Archive for March, 2010

1st Annual International Food Festival!

March 28th, 2010

Well, I don’t know about you, I’m quite pleased with how my first weekend back from spring break is going!  Yes, it’s true on Friday that I did sit in the Library until it closed at 10pm, and then migrated to Lowry Center to work some more until 11pm but I am proud of the work I accomplished that night.  I’m also happy with all the stuff I managed to get done during the day on Saturday.  It was crazy how busy EVERYONE seemed to be even though it was IS week and the seniors generally don’t do a whole lot of stuff.

I’m a TA for the Peace Studies class this semester, and they have a big paper due tomorrow, so I spent a good chunk of time Friday afternoon meeting with students and going over what they were going to write about.  Basically, the students are focusing on one particular country that they picked at the start of the semester, and they are researching the current state of violence in this country as well as the history of violence in the country.  The paper concludes with their personal vision for what peace would look like in this country.  I was quite impressed with the amount of work that the students who’ve come to see me have done.  They had some really good questions, and I think they’ll do a nice job.

Saturday night, my brain was so fried I couldn’t do any work, so I  went to see the Saakumu Dance troupe perform in McGaw Chapel.  It was fun, interactive concert full of dancing, singing, and all sorts of wonderful music from all over Ghana.  I could swear though that I’ve seen this troupe perform in Vermont before because the leader seemed so familiar.

Today, the International Student Association held the 1st International Food Festival.  Wooster students cooked food from Spain, Argentina, Burma, The Netherlands, Texas, Lebanon, India, Japan, Egypt, and Jamaica.  We had judges tasting the food, and over 100 people showed up!  We actually ran out of drinks, which was good because that means we got more people than expected!  We just had a lot of really nice feedback and a lot of people really enjoyed it.  So, now you can start planning for next year’s 2nd International Food Festival!!

Spring Break Part 1: Chorus Tour

March 24th, 2010

Wow, I’m sorry everyone for the two-week absence.  I know I promised to post every week, but I’ve been on Spring Break!  Not the wild, party strewn spring breaks in the Caribbean that get publicized way to much for their own good, but (in my opinion) a trip much more satisfying and mentally stimulating.  Unlike most schools, Wooster is super cool and gives us two whole weeks of spring break.  I spent the first week traveling to Washington DC with the Wooster Chorus, stopping each night in a different town to perform a concert.  We stopped in Pittsburg, Lancaster, and Wayne, PA, Dale City, VA, and Pikesville and Bethesda MD.  At each venue, we performed at a church, and then members of the church would host us at their homes for the night.  We had a free day in Washington DC on Thursday, and I spent the entire day running around the downtown area trying to get to as many tourist spots as was humanly possible.  As you can see in the pictures below, I had quite a good time at the Botanical Gardens, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol.

It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work, and we spent a the first part of this semester preparing for this concert.  We sing all our music memorized (except this one song this year that was just insanely long!).  This year I thought we had a wide variety music represented in our concert.  We sang a few songs in languages other than English.  I really liked that because the languages we sang in were not very common.  One song was in Ladino ( a language spoken by the Sephardic Jews in the Middle Ages) and a Venezuelan indigenous dialect.  We sang music by contemporary composers like Eric Whitacre, and classical composers like J.S. Bach.  I just had a wonderful time, and it was a privilege and an honor to be able to perform so many times for so many people.  I was truly touched by their outstanding comments at the receptions after each concert.  I am also extremely grateful for everyone who opened their homes to us and gave us a dry, warm bed to sleep in each night… well, except that one couple… haha, only joking.  Seriously, the home stays were all amazing.  You just get to meet so many interesting people, not to mention, you get to spend the night in some really cool houses!

Okay, I’m going to sign off for now, because I’m about ready to fall asleep, and it’s only 10:00pm!  But stay tuned for my next installment of Spring Break Part 2: West Virginia, the must-see sequel 🙂

3 Days and Counting…

March 2nd, 2010

Well, it is almost spring break!  I must tell you that the last couple of weeks has not been the most pleasant for me, or for most of my peers here at Wooster.  You see, in the two weeks or so leading up to spring break, all the professors decide that it would be a really, really good idea to give their class a midterm, or a big paper, or a project, something that will keep us nice and stressed out for a few days so we can better enjoy our two weeks of freedom in the middle of March.  Actually, what happened to me this week was that all the papers and midterms that I was supposed to have this week have been turned into take home exams due after spring break.  Great.  Although I dislike feeling stressed out about papers and tests during the week, I hate being stressed out about those same things while on vacation even more.  I’m not being completely honest though.  I was overjoyed to find that I had two more weeks to work on these assignments because right now, my spring break plans have me all frazzled.

This first week of spring break I have the honor of traveling with the Wooster chorus through Pennsylvania, Virginia, and into Washington DC, performing a glorious selection of choral music.  Each day we will travel to a new town, where we will be performing a concert.  We get a free day to relax in Washington DC at the end of the week.  I”m very excited because my grandparents and my mom’s cousin are coming to see my concert in Pittsburg!  My mother was also a member of the Wooster chorus back in the day, so the Chorus has always had special significance to my family.  I shall have a fun, albeit exhausting, first week of spring break.

Yes, I said “first week” because Wooster is awesome and gives the students a whopping two whole weeks of spring break.  For the second week I will be going to West Virginia on a community service project, I hope.  You see, I have been planning this trip since school started back in September.  Yes, that’s right, September.  I’m the treasurer for the International Student Association (ISA) on campus.  Last year, the ISA collaborated with Circle K International, and the Wooster Volunteer Network and took a group of 29 students (plus one adult reflection leader) on a wonderful service trip to Montgomery, West Virginia.  This year, the ISA wanted to continue this tradition because we felt it was an excellent way for International Students to meet domestic students, and not only see more of the US, but become more socially engaged with different communities.  I volunteered to handle the planning, but missed deadlines and apparent lack of commitment by the participants caused myself and others to consider canceling the trip altogether.  This is not at all what I want to do.  It is not fair to the students who really want to go; it is not fair to the organization we’re working with who are really looking forward to our work.  However, it is not fair to the people of West Virginia to bring a group that is not committed to the service they will be doing.  So, we’re having a mandatory meeting tonight, and afterward I’ll make the call.  I really, really hope it works out.  I will remain positive however, and hope for the best!  I’ve got to go now, I need to go to chorus rehearsal and get ready for the Chorus tour! 🙂