VSA allows students to sleep in until noon on Sundays. There are no activities planned for Sunday mornings, unless you count breakfast. But ILC students are always supposed to be productive! So, since Ms. Kronenberg was in town, we decided to have breakfast together at that Pancake Pantry Ms. Bulls had wanted to go to for about a week. We had high expectations for this eatery since the line can reach around the corner of the restaurant and down the street. We all climbed into the car and headed out at around 7 in order to beat the rush of people. Again, “early bird gets the worm” seems to fit for everything now. We got a table, and didn’t have to wait at all. I ordered scrambled eggs, hash browns, and buttermilk pancakes. The pancakes were pretty good, but not astoundingly phenomenal like the line suggests. Ms. Kronenberg thinks it may just be the hype that makes it so crowded.
Kye, Julia, and I talked about our classes and the material we are learning. We told them about the students in our class and in the program. We learned that other college summer programs have thousands of students, but VSA only has 133. College applications and essays were also discussed over our breakfast of pancakes.
Breakfast didn’t take too long, and we still had about 3 hours until noon. The three of us teens passed out in the car since we only got 6 or so hours of sleep the night before. We woke up occasionally to see the Grand Ole Opry, and the mall that famously flooded by a nearby river and has yet to be reopened since the incident.
We ended up going to the Hermitage in Nashville, which is the plantation and mansion of former president Andrew Jackson. The property is huge, with about 1000 acres. We saw the inside of his house, which is just beautiful. The wallpaper was imported from France in honor of his wife, that depicts Greek mythology that shows a story as you walk through the house. His original furniture is still in the house. We passed by the rooms in which he and his family slept, and even the bed in which he died in (R.I.P.).
The outside tour consists of the “backyard” area where the slaves stayed and the chores were being done. The cotton plants, though they do not still exist on the property today, were mostly in the front yard, and far in the backyard. The gorgeous garden that was created for his wife is also home to the cemetery where both he and his wife are buried under a gazebo. To the side, a cemetery holds the remains of his family members. It's nice to visit these historical landmarks. When I visited the Hermitage, I couldn't help but think, Andrew Jackson climbed these stairs, Andrew Jackson sat right there in that chair, Andrew Jackson walked these same trails.
We said goodbye to Ms. Kronenberg who is flying out tomorrow morning. We met up with our proctor group and ate a lunch of deli sandwiches and fries.
VSA planned a carnival for the afternoon. It was outside on one of the many fields at Vanderbilt. There were games like Frisbee, tug-of-war, dodge ball, croquet, racquetball, a potato-sack race, and soccer. They had activities like face painting, chalk drawing, and water fights as well. There were snow cones, popcorn, and great music. But best of all, there was a dunk tank just for the proctors! We participated in mostly all of the activities and games, and had a great time. The only little downside was getting bitten quite a lot by mosquitoes, but they seem to be infatuated with me wherever I go, so sadly, I’m getting used to always getting bitten. It’s not cool that just as my other bites are disappearing, I’m getting new ones.
Dinner was hosted by the Dean of the Commons, who lives in a pretty large house right next door to Hank Ingram, our dorm building. We dressed up and went to the barbeque in his backyard, which surprisingly fit all of us. Burgers and hotdogs were the only main dish being served. Ahhh, the struggles of being a pollo-pescatarian (yes, that is a real thing). I ended up asking the chef for a veggie burger so I wouldn’t go hungry. I have never had a whole veggie burger before, only a little bite-sized sample from Costco. Honestly, the veggie burger wasn’t that bad, and I didn’t end up going hungry! We also had some peach cobbler, which was sweet and tasty.
I’m planning on relaxing in my room with Julia while watching a movie on Netflix. I am definitely going to get some sleep before class tomorrow. The school week starts once again!