CHICAGO – After the incredible success of This American Life’s Serial podcast, Random Walk co-chairs have quickly created a Random Walk Baltimore trip, an unusually late addition. This Random Walk allows First Years to travel to Baltimore County, as they fruitlessly try to solve a murder mystery case from 15 years back.
“We wanted to remain adaptable to student demand,” said a co-chair that we will call Mr. S, for reasons I promise to explain later. “Many first-years were already booking flights to Baltimore County to try to unveil new clues and meet with suspects, so we figured, why not make it a Random Walk? Ya know what I mean?”
WorldStrides was receptive to the idea, which they describe as “an excursion that immerses you to explore all that Baltimore has to offer. Day trips include attempting to draw conclusions from litter found at Leekin Park, attending AP Psychology at Woodlawn High School with Mrs. Phillips, and a possible trip to Patapsco State Park, if time allows.”
While some students might be turned off by a trip based on a podcast, the trip is designed to have a well-balanced mix of outdoor activities, shopping, and nightlife. Students will have the opportunity to attend an optional Track Practice, go shopping at the local Best Buy and spend a night, possibly partying, at Cathy’s house.
“We wanted to make sure they got an authentic experience, so all students will receive pagers and iPods filled with ‘white people music,’” added Mr. S. “To foster team-building, we have set up challenges, such as seeing how long it takes to get from Woodlawn to Best Buy, completing a cell tower ropes course, or trying to remember a minute by minute account of where they were on January 13th, 1999.”
WorldStrides originally enlisted the help of Asia McClain, a potential alibi in the case, to help with the trip. Unfortunately, for extremely unclear reasons, Asia McClain recanted her agreement to help with the trip.
Despite the difficulty with Asia, WorldStrides claims, “this will be an unforgettable trip, but it’s not like you’ll remember it vividly 15 years from now.”
Unfortunately, not many first year’s received the announcement, as it was made using MailChimp, an “online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results.”
Author Tyler Burkett is an avid listener of NPR’s This American Life and regularly tries to solve cold cases by himself.