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ASPIRANTES takeover the State's Capitol & FSU - A Student's Perspective

A Student Perspective of the APPLP Tallahassee Trip

(March 29, 2010- March 31, 2010)

 What an awesome experience! We were on a bus for 9 hours (and I love road trips), we had free food (Look for Super Perros when in Tallahassee), and we had a free, above-average hotel where they had free coffee, something you won't find just anywhere.  Not to mention a chat with legislators and their aides about the future of Florida's education system and a tour of the one and only home of the Seminoles - FSU!  All in all, this trip was an amazing experience that was a great way to kick off my Spring Break.

The bus coming late built up the suspense as I awaited this trip I thought would be nothing new but was interested in anyway. It finally came and I hopped on with a jacket and handbag, leaving the luggage in the bottom. Even on my way to the first stop you could NOT go hungry because they know how to feed you at ASPIRA with cookies, muffins, brownies and little buns with filling in the middle which could make the Pillsbury Doughboy jealous. We had the movie "Cellular" keep the social caterpillars busy and the chatterboxes kept themselves occupied getting to know their fellow Aspirantes. We had comfortable chairs and some had our own pillows so some went to sleep; some drooled while they were at it! I was too busy with some books and a movie to chatter away at first but eventually got bored and got to know some Palm Beach and North Aspirantes.

When we got to the hotel, we settled down and went to dine at Super Perros where a fundraiser was held for us. It's a Colombian place with hot-dogs on the menus (Perros=Dogs) and every kind of juice from mandarin to classic Florida OJ. We met a few college students who gave us a heads up of what to expect the following day at FSU and once we hit college. They gave great advice from experience and the heart and were kind enough to sponsor the fundraiser and share some jokes and stories with us. Some even went to some of our high schools!

 We went to the Capitol building the next day and were inspected liketallahassee trip web 1 at an airport and took pictures with the graceful dolphin statues on the fountain outside the building. We were a bit behind on time so we rushed through the halls to see many others rushing through, too. We saw the elephants a proud Republican had in his room though the slower folk, myself included, wondered for a while what elephant pictures were doing in tallahassee trip web 6an office building! We met the representatives' aides and saw how easy it was to get an internship with so much work to be done and how much help our legislators need from us to express our opinions! A private conference with a few legislators was the highlight of the political aspect of our trip because we learned about the controversial merit-based teacher pay bill, Senate Bill 6 and the other bills like Senate Bill 4 which determines your credit in Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Biology and Chemistry on one end of the year test. The law makers need to know our opinions in order to represent us; to do so visit: myfloridahouse.gov or myfloridasenate.gov.

tallahassee trip web 3               tallahassee trip web 5

Later, we went to FSU home of the Seminoles! This university is atallahassee trip web 7 work hard, party all night later school. It has buses to take you to entertainment in and out of and dorms in the university. It has an enormous football stadium and warrior Seminole statue, a circus, public speakers, a staff/student ratio of about 1:10 and a variety of studies. It has different housing options for different types of people and has security measures in case you feel threatened. The food is very diverse from Pollo Tropical to Chili's and some people have a "healthy meal" plan to maintain fitness tallahassee trip web 8and balance in their diet. The teachers and students have a very strong relationship in most cases and there are many people from outside the country and state. Studying abroad is another option and they have athletic opportunities as well. It's a sunny place with nice grass and made of mostly bricks; a beautiful sight to see. There we got to tour with some college students to see these great places and then to have a one on onetallahassee trip web 10 presentation of the problems in the high school to colleges transition and how to choose the right college. There are many fraternities and sororities, extra-curricular activities and sports available as well. FSU.edu and FSU.com have a better and more detailed description of my fuzzy memory's depiction of the place and opportunities.

                

The last day was a sad one. We had to leave the nice hotel and free food luxuries we had enjoyed so much. We played video games in the hotel and watched TV but sadly had to go. The upside was that our wonderful bus driver Mr. Tim recommended a scrumptious restaurant with a crazy chicken picture and a national game show option to play trivia games while we ate. Ms. Indira and myself decided to sneak away some dessert of a chocolatetastic cake with ice cream that we do not regret getting, as much as it hurt our aching tummies. We then returned to the bus where conversation was more lively since we now we were leaving each other for a long time in some cases or in others because we felt like talking. We didn't even pay attention to the movie with all the chit chat, August Rush. This was the worst part of the trip, leaving! This is what you can look forward to, most likely an even better trip, next year if you go.

We want to thank Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc for hosting us at FSU (along with the other Latino student group representatives). We appreciate your thoughtfulness and the effort you put in to make sure us Aspirantes not only had an enjoyable time, but (more importantly) an educational one! Gracias Hermanas de SIA!

-Pedro Enamorado

North Miami Senior High, 10th grade, ASPIRA Leadership Club President