The journey after high school is exciting but scary. I’m from a small but wonderful community in West Texas called Merkel where everyone knows your name and the majority of everything else about you. When I arrived at McMurry as a freshman in the fall of 2009 I did not expect that I would be traveling across the world during my time here, but McMurry has opened doors for me that I would have never imagined.
In my three years at McMurry I have been given wonderful opportunities with the help of my professors in the History Department and especially Rev. Bill Libby. Every professor on this campus works hard to push students to go beyond what they could have ever expected to achieve. Rev. Libby has had a major impact on my life and other students as well. I am the second student he has encouraged to travel to Israel and study. Matt Bell, a religion major from Meadow, Texas also had the opportunity to stay for two weeks in January for a course on Religion in the Middle East.
McMurry first gave me an interest of the Middle East when I found out about the archaeological dig that they participate in with Gannon University and Lubbock Christian University. During the archaeological dig the three schools partner together and dig at a Bronze-Age site near the cities of Madaba and Dhiban, Jordan. After finding out about this I went to Jordan and spent a month and was immersed in Middle Eastern culture. I traveled to Petra (the ancient city where Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed), camped with Bedouins in the Wadi Rum desert, floated in the Dead Sea, swam in the Ma’in hot springs and during my time in Jordan I fell in love with this area and its history.
Because of Rev. Libby I am traveling to the Middle East again this summer and I get the opportunity to learn from Israeli and Palestinian professors. I will be studying History and Politics of the Middle East as well as traveling to the Dead Sea, Masada, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Because of McMurry and especially Rev. Bill Libby I get to study in the Middle East over the next few weeks and I will be sharing my adventures on this blog!