On the island, there were huge lizards called “goannas.” During our lunch on the island, these huge lizards walked around our feet waiting for food to fall on the ground.

On the boat ride to Whitehaven Beach, our group had the opportunity to snorkel on a reef. I had seen pictures of reefs before, but when you actually see one in person, it is astonishing. When I put my mask in the water and saw the reef for the first time, I said out loud in my snorkel, “Wow, this is amazing.” My friend and I only stayed at the Whit Sundays for one night, but I would say it was probably at the top of the list of things I did in Australia.

Before Wabash College, I never envisioned that I would be studying in Australia one day. Hell, I did not think I would ever go to Australia until I was accepted to go my sophomore year in college. This opportunity changed my life and taught me valuable life lessons that will always be with me.

Living halfway around the world takes the normal life you are used to and completely shows you a new way of life. I met some amazing people that I will never forget, and I visited historical places that I never thought I would see. The actual information that I learned from school was only a fraction of the knowledge that I obtained while visiting “Down Under Mate.”

Goanna photo credit: joe.lipson via photopin cc

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Messer Wins GOP Primary

Luke Messer ’91 emerged victorious on Tuesday night with a big win in the primary. He’s the frontrunner to succeed Mike Pence in the 6th Indiana Congressional District in November. Here’s the story from the Indianapolis Star.

Messer conquers crowded Republican field in 6th District

10:08 PM, May. 8, 2012
Written by Chris Sikich

Luke Messer is the apparent winner of the Republican primary in the 6th District. / Joe Vitti / The Star

Former state GOP executive director Luke Messer held off a furious grass roots campaign from political outsider Travis Hankins to win the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District.

“I think in the end,” Messer said, “the biggest difference between us and the rest of the field was experience and a proven record of results on conservative principles.”

With all of the precincts reporting, Messer won 40 percent of the vote in a large GOP field. Just after 8 p.m. Hankins, the runner up with 29 percent, sent an e-mail to supporters, conceding he would not be going to Congress.

Messer is the frontrunner in the heavily GOP 6th District in November. Bradley T. Bookout won the Democratic primary in a 5-candidate field. Bookout is a former Delaware County councilman.

On the Republican ticket, Messer had the political backing, the campaign cash and the name recognition to be considered the frontrunner. All Travis Hankins had was a phone — and the will to win.

Hankins, a Columbus-based real estate investor, never has held political office. But afterhe said he personally called more than 19,400 voters in the past year, he emerged as a serious candidate.

“We worked as hard as we could to talk to the people,” Hankins said. “At the end of the day, we can say we held our head high and did it the right way.”

Messer entered the race hoping newly drawn boundaries gave him a hometown advantage after unsuccessfully trying to topple Dan Burton in a crowded field in the 5th Congressional District primary two years ago. Messer finished second despite the fact his Shelbyville home was in the far southeastern corner of a district that stretched largely north of Indianapolis.

But in the last weeks, a sea of Hankins’s signs filled thousands of yards in a 6th District that stretches across parts of 19 counties. Messer quickly countered with a $50,000 loan to his campaign, an endorsement from Gov. Mitch Daniels and a wave of negative advertisements painting Hankins as a tax-and-spend liberal.

Having raised $191,699 and largely spending it on those yards signs, Hankins couldn’t react with a last-minute mailing of his own. Hankins, who maintains he is more conservative than Messer, had hoped those personal phone calls would pay off. He’s unsure what his next step will be, or if he will seek political office again.

Don Bates Jr., Richmond; Bill Frazier, Muncie; Joe Sizemore, Metamora; and Joseph S. Van Wye, Madison; also were seeking the GOP nomination.

Allen K. Smith II and John Hatter also appeared on ballots, but they had dropped out of the race and endorsed Messer.

In the Democratic field, Bookout led over Don Bolling, Centerville; Jim Crone, Hanover; Susan Hall Heitzman, North Vernon; and George T. Holland, Rushville.


