The Trip That Started Out as a Whirlwind


The Philadelphia trip started off with a very bad beginning that left students wondering what the rest of the trip would be like. Would the trip continue to have a bad connotation? Would it get better? After being stuck at Blacksburg High School for almost seven hours due to a broken down bus, students only hoped that the trip would have a better conclusion than the prologue.

AP Biology and AP Environmental Science students had been planning for the best senior trip since they found out about the potential of heading north to Philadelphia. These students were ready to get out of Gaffney, a precursor to what it would feel like as they head off to college the next fall, since most of the students were seniors.

The Mutter Museum was the main attraction that drew the attentions of science teachers Farrah Bauman and Wendy Tindall to Philadelphia. The Mutter Museum contains a collection of different body parts, models, and exhibits. It is an extensive museum with many exhibits that some people may not be able to enjoy, but for a science nerd, it is perfect.

While in Philadelphia, students also visited the Eastern State Penitentiary that once housed Al Capone. It is a massive jailhouse, with guard towers that allowed the workers to see far out into the city of Philadelphia. Eastern State is considered the first true penitentiary in the world. Tourists can navigate through the different cell blocks, step inside some of the cells, see the cell where Al Capone was once held, and even see the room that death row was in. It is truly chilling to see where the foundation of American criminal justice was built.

Upon other exciting events on the trip were the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Aquarium, and the Reading Terminal Market. The market exposed all of the trip-goers to a multitude of cultures in one area.

Senior Dacy Thomas notes that her favorite part of the trip was the Mutter Museum. She says she “loved all the morbid curiosities!”

Joe Karriker shares this favorite with Dacy Thomas, quoting that “the Mutter Museum was by far my favorite. The museum was very eerie yet captivating and every exhibit peaked my interest. A spectacle not for those with a weak stomach.”

Kayleigh Harrill says her favorite part of the trip was being able to bond with her classmates. She notes that “it was bittersweet, it being our last trio as high schoolers. The long bus ride and the new experiences in a new place with them really helped me to understand just how important the people around me are in my life. I especially liked being able to see the diversity of the people in Philadelphia; this aspect of Philadelphia was very evident at the Reading Terminal Market we ate at while we were there.”

Caroline Morgan provides a different perspective on Philadelphia. She says her favorite part was “driving over the bridge into Philly every morning because we got to see the whole city, all the old architecture, and see the river.”