Today was pretty awesome. All three of the speakers – Dr. Paul Lisnek, Professor Coleman McCarthy, and Mr. Robert Pruitt – were amazing. I felt like the session with Mr. Pruitt really brought the whole group together.

The “snap cup” during TA meeting was the highlight of my day. “Snap Cup” is when everybody writes something nice about every other person in the group on slips of paper, and the slips of paper are put into a cup where they are mixed up and read aloud.

— Colleen B, Silver Spring, MD

Today we went to Baltimore harbor! We went down into the Indian festival nearby. The culture there was amazing: from the colorful skirts and outfits to the music being played live and books being passed out. We enjoyed the sights and smells of the free buffet feast. Then we got a henna tattoo to remember the time we spent there. It was my favorite part of the harbor experience. Later we walked by the water and watched the paddle boaters. They had dragon ones! Then we went to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe where we had to be careful eating and not mess up our new tattoos. The burgers were awesome. Then we explored the Barnes and Nobles. It was the biggest i’ve ever seen! Then we had to board the buses and head back. It was another fun day at NSLC!

— Arden P, Lantana, TX

I’ve been here for a week and today was the breaking point when I realized: Why not go all out and be comfortable with people who treat me with respect! I’m awkward and everyone in my TA group knows I’m clumsy. But for me to get up and dance (I realized later), I got more out of my shell. That’s a lesson that will always stay in my memory.

— Danni W, Brandon, MS

Today was just plain awesome. Despite the fact that I was tired, I really enjoyed the first couple speakers and thought it was way cool about all of their accomplishments and how inspiring they were. Mr. Pruitt, though, was probably one of the most inspirational and awesome speakers of my life. He was absolutely amazing and I respect every single thing he said.

Arlington Cemetery was very moving and I loved Baltimore Harbor and the shopping. I also love everyone in my TA group and I’m going to miss everyone so much. This has been an awesome experience!

— Hannah M, Milford, IA

Mr. Pruitt was awesome! I have never met someone that can move everyone in the room – make them dance, bawl tears and then smile beyond measure all at the same time in only two hours. Serious mood swings, but great.

Then it was off to Arlington Cemetery, which created a serious mood. It was wonderful seeing all the veterans and adopters of veterans in t-shirts that read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran”. It was very moving.

Baltimore was nice for me because it’s my home sweet home.

Busy day but best day ever!

— Shannon C, Catonsville, MD

Today was a very hustling day. Being a “lion”, I felt as if I didn’t have time to think since I found myself just trying to get things done and on time. The morning was spent running around. We had three guest speakers, all of which were very inspiring and had many things to teach us. Mr. Pruitt was surprisingly very fun and very inspiring. After, we went to Arlington Cemetery and saw the Kennedy grave stones. Anyway, I spent the ride home talking to Hannah, and it was so interesting hearing her talk about Iowa, as it is very different to my life in New York. I love my TA group.

— Katrina B, Commack, NY

We went to the Arlington Cemetery after a seminar on peace with the very Professor McCarthy, but I did get to thank a veteran. It was kind of awkward because the veteran and I stared at each other for a few seconds before I reached out to shake his hand, but it was a sentimental moment. It was pure like a lot of life isn’t when I got to thank him for serving the country.

— Yaling C, Randolph, NJ