Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Nashville Notes

I went to Nashville on June 25. I typed this post very early in the morning on 6/27, but I didn't feel it was finished so I never published it. Tonight, I wanted to post something so I thought I would start with this.

Before leaving on the trip, I was really wishing that I wasn't going. It's not a pleasure trip; it's for work, and I just have made it my goal to not work this summer any more than I have to. Of course, a few months ago when I agreed to attend this conference, I thought it might be fun. The last few weeks, though, I have been dreading the trip. One of the things I dreaded most was my roommate, but, to be honest, she has not been as bad as I expected. Anyway when I arrived at the airport and met the others in my group, I became some other version of me. When my roommate got out of the Suburban, she ran over to me and huggedme like were were friends, and I returned the hug in kind. Then she asked if I brought snacks for our room, and I cheesed and asked if she did. When she said no, I said something like, "Well, we will just have to buy some snacks as soon as we get to Nashville." I think I even said this in a rather Southern accents. YUCK! I am ashamed to be able to be that fake. (I was telling Valerie about this and she said that all Texas women have the ability to be this way. Maybe she's right, but I still can't stand the thought of me being so sweetly fake.)

I have never been to Nashville, never desired to come to Music City--it's been a long time since I have voluntarily listened to country music. I did go through my country music loving, two-stepping phase, but that was almost half a life ago. On Saturday afternoon, we took an hour long bus tour of the city. The coolest thing I saw was the Bicentennial Mall Park--not a shopping mall--a beautiful green space. A wall, etched with a timeline of Tennessee historical information, surrounds the inner park, and it is broken or separated only where it documents the secession during the Civil War. One of the strangest things I saw was the life-sized replica of the Parthenon, in another park in Nashville. Apparently, the founders of the city wanted it to be a center for cultural arts and thought the Parthenon replica would symbolize that desire.

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