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Birmingham-Southern Students Have a BBQ Adventure

A pretty fun and interesting story for your Friday: a group of students at Birmingham-Southern College took advantage of the school's interim studies period to travel the south in a quest to find and document the best of southern barbecue, and ended up the subjects of documentation themselves, by Associated Press no less.

The four spent January visiting some of the South's best barbecue restaurants for course credit from Birmingham-Southern College in a self-designed class that combines heaping mounds of meat with academics, all spread across five states.

They've eaten sweet sauces and dry rub, ribs and sandwiches, cole slaw, potato salad and banana pudding. "You want sweet tea with that?" a waitress asked at Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa, stop No. 17 on the journey.

After cleaning their plates and licking their fingers, the group would leave each joint with bulging bellies to document their experience with stories, photos and video posted on a blog and the Web site they built, southernbbqboys.com. Those components, along with a final essay each one is currently finishing, are being graded by the English instructor who helped them design the class.

Grades for eating? More like grades for a highly creative journalism/food blogging project, thanks to the school's tradition of granting credit to out-of-the-box student-proposed projects during a monthlong "interim" period. The boys' writing has improved, in addition to having expanded their horizons, all in the name of good grades...and, of course, barbecue.

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