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Day 16: Las Vegas

By Tyler Worobow:

We started off the day with a choice of either waking up a little earlier and going to a sit-down breakfast buffet or getting to sleep a little later and going to a coffee shop.

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After everyone finished what they had chosen, we took a short bus ride to the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas. At the academy, Yesenia Trujillo, the Outreach Coordinator of the academy, gave us a tour of the facility. During the tour we got to see the mock rooms that the guest room attendant students practice cleaning on. It was very interesting because they have a variety of different rooms that are exact replicas of hotels such as the Bellagio and the MGM Grand. These hotels donate the mock rooms so that they can hire the most efficient workers that will not have go through training, which saves these hotels money. The academy also offered a citizenship program. The chef classes are also very unique and effective because the academy has a real restaurant open to the public that the students cook for. Yesenia also talked to us about the benefits that hotel workers in the union get, such as higher wages and benefits for their families. After getting a tour, we discussed labor unions in America as a group. We talked about the pros and cons of workers wanting to be in unions and of businesses wanting to hire unionized workers. We also discussed the living wage vs. the actual minimum wage and whether we thought the government should raise it, and Billy went around and told us what they were in each of our counties.

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Once we left the Culinary Academy, we excitedly headed to lunch. We enjoyed a West Coast delicacy, In-n-Out Burger. We then went to meet with Danny Tarkanian, who is running for congress and is the son of longtime UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. We discussed many different issues with him such as secure borders, refugees, and gun rights. A main theme of the talk was big government and what the role of the federal government actually should be. When asked a question about the minimum wage, which we had talked about earlier in the day, he said that he was one of the few Republicans who was actually in favor of raising it because it would incentivize people to look for work rather than receive welfare. He also gave us his definition of the Tea Party, which he described as a group of conservatives who came together because they were sick of both of the two main parties. Mr. Tarkanian told us that the main principle of the Tea Party, for him, is to stay within the budget and not spend more than what is made. His opponent in the election is interestingly a female rabbi.

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After the serious issues, we were given some downtime to relax in our nice Vegas hotel. We were able to swim, bowl, watch movies or just chill in the hotel rooms. In those hours of down time we also were given money to eat in the food courts of the hotel. We then got to go to the Luxor to see the Blue Man Group, which was very entertaining and fun. It was amazing to watch a group of three men capture the audience’s attention without speaking at all. Billy teaches us a lot about how body language tells the whole story and how nonverbal communication is just as important as speech, and the Blue Man Group was a perfect example of this lesson.