Before classes started, I was so enthusiastic about my GWU life – I was more than ready to excel in academics, to join local GWU clubs, to travel around the city, and to search for good restaurants (which is the greatest passion of mine). However, right at this point when I am done with my first week of school, I realized that such ideal life is hard to pursue.
The biggest limitation I face is that classes are so intense, especially because of the extraordinary amount of readings professors require. I am taking five courses in which all of the professors casually claimed that they were expecting more readings than the average classes. My initial attempt to do the readings for all the classes failed from the very first day, and I guess my need for academics help center, which I thought I wouldn’t really have to visit, is increasing at an exponential rate.
However, I was captivated by the atmosphere of the classes. I am not saying that one is better than another, but the class style of my home institution and that of GWU are so different. At my home institution, professors mainly held lectures that were primarily composed of explanations. Even though they did receive question, they considered information/knowledge transfer more important than the discussion amongst students. However, all of my classes at GWU are discussion oriented, which makes doing the assigned readings important. Assuming that the students have already done the reading, professors expect students to discuss the readings and integrate what they learned from what they already know. I was astonished by the amount of knowledge the students have, and how they don’t really appear so shy in front of a lot of people.
During the weekend, I visited Smithsonian Portrait Museum in D.C. The museum wasn