While I love the summertime and the leisure pool at Texas Tech, I decided to apply for internships elsewhere for this summer. Back in February I interviewed with about 30 schools and ended up accepting an internship at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Conway is located about about 15 minutes from Myrtle Beach, so you can imagine my dread when I thought about a summer near the beach…HAAAAAA just kidding, I was f-ing pumped!
Anywho, I scooped my roadtrip partner (A.K.A. my mother) from Dallas and we drove from Texas to South Carolina in Yolanda, the trusty ‘Yota. I moved here knowing this was going to be a whirlwind summer, and I certainly was not disappointed. Below are some of the experiences I’ve had while here–the good, the bad, the hilarious, and the ugly.
1. The humidity in South Carolina is NO JOKE! Good Gawd Almighty. When I first moved to Texas, I was dreading the dry heat because as we all know, triple digit temperatures are just vile. Yeah, well lemme drop some knowledge on y’all real quick–triple digits in DRY heat and triple digits in HUMIDITY are two different animals. Dry heat is like that feeling you get when you open the oven. It’s obviously hot, but it’s just that. Humidity is the work of the devil because not only is it 95 degrees outside, the air is thick and you feel like you’re trying to breathe through a wet blanket all the time. Not only that, but it made my hair look like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Mufasa. So bottom line is that I’ve spent the last 7 weeks living like a damn swamp monster out here, swimming through the air every day.
2. Driving to Charleston is always an adventure. ALWAYS. I drove roundtrip to Charleston twice in my time here. The first time was to fly out of Charleston for my brother’s graduation, and the second time was for a quick day trip when my friend was here. The first time, I left Conway at 3:30am in order to make a 6:30am flight. If you ever want to see where every scary movie idea EVER came from, make this drive. I’m about 99% sure I saw the Chupacabre out there, as well as the setting for Jeepers Creepers and all manner of swap being. My drive back was also in the wee hours of the morning thanks to flight delays, and I shit you not, a pterodactyl landed on the side of the road next to me. Okay, fine, maybe it wasn’t a prehistoric flying creature, but it was freaking huge and flying and disgusting. The second trip was during the day time, and one the ride down we saw a dead baby gator on the side of the road. On the way back, however, we saw a very much alive, easily 8 foot long ADULT ALLIGATOR on the side of the road. My friend asked what my reaction would be if it had come into the road. I had a one word answer: defecation.
3. On a more serious note, the racism in South Carolina is something serious. My major task this summer has been supervising a moving crew of 8 students. Of my 8 students, all are men and 7 are black. This has lead to some really eye opening conversations for me as we talk about what life in South Carolina looks like for a young black man. I know that as a white woman, there are certain things I will never understand, but wow…when they told me about the things people say and do simply because of their skin color, it’s sickening. The kind of stories they tell me are what I expected when I moved to Texas, but what I’ve realized is that the racism here in TAUGHT, whereas in Texas is just because of a lack of knowledge. Now of course there are exceptions to this and I’m not trying to start a great debate, but this has been one of the best learning experiences for me as a person and a professional.
4. Absence certainly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, makes the heart grow fonder. As you all have read (or if you’re new to my blog, can go back and read), my time at Texas Tech has been quite the adventure. I haven’t loved every second of it and I will be honest, I was quite happy to be driving out of Lubbock in May, but I will say that 7 weeks away really made me miss parts of my Texas experience. I’m now back in Texas (as of yesterday) and am ready for another year. My internship was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to taking what I learned in SC and applying it to the next 10 months in Lubbock!