Honors class takes trip to JFK museum


Students from the John V. Roach Honors College visited the Sixth Floor Museum to gain a background on the story surrounding the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Ronald Pitcock, a professor in the Honors College, took his U.S. Cultural Memory II classes to the Sixth Floor Museum Saturday morning in hopes of giving his students a better understanding of their upcoming assignment.

According the Sixth Floor Museum website, the museum was created to help explain the events involved with the assassination as well as the effects they have had on society.

The students will be reading the novel Libra, written by Don DeLillo, as a part of their coursework, Pitcock said. The novel covers the life of the suspected killer Lee Harvey Oswald.

“We’re reading it as a way of talking about how history can be created by multiple narratives,” Pitcock said. “Having a general understanding of the JFK assassination is key to understanding this book.”

At the Sixth Floor Museum, the students looked at and listened to information about President Kennedy’s life and assassination, Pitcock said.

Outside the museum, the class took a special “conspiracy” tour from a local Dallas man named Scott, one of several individuals who regularly provide an unofficial perspective on the events of Nov. 22, 1963. He described what he thought happened and who he thought was involved.

Manoj Chelvanambi, a sophomore biology major in the class said it’s important to understand both sides of the story.

“I think it’s always good to have a background,” Chelvanambi said. “Going into the book with an idea of what is officially released by the government, and also what is the local consensus of the people, will help to understand the book.”

Charlie Ruff, a sophomore biochemistry major, said the trip was informative and gave him an overall understanding of Oswald’s story.

Pitcock sees the trip as not only a good way to receive some learning outside of the classroom, but as a way to truly prepare the students for the upcoming novel.

“The students enjoy it,” said Pitcock. “And it’s really helpful for a lot of students to have this experience.”