here’s my weekly update on all things WashU:
Monday: A soul food dinner followed by some NPR.
My Foundations in African-American Studies class invited Professor Rafia Zafar of the English and AFAS departments to speak on food and the civil rights movement. Central to our discussion was the idea of commensality, or how the ways in which we as a members of a society gather to eat around a table relate to how we view each other as people. Using Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippi to form the basis of our discussion, we considered how the decisions we make about who we let into our table and who we don’t affect our sense of solidarity and personal identity–a discussion which, when paired with the likes of mac n cheese, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cornbread, and cheesecake, made for a very memorable night, indeed.
Immediately following dinner and discussion, I shared “An Evening with Sarah Vowell” in Graham Chapel as a part of the Assembly lecture series. Known for her work on NPR’s This American Life, her appearances as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and as the voice of Violet in The Incredibles, Sarah Vowell is also an award-winning author of American history and culture, and it was fantastic to hear her reading from her work.
After a long day of class, it was wonderful to come home to the South 40 and join other like-minded gourmands for a home-cooked dinner sponsored by the Culinary Arts Society (click for link to previous post). This time, we made sweet potato casserole, Greek omelets, fruit salad, and coffee cake!
Making the night even better were the cookies and milk that followed, provided ever so graciously by our residential college’s faculty fellows–by which I mean: why yes, we do have awesome professors who live right with us in our dorms and host amazing activities like canoeing and brunch and apple cider and homemade desserts.
Wednesday: Free Bike Tune Ups!
I got my bike fixed and helped some students get theirs fixed in return at a free bike tune-up put on by St. Louis’s Big Bike Sharks and WashU’s Office of Sustainability as a part of their October Car-Free Challenge. The challenge invites members of the off-campus community to log their car-free commutes for free shirts and fun prizes, and of course to help promote alternative transportation on campus. They’re putting on oodles of other events this month, including more bike tune-ups and FixIt Station demonstrations (because we’ve just installed four free stations on campus with all the tools you need to repair an ailing bike any time of the day!) that I’ll personally be tabling at, so if you’re a WashU student/friend reading this and want to get your bike fixed (or just come visit me), you should check those out!
Thursday: Stressbusting and A-Trak!
I first gave some free back rubs as a WashU Stressbuster, and even got some in return from my fellow volunteers at an event we hosted in conjunction with (the fraternity) Kappa Sig for National Depression Screening Day and October’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. Our very own Department of Psychiatry at the WashU Med School reports that more than 17.5 million Americans are affected by some sort of depression, and that of those, 9.2 million suffer from serious or clinical depression. So even if you don’t think this issue affects you, take some time this week to learn a little more about this mental illness, because chances are someone you know may be afflicted by it!
Later in the evening, the student-run Gargoyle Committee put on their first show of the semester: a Pre-Wild party featuring (one of my favorite DJs:) A-Trak(!) along with Boombox, and American Royalty. A-Trak was in town for his Fool’s Gold House Party Tour, where he’s literally showing up to people’s houses all around the U.S. with Flosstradamus to put on crazy shows in their basements, though Flosstra actually didn’t come out for the St. Louis show (but it’s all good ’cause I saw them in D.C. this summer, so it’s not like I was missing out on anything). :)
Oh, and maybe I should mention–though the Gargoyle shows are always pretty great–that this one was especially memorable because I got to help out with set-up, snap some photos backstage, and….*drumroll please* meet A-Trak. I’ll be posting photos soon, so definitely check those out once they get here.
was tons of fun. Our headliner Wolfgang Gartner was unknown to many but I thought he put on a decent show, even for those who aren’t so into the EDM scene (and even for those who are…). Besides, what more do you need other than free froyo, veggie wraps, and a crazy lights show? (Not much more for this girl.)
That’s it for this week! Hope you enjoyed reading about the goings-on at WashU, and as always, feel free to voice any questions or concerns that you might have.
As for next week, it’s midterm crunch time followed by (an extremely necessary) fall break, so while I may not be very active on the blogosphere, after a weekend to recharge, I aim to be back (and blogging) and better than ever, so get excited for all of the fun news that’s to come!
Until next time,