A Visit to Salem College

This year, the theme for Salem College's Cultural Events is "How Will You Change Tomorrow?"  And yesterday, I had the great honor to be a featured presenter in that series.  What a marvelous day I had!  First of all, it was THE perfect fall day.  The air was clear and crisp, the skies bright blue, and the fall colors were outstanding.  I truly enjoyed the two and a half hour drive from Mills River to Winston-Salem.  If you've never been to Old Salem or Salem College, I recommend a visit sometime.  The old Moravian village and the campuses of Salem College and Salem Academy are just beautiful.  I love the big old brick buildings, the white clapboard houses, buildings with two story porches, the brick walkways, and all the large old trees.  There is so much history, but it's not like a museum because there are students and faculty and life all around.  Check it out sometime.

In the morning, I gave a lecture on my goldenseal research in the Chemistry department.  The room was packed with students and faculty who appeared to be quite interested in the subject (hopefully they weren't just there for the pizza!).  My hostess for the day was Dr. Nita Eschew, an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department.  She arranged for me to spend some time with one of her classes, and I truly enjoyed getting to five of her students.  We talked in the lab and then had a delicious dinner together at the Old Salem Tavern.  The five young women were all so smart, funny, and inquisitive.  They shared stories about their international trips and internships and I learned all about bouldering and parkour (I'm not going to tell you; you have to look it up).

That evening I gave a lecture on the Science and Fun of Growing Woodland Medicinals in a small auditorium in the Fine Arts Center.  The audience was diverse and included farmers, lots of enthusiastic gardeners, faculty and staff, and an herbalist or two.  They had lots of questions after the presentation, ranging from the expected about how to grow some of plants I discussed to how to get a job like mine because I seemed to be having so much fun!  After a reception, complete with Moravian sugar cookies, I got to return to my "suite" which was more like a very large, and very nicely appointed apartment.  I couldn't believe that whole place was mine for the night. 

All in all, it was a wonderful day.  It's good to get out of our own little world something and interact with people in a different environment, and spending the day at a women's liberal arts college in a beautiful historic Moravian community on a picture perfect day was a refreshing change for me.

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