Life just moves so quickly at WashU that my poor blog can barely keep up with all that’s been going on. I’ll try to do more in-depth coverage eventually, but for now here are some brief updates on my life:
I explored Tower Grove, home of St. Louis’ international cuisine, and Cherokee Street, home of the St. Louis arts scene. I had an amazing all-you can eat vegan brunch at Black Bear Bakery, vegan ice cream at IScreamCakes (ice cream store owned and operated by a WashU alum!), and ended the day with (more vegan) Ethopian food at Meskerem. Did I mention that I became a vegan this summer? Thankfully, eating vegan at WashU is a piece of (vegan?) cake. Remind me, if I forget, to write about eating with special dietary needs later, because it is 1) made so remarkably easy to do here that I should write about it and give credit where it’s due to the nutritionists at WashU and 2) might be useful to anyone reading this who is a) a prospective student b) likes to eat or c) both, maybe.
Did some career-planning with the help of the International & Area Studies Department and Robert Sorensen, a visiting lecturer from the State Department. He gave great advice on life in the Foreign Service and what the State Department looks for when hiring potential employees (hint: if you speak Arabic, you’re set for life).
I fasted for the first-ever Fast-a-thon, hosted by the Muslim Students Association of WashU, where students pledged to abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset to raise money for the St. Louis food bank. I suffered through just one day of hunger to raise awareness of the lives of others who go hungry every day in our community, ending the night with reflection and a wonderful breaking the fast together with old and new friends and some amazing Lebanese food from The Vine (also from Tower Grove!).
I cooked dinner with the Culinary Arts Society at WashU! CAS is a led by a group of students who invite students to join them for dinner once every two weeks in the South 40 and revel in the joy of cooking. Out of the 300 people on their mailing list, I was one of the lucky 25 who hit ‘reply’ fast enough to join the dinner. Our theme this time was Campfire, and we made Nutella smores, among other delicious treats.
My Roomate Jamie and I (even though she is no longer actually my roommate, we still spend inordinate amounts of time together) won the gym challenge! The South 40 Gym was hosting a competition where groups of two would sign up, pledging to work out together 10 times in three weeks. Not only did we work out ten times, we finished first and won a free massage from the fitness center to boot! I can’t wait for my appointment. Those ladies (licensed massage therapists) who work at our gym are ah-mah-zing, and their talents will be much, much appreciated after the rigors of midterms.
I had some great cookies, coffee, and conversation at Why We Need Philosophy, one of the discussions hosted by WashU student group Controversy ‘n Coffee, which brings together students, faculty, and community leaders together to discuss pressing social and political issues in a multidisciplinary manner.
GOOGLE CAME TO WASHU!
One of their recruiters visited our campus career center to discuss internship and job opportunities! It was a lot of fun speaking to them, even if the chance of me getting a job with them is close to…..negative zero
Friday was a morning of classes, an afternoon of French cheese and crackers (…and an illuminating presentation on the medieval roots of France’s current relationship with the Middle East hosted by the French department), and an evening of yoga and karma-free vegetarian food provided by the Bhakti Yoga Club, ending with an awesome Poetry Slam at Ursa’s hosted by our very own WUSlam.
I worked a shift for WashU’s Campus Kitchen, an amazing organization that I am super excited to get more involved with this semester. I made strawberry muffins for kids in the Alberti Program, another awesome organization that, if I only had time, I would get involved with too!
On a completely different note, I also became a Stressbuster! It’s a community health initiative run by Student Health Services that trains and dispatches teams of students to provide free five-minute backrubs and wellness information at community events, programs and meetings, in residence halls and wherever else the stressed gather. I went to a training session today that certifies me to unleash my new backrub skills on the entire student campus (but only on approved Stressbusters events, of course).
Today I just did some homework, practiced some English with my TeachESL tutee, and had a dozen cookies delivered to my dorm from Dough to Door*…nothing that eventful, really….
*exactly what it sounds like. It’s a store located just north of WashU’s campus that delivers cookies right to your door…