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Dulaney Explores Art and Lit in Paris

Rising senior Jordan Dulaney starts his summer break with an immersion trip to Paris.

According to Howard Hewitt, “BKT Assistant Professor of English Eric Freeze will lead his spring class to historic and literary sites in Paris and Nice, France.  ’Among the sites we will visit will be the haunts of expatriate writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Djuna Barnes,’ Freeze said. ‘Our visits will include literary walks and visits to museums of artists who influenced various writers.’ Two highlights of that trip will be special  guest lectures. ‘Dr. Carine Marret, author of Promenades Littéraires, has agreed to lecture about Fitzgerald’s time in the area and Dr. Michel Rémy, a professor at the University of Nice and author of several books on modernist painting and surrealism, will lecture about the work of Matisse, Picasso, and Cézanne,’ Freeze said.”

Here’s Jordan’s entry on the College’s Immersion Learning blog:

Dulaney ’13 Sees Painters’ Influence on Author

Jordan Dulaney ’13, May 9 – My time in Paris has been amazing. The experiences my group members and I have been able to be a part of are memories that will last forever. We have spent our days traveling to different museums and former places of residence of the expatriates we are studying. The Pompidou (an art museum) was very insightful in furthering my claims made in my final paper of the course. It is here that I was introduced to some of Picasso and Matisse’s work. That was important to me due to the fact that they had such a huge influence on Gertrude Stein’s writing style. From Picasso’s paintings, I noticed the shading and abstraction in his dreamlike work. His abstract style is comparable to Stein’s Tender Buttons, where she appears to randomly spat out thoughts. What seems to be a random appearance of the words on the page relates to a method of subconscious writing which Stein produces in her work. The abstraction in her literature, just as in Picasso’s painting, is she never attempts to find a true meaning in the words she is “defining” as she writes about them. She is trying to strip them of their meaning and value by showing the differences in the way the words may be used. This is the same thing Picasso tries to do with his shading and representation of his thoughts.

Henri Matisse was the second painter which had an influence on Stein. In particular, I found the actual Matisse exhibit to be very helpful with discovering more of those influences. Here I saw Matisse’s recreations of other artist’s paintings and saw how he repainted them with slight variations. Matisse would take a painting done by another artist, and re-paint it with slight variations. He would replicate the works almost exactly, the shading, definition, or even objects on the canvas. By doing so, he is attempted to portray emotions felt and the way he was affected by the work he doubled. This is similar to the concept of Stein writing down her thoughts or emotions she felt when thinking of those certain words she describes. Matisse’s method here is definitely an unorthodox one that relates to Stein’s unusual writing style. This can be seen in the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas where she chooses to write an autobiography through the eyes of her lover, Alice.

All in all, the trip has been very educational and enjoyable. It is something I could never fully prepare myself for. Immersing myself in the culture by writing at a small table under the awning of a café, just as many of the expatriates did, is only part of the picture of the overall experience. It was more than helpful to be a part of the culture which we have read about all semester. It’s one thing to read about it, but it’s another to live it. This allowed a much better understanding of the descriptions and context of Paris I’ve learned through class. Along with furthering my knowledge of the city and experiences of the expatriates, I feel I now have a closer bond with some of my fellow students in class and also Dr. Freeze.

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Bradke Explores Alaska’s Economy Firsthand

Rising junior Ramsey Bradke started his summer vacation with an immersion trip with his class to Alaska.

According to Howard Hewitt, “BKT Associate Professor of Economics Christie Byun will be leading a group to Alaska on a new immersion experience. The students will spend three days in Anchorage. ‘Alaska is a state rich in natural resources (oil, minerals, timber, fish), and is also dependent on the tourism industry as a part of its economy,’ Byun said. ‘These sectors form the basis of its economy.  I will arrange events for students, giving them exposure to business groups, groups representing native Alaskan interests, and conservation organizations.’ The group will also spend two days in Valdez, the terminus point for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The students will then travel to Seward for a boat tour of the glaciers and wildlife in Kenai Fjords National Park.”

