Cotton and LSU
by: Emma Hoversten
Welcome to “Death Valley”
by: Crystal Jones
Welcome to Louisiana State University, the home of the Baton Rouge Fighting Tigers! As an SEC Conference fan myself, I was extremely excited to spend my afternoon at the home of Death Valley and “Mike the Tiger.” Our afternoon began with a tour of the Land Grant University that houses over 28,000 undergrad and graduate students.
The college was originally founded as a military institution in 1853 and is often referred to as “LSU” instead of its actual title, the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. While, the campus continues to house a variety of agricultural pursuits, the college was unofficially renamed the Louisiana State University to reflect the other areas of study at the college.
Notable stops on the tour included a stop to The LSU Museum of Natural History, a visit to Tiger Stadium, aka “Death Valley”, and a home-style crawfish broil at the campus home of the Louisiana FFA. Hosting a collection of mammals, insects, and birds native and foreign to the state of Louisiana, the primary attraction within the LSU Museum of Natural History is the taxidermy figure of “Mike I.” Mike is the name of the LSU tiger mascot. Apparently the only live college mascot, the University is now hosting Mike XI. On the route to Tiger Stadium, our group took a peak at the LSU Law School, Memorial Tower, and heard a few ghost stories about Pleasant Hall, one of the former residence halls on campus. Finally, as the 80 degree weather started to feel a little uncomfortable, we reached my favorite part of the tour!
The 1958, 2003, and 2007 National NCAA Football Champions, the LSU Fighting Tigers have played some extremely intense games in their legendary stadium, known as “Death Valley.” Currently undergoing some expansion, it is easy to see that fans of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) are not messing around. Football is serious business down here. Across the street from Tiger Stadium stands the less notable Pete Maravich Assembly Center. This building, shaped like a giant spaceship, is home to LSU’s basketball program where famous NBA player Shaquille O’Neal played his college games.
To round out our tour around the LSU campus and agricultural centers, we ended up at the “Old Forestry Building” where the Louisiana FFA calls home. Here we were greeted with a real southern welcome – a crawfish broil. Bright red in color, the crawfish comes out of the boiling water pretty much the same as it went in – tiny pinchers, small beady black eyes, and a crunchy shell. Served with a side of chicken or sausage jambalaya, the crawfish served as a spicy challenge for many of us northerners. It takes a twist, a pry, and a pull to get the tiny amount of fleshy meat from the tail of the crawfish. With a taste similar to shrimp, the lure of the crawfish actually comes from the spices that it is soaked with. Let’s just say the LSU students warned us not to touch our face or eyes if we wanted to avoid a nasty spicy-eyes surprise.
“Pitch Perfect” and Other High Notes
by: Amy Grotsun
I love Pitch Perfect. This movie is one of my favorites and it is easily quoted in daily life. What does this have to do with Louisiana? Well before today I did not think there was any connection, however my mind was blown today when our wonderful tour guide, Bradley Coleman, informed us of a fun fact about the Louisiana State University campus. This fun fact is that two scenes of Pitch Perfect were filmed on this campus. We got the opportunity to see where the scene of the A Capella choir initiation night was filmed. Our group had fun standing on these benches, quoting the movie, taking pictures, and calling friends to make them jealous of our location. I may consider transferring schools just so I can say I go to school where part of Pitch Perfect was filmed.