Train Adventures

I love to travel on the train. You never know what is going happen. Okay, you so know what is generally going to happen, but that is besides the point. A majority of my trips are taken at night so I never really know what is going on outside the train. I have been taking the train since freshman year of college where somehow it was the only alternative to coming home from Spring Break. This is Senior year, and for some reason, I am going to be taking the train a lot. I just want give a couple of tips on how to make the train experience a little more bearable from the viewpoint of a college student. And also, I have only had experience on the Crescent train, so things might be different on other trains.

1. Have your ticket in advance.

My advice is to get your ticket early. There is less stress involved if you book early for your train. The price will also be cheaper. This will guarantee your spot on the train. The question then becomes: What happens if I lose my ticket? So, Amtrak is making it easier to forget or lose your ticket without worry. There are QR codes, on the e-ticket at least, that not only tell the who the passenger is but the conductor can look up the name of the passenger on the scanner.

2. Pack light.

In the requirements for Amtrak at this time, there is a limit of two carry-on sized bags or one big bag. This does not include laptops and other essentials. You would have to look on the website for specific details. I personally would recommend the two small bags only if you have to. There is not a lot of room for random luggage on the train. You have the overhead racks and at your feet. This is not a lot of room for your entire closet unless it happens to be very small.

3. Wear Clothes that are warm and comfortable.

This does not mean to wear one really warm jumpsuit. There are heaters on the train. This does mean to wear layers. Here is an example of what I might personally wear on the train: Traveling Clothes.



Tight clothes are not advised if you are travelling long distances. Though leggings are tight, they are not too tight. I sometimes try to use my clothes as ways to start conversation. I like to wear a shirt that says, “Hobbits are Tolkien minorities”. So far, the shirt has not worked in starting conversation. That does not mean that I am done trying. Clothes are a thing of personal expression. Express yourself on the train.

4. Bring Activities.

The world we live in is wired. A major thing that is wired is the current access to the Internet. As of this time, a limited number of trains actually have WiFi. This is as of the current date. If you are reading this years in the future, consult the website. Since the Crescent does not have Internet, I find a variety of things to do like download podcasts, bring books, look at Arrive  that is made for Amtrak itself. My personal podcast favorites are from How Stuff Works and TED. If you do not like any of those options, you can always sleep. The conductors will make sure you do not miss your stop.

5. Be Positive.

This sounds easy. Yet, you are  travelling with humans. There is a good chance that you will not know the person sitting next to you. Do not let that ruin your experience. These are not the only trains on the track. This means stopping and waiting for track to be available. There are the little things that you can do that can help.  I have mentioned at least four.

So, here is the link to Amtrak. You can see current policies with luggage and the WiFi situation. I hope you have the chance to go on Amtrak. It is a great experience.

My Last Will and Testament

I, Anna Argot, being of sound mind and body write my last will and testament for being an Education major. This is not a poorly thought plan. This is basically a statement that is telling a lot of people about my secret. In the last semester, I changed my major. I am no longer an Education major. I will finish the rest of this year as an English major and graduate on time. Many of you will never know the details of how it happened. I just wanted to spend a couple of moments to sort of bequeath things to people. This is to have a closure in the fact of I am not doing any more of the Education Department thing.

In the order of my textbooks, I observe the right that all students have to give my textbooks to whomever I want. Those who have the textbooks can do with those textbooks as they please. I hope that I might have made life easier with a note or two that would be beneficial. I really hope that those books will help you in the future to achieve all that you want. In the order of the teaching aids, I also give them away. I do not want to say that I would never be able to use any of the teaching aids. I, again, need the closure that giving away materials will give me. I w only included those materials that I know will not be given to you by the teacher of teaching English methods. Therefore, you will not have the unfortunate circumstance of having duplicates. Also, I hope you enjoy the Common Core Standards. The standards get easier to operate the more that they are used.

To all of the students I have taught in the classroom, I hope you all take something from my lessons. I hope those English 3H students remember that conformity is not a new thing and to fight the power. Ralph Waldo Emerson would agree with Dr. Seuss when it was said that we were born to stand out. I hope the seventh and eighth graders would think with Edgar Allen Poe and explore the dark side. I have seen great potential in all of you. Do not let where you are erase what you could be. To the twelfth graders, I know that there are great things in all of you. Go beyond the basics I gave you. Travel and write. You never know if people will read what you wrote thousands of years in the future. To the eleventh graders, I hope you learn to persuade. I hope you persuade people in the future for the benefit of those people. Use all of the resources. Uses speeches, advertisement, and propaganda wisely. You never know what would happen if you decide otherwise.

To those still in the program, I know you may never read this. I just wanted to wish you the best in the rest of the journey. For some of you, the journey is at its most exciting point. Yes, I am talking about student teaching. I watched my roommate last year. It is exciting and frustrating at the same time. For the ones starting out, I hope for the best. I do not know what your journey is going to be like. I cannot say that it is easy because that is a lie. The classroom environment is one of the strangest places on the planet especially for the teacher. I wish you the best. I hope you succeed in the world. I hope that you can become the Ron Clark (or whomever else is your standard for teaching) of your own story.

To my teachers in the education department, I give the moments in class. I give those little insignificant moments that happen in class for one reason or another. I have no clue what else you would want from me. I have nothing more to give. In the end, that will be all I will have to give. My time was not wasted. Do I know how learning about Old Bloom’s and New Bloom’s will be used? In short, I have no idea how this will play out. I hope that those moments in class inspired my peers. Is that not the Christian Ethic of Care towards Colleagues? I feel nothing is going to be wasted. I can defy gravity with that knowledge.