Here’s his post from the College’s Immersion Learning blog:

The First Peek of Alaska’s Mountains

Ramsey I. Bradke ’14, May 6 –  After we finished our learning experience at the Anchorage Museum, our group rallied back at the homey Susitna Bed and Breakfast before our first expedition of the many mountain ranges in Alaska. About 15 minutes away from the Bed and Breakfast was our group challenge for the day, Flat Top Mountain Range. On the way to the base of the mountain we were all curious as to how much snow there would be on the mountain and how far up we would have to climb before we reached the snow. It is presently spring, almost summer; in Alaska so many of us figured that the snow would be melted for the most part until we reached the higher parts of the mountain. Needless to say, we were wrong! The beginning of the trail at the base of the mountain was covered in snow and the sign that read “Flat Top Mountain Trail” was submerged in snow. As we began our hike up the slippery slope it became evident that those who neglected their boots at the B&B, and instead chose their sneakers, were going to struggle in the deep snow. Luckily we have a tough group of Wabash Men who toughed it out at least half way up the mountain and got to see a great view of the landscape. The majority of the group who were well equipped with hiking gear made it about ¾ of the way up the mountain and three brave souls made it to the 3150 peak.

One of the main concepts I thought about a lot once myself and two others reached the peak was the importance of aesthetic beauty. One of the main concepts we learned about in our class was that harming the aesthetic beauty of the environment can impose real costs and effect behavioral attitudes toward the environment. For example, in my research paper for the class I explored the current economics and implementation of wind energy and how it relates to environmental economics. During my research I read an article that talked about lowered housing costs that had beautiful mountain range views because of these “ugly” onshore wind  turbine structures. When I was on that mountain I realized that a lot of the people that bought nice houses alongside the mountain and those people who came to hike the mountain are there for the quiet, peaceful, and beautiful scenery these mountains provide. I thought about what kinds of effects on behavior and housing prices large 9MW wind turbines would impose if they were stationed on Flat Top Mountain. Although this may be an area with high-class speeds that would produce electricity, I think that the negative effects of lost aesthetic beauty would be paramount. This class was great for myself, and those in the class, because it gave us an appreciation of economics in an abstract manner. It is pretty cool to be able to go on a hike and not only get in great exercise and see some great views but also be able to draw some economical insight from the environment we’re looking at.

Students hiked the The Matanuska Glacier in Alaska.

UPDATE: Check out some video from Brother Bradke’s trip.

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Scott Smith ’93 Representing NFL Draftees

Brother Scott Smith ’93 is watching this weekend’s draft with a lot more interest than even your rabid Fantasy Football GM.

He’s a sports agent with a firm called X-A-M Sports. His clients drafted so far?

A pretty good weekend I must say!

Smitty lives in Madison, Wisc., with his wife, Shawn (who works in the firm as co-founder and director of marketing and media relations), and their two sons, Maxwell and Emmanuel.

Follow the Draft chatter on X-A-M’s Facebook and Twitter.

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Coldiron ’78 Elected Dermatology Academy President

Dr. Coldiron speaking during a Cincinnati Wabash event.

From Howard Hewitt at the Wabash FYI blog

Brother Brett M. Coldiron, MD, ’78 has been elected President of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Coldiron is the founder of Cincinnati’s Skin Cancer Center. He specializes in micrographic surgery and dermatologic surgery.

The Wabash Phi Delt and Biology major lived in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Jersey before finishing high school in Cincinnati and becoming a Wabash freshman. He attended medical school in Kentucky before a medical residency in Cincinnati, dermatology residency in Dallas, and a dermatologic surgery fellowship in Chicago.

He was an active member of the AAD before being elected it’s president. His wife Lana Long is also a a practicing cosmetic dermatologist. The couple have two children.

Coldiron played football for the Little Giants and was a Sphinx Club member.

Coldiron has been active with Wabash College since his graduation.

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