|Governor's Scholars look for alligators in the sewers
Students take part in class on urban legends
RELEASED: July 25, 2001
DANVILLE, KYYou may have heard the one about refraining from flashing your car lights back at someone if you're flashed because it's a gang ritual. Or not to eat certain candy and drink a soft drink at the same time or you'll combust. And everyone seems to know the timeless classics such as not letting a black cat cross your path, being sure not to walk under a ladder, or not to crack a mirror.
Governor's Scholar Program students are learning how urban legends come to be and some of their characteristics in the class "Alligators in the Sewers."
The class of 17 GSP members has taken several field trips to do research on urban legends. The students have researched stories surrounding Centre College, Danville, Perryville and Shakertown. They've come across stories involving these places, some being ghost stories.
"The students really like to uncover a lot of the stories," said Scott Kelley, who teaches the class. "They always have a lot of questions. They really enjoyed the trip to Perryville. We found out a lot of things about the battle there and stories about the buildings."
Kelley, an English teacher at Wayne County High School in his first year as a teacher at GSP, said urban legends have always interested him and that's why he decided to teach the two-day-a-week class. Kelley and his students are preparing a book about what they discovered called "Untruthitudes and Falsities." The book will contain illustrations of the areas they studied and it will even have urban legends the students created using their research. Copies of the book will be given to Grace Doherty Library, the Danville Public Library, the Governor's Scholars Program and to the class.
While half the class worked on the book, the other students developed a Web site (http://gspcentre.tripod.com) on their findings. Visit the Web site to see some of the legends from Centre, Shakertown and Perryville.
"One of the more interesting things we discovered from the research is that some of the urban legends were real events. Some you thought were too strange or too far out there, but they ended up being actual events," Kelley said.
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