Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Days, uhhh, 3 and 4?

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis was, as expected, emotional and arduous. There is a lot of reading involved. It got me thinking about what makes a good museum and how I might do things differently. This museum had to cover so many aspects of the Civil Rights Movement. How does one do that withOUT making the visitors read a million plaques? The most interesting choice the museum made was structuring it so near the end of the exhibit, you realize you're standing about six feet from where Martin Luther King Jr. was when he was assassinated. You can look across the balcony and see where the assassin was hiding. The significance of this choice was felt by everyone, I believe. And they wisely protect the significance and seriousness of the museum by not allowing photography inside - much to the chagrin of these students who take A HUNDRED PHOTOS OF EVERY SINGLE THING THEY SEE. I can't blame them. If I were in Africa I'd do the same thing.

Leaving Memphis took forever. Doing anything with 19 students and three chaperones takes forever. We got to Birmingham very late and during a summer rainstorm. We watched Eve's Bayou on the drive. I guess one of the students didn't like some of the subject matter in the film and felt we needed some counteractive entertainment su as soon as it was over he put on this DVD of traditional hymns sung as the camera panned over Thomas Kinkade-esque paintings. So hilariously wrong and odd.

Yesterday we drove down to Newburn, AL to visit the Rural Studio. The students seemed to enjoy it and asked a lot of really good questions while we visited a few of their current projects. I wanted to see more, but they were getting antsy and each had needs to attend to. If someone's not throwing up in the bus toilet, then another is losing his camera in a Wal Mart in New Albany, MS. It's constant work, trying to get everyone's needs met. I think the pressure started to get to me yesterday. I'm starting to get tired of traveling like this. But we're only halfway so I'd better buck up, suck it up, and resolve to make this trip a success.

Some pictures:

Little Rock's Central High School

A painting in our hotel in Little Rock. It rendered me speechless.

Outside the Clinton Presidential Library.

Beale Street.

The "pods" where the male outreach students live at the Rural Studio.

The brick structure is the bathrooms.

Close-up of the bricks and bottles.

Tile walkway outside the pods.

Cardboard housing.

The new animal shelter for Hale County, AL.


Where the animals will be kept.


Jeff Mac said...

Ok, I need a teddy bear to point out what that Bush painting just did to my brain.

step right up said...

Ummm, why are those two people dancing outside the Clinton Library?
Would you prefer John Quincy Adams and Betsey Ross to pray for Dubya instead of the father of our country and Honest Abe?

Jeff Mac said...

Ok, Step Right Up, you make a fair point. He needs all the help he can get.

I just wish they could be showing a little more disapproval, is all. Or at least a patronizing kind of "Dad helping the 3 year old with a puzzle" sort of vibe.

Alannah said...

I know, Jeff Mac, right? Why don't we see their knuckles white with rage as they grasp his shoulders? Or, even better, pulling on his ears.

And SRU - they dance EVERYFREAKIN'WHERE. It's very sweet and fun. We had a dance party on the bus yesterday in BFE Alabama.

carolyn says said...

maybe gw and abe are about to work together to choke gwb whilst he prays. they're just lulling him into a false sense of security first

Anonymous said...

I notice there is a placard below the photo. Is it titled "Tsk Tsk Now Now Georgie Boy"?

5 of 9er said...

Wow... that Bush painting is tops! Too bad it was not on velvet.

Jae said...

GAG me with that painting! UGH!!!

Alannah said...

The title of the painting is "Praying for Peace."

I shit you not.