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From: "Sheri Fenley" <>
Subject: [APG] Sharing Samford
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2008 16:29:58 -0700


As this was my first time attending Samford I was asked by a few people if I
would share my experience. I am more than happy to do this but will have to
submit it in installments. I have alot of catching up to do here at home.

WHAT I LEARNED AT SAMFORD

That not all donuts have a hole in the middle and come in big, pink, square
boxes.

A new definition for "Motorcycle Mama"

That I may be geographically challenged for opportunities to be among my
peers when they gather for events. But I do not feel alone or like an ugly
step-child in my pursuit of a career in the field of genealogical research
anymore.

That I do not like thunder and lightening storms as much as I thought I did.

That there is room on the porch with the big dogs.

A new definition for humidity and a human being's tolerance for it.

That I do not like grits but I really like butter beans.

That there is nothing better than being around so many people who don't
think you are crazy.

That I don't care what anyone says, I like the Waffle House!

I feel the need to share my reasons for the statements above and my
academic adventure at Samford and so begin with Day 1.

SATURDAY, JUNE 7TH

Birmingham, Alabama

I had a great flight that had a 30 minute layover in Houston, Texas and
arrived in Birmingham, Alabama about 2:30 PM. I have never seen such a place
so green in the summer like it is in Birmingham. Everywhere you look are
low, tree covered, rolling hills. Birmingham sits at the bottom of the lower
Appalachian Mountain Range. My roommate had arranged for us to stay with a
shirttail relative of hers because we could not check into the dorms until
Sunday. I believe that I have experienced culture shock. We went to dinner
at a Chinese buffet called Aunt Lisa's where the only Chinese food I saw
were the fortune cookies we were given as a parting gift when we left. I was
promised dinner and a show and was not disappointed. In the Winn Dixie
parking lot was a group of musicians who got together once a month and
played. One of the band members appeared to be under the age of 65, the
other 11 were not. 3 of them were women (one of them playing a bass fiddle
that was 3 feet taller than she was). A total of 9 guitars, 1 mandolin, 1
fiddle and 1 bass fiddle. They played everything from very old gospel
favorites to Elvis. An addition to the festivities was a car show (Southern
definition of a car show: A group of 3 or more newly washed vehicles that
are not trucks parked next to one another). Dancing was an option that a few
took advantage of. The next morning was a church service that I still do not
know how to explain. Finally after church but before we were dropped off at
Samford was another dining experience that I feel I must share - The Waffle
House. There is a Waffle House everywhere in the south. The places are no
bigger than my bathroom at home so I am assuming in order to serve the
masses of people who frequent the establishment, having one on every corner
is not over-doing it. I had hash browns that were smothered, covered, diced,
chopped and some others things that one can have done to their food order.
As you tell your waitress all the different ways you would like your food to
be assaulted, she repeats your request to the cook by shouting across the
room your preferences.

SUNDAY, JUNE 8th

Samford University

I was assigned a room in the Chi Omega House, room 11, in the dungeon, er, I
mean basement right between the laundry room and the janitor's closet. The
window was at sidewalk level and I can give a detailed report on the latest
fashion in shoes for any who are interested.

The room itself did not have any comfort from home. I was told this ahead of
time, but they really meant it. I brought what I could given the limitations
imposed on me by the airlines. I believe that there should be an award given
to anyone who can pack clothing for 7 days, linens for your bed (including a
pillow), towels, books, reading lamp, alarm clock and a snack or two into
one (1) suitcase no larger than a tote bag (Note: see airline company for
exact measurements) and weighs no more than fifty (50) pounds. I brought all
of the above and weighed in at 49 ½ pounds and did not win a prize. Imagine
my disappointment.

After settling in, we are treated to the daily special in the cafeteria. I
have to admit that the food is very tasty and there is a good variety of
items to choose from.

A quick orientation followed and we were cut loose with orders to report for
class the next morning.

I endured this first 24 hours in 98 degree weather with 98% humidity and a
smile on my face. An award or perhaps a new event category in the summer
Olympics is needed for this accomplishment.

Stay tuned for my academic adventures at Samford, Day 2.

Sheri Fenley

Stockton, California



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