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Winter Term Experience of Three 2010 Graduates is Subject of Chicago Tribune Piece

March 27, 2011

92524March 27, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — An essay published in today's Chicago Tribune recounts the Winter Term 2010 experience of three DePauw University then-seniors -- Keith Chapman, Wicks Barkhausen and Ted Jacobi -- who spent the month of January traveling across the United States by train.  Chapman (pictured at left), who authored the piece, writes, "The three of us, all seniors at DePauw University, in Greencastle, Ind., had January off from school, so we decided that this was our chance to circumnavigate the country -- well, sort of. We would pass through 26 states of it. Many people spend a lifetime visiting that many states; we would do it in 25 days."

Chapman adds, "Friends and family claimed that even if the stars did align and Amtrak managed to run on time, the three of us would still be returning to Chicago on the first flight out of Seattle, cursing the slow and outdated mode of rail travel. High-speed rail it is not ... While many of our friends would use this month off to tour Europe, we were paying tribute to our great nation. It was as if we were connecting with our own history, heading 92523west by using the same method of travel as so many generations before us." (at right: Jacobi, Barkhausen and Chapman on Wall Street in New York, one of the stops on their January 2010 journey)

At the end of the trip, Chapman recalls, "It was an odd feeling, to have viewed the territory so tediously and thoroughly and yet not be able to fathom and appreciate what we had just done. As we stood at the platform, having run out of things to say, Wicks broke the silence: 'I guess the maps don't lie. It is all out there.' If anything, this trip had confirmed that. It was an even stranger feeling, though, to have another unexpected thought crawl into my mind: I had a strong hunch that, after this, my next trip would be by train."

You'll find the complete essay -- "Around the nation in 25 days" -- at the Tribune's website.

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