I decided to do just do my last week in one post, because there is so much to cover and I haven’t posted recently.
This week seemed to be just another normal week at Pinewood Prep. I sort of settled into a routine and got more comfortable with the environment there.
Wednesday was dress day which was fun because everyone dressed their best, the girls with either khakis or skirts and dresses and the boys with ties or bow ties and button down shirts and khakis. It was also really warm and windy on Wednesday, almost 80 degrees and the wind was very strong! It stormed later that night, which apparently is typical weather in South Carolina.
Today we had a speaker for MLK day come in during 2nd period. He had been a young adult during the civil rights movement and even met MLK himself! His speech was really interesting and made me think more about MLK day. He approached it as not necessarily as a day to celebrate only Martin Luther King Jr., but a day to celebrate the civil rights movement in general, which MLK has become a symbol for. He also reminded us that the civil rights movement was successful because of all the unsung heros that helped behind the scenes, and weren’t always front and center. Finally, he told a very sobering story about how he went outside at night at a college in South Carolina because some students were out there, and the police were down the road with Ku Klux Klan uniforms on and opened fire at these students as well as our speaker and a large number of people were shot, if not all of them. Everyone was paying attention at this point because it seemed so awful it was almost unbelievable! The students were doing nothing but soliciting in a field, and many were killed for this! The idea that the man speaking to us had experienced all of this made it seem much more real to me because although I know it is an important part of our country’s history, until today, it had never seemed quite as real to me as I realize it is now. I thought of it as history in an issue not resolved yet, and since I live in such a liberal place, it was hard for me to even comprehend the situations these people were put in. But now that I have met someone who experienced all of the hardship that legendary people such as Rosa Parks and MLK experienced, it seems much more real to me. I was really glad he came to talk to all of us!
But that, I think, is one of these reasons I came to South Carolina. I wanted to break out of the community that I live in, and experience other cultures and ideas and ways of life, rather then staying in my comfort zone. Even though it was hard at times, it was definitely worth it, and I feel like I have become so much more open minded and aware of other places besides my own community from this trip.
Tonight was also my last night with my host family, and they gave me a couple gifts which was really sweet of them. I will be so sad to leave Summerville, it was so fun and such a great experience to go to a different school for two weeks not knowing anyone in a completely different part of the US.
Tomorrow I am going to school until lunch, and then my host sister’s mom will take me to the airport and I will be headed back to Massachusetts and the freezing cold weather! But I will be glad to be home.