New Feature: Stories from UT AMS’s Summer Vacation

It’s now officially summertime, which means students and faculty alike have scattered from the friendly confines of the UT campus. So, from now until school starts, we’ll be showcasing how our American Studies community is spending its sort-of-free time in a new feature we’re calling “Stories from Summer Vacation.”

Check back here frequently for a wide variety of stories about travel, research, reading, writing, teaching, and general merriment.

Our first dispatch comes from Ph.D. student Brendan Gaughen, who writes about a recent road trip to the east. Enjoy!

In late May/early June I took a 4900-mile road trip through the Midwest to Washington DC, returning back home through the South.

Highlights include:

  • seeing a brand-new nephew in Joplin, MO
  • Point Pleasant, WV, home of Mothman
  • a six hour walking tour of monuments and museums in Washington DC
  • enjoying a chili half-smoke at the legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC
  • seeing the home of monster truck “Gravedigger” in North Carolina
  • visiting Jake Maguire (MA, 2011) in Atlanta and being treated to the best bocce that town has to offer
  • kayaking on Lake Lanier in Georgia
  • getting pulled over and being treated to a very thorough (but unsuccessful) vehicle search by the Hattiesburg, MS police department
  • driving through the worst rainstorm imaginable in Louisiana bayou country

In May I said goodbye to the Department of Rhetoric and Writing after three years of teaching.  It has been a great experience but I am looking forward to being one of Dr. Cordova’s TAs in the fall.  This summer I am working part time with the Athletics Department tutoring members of the football team in writing and history.  Hook ‘Em!

I am currently reading for orals, which is simultaneously overwhelming, enlightening, frustrating, and wonderful.

(end transmission)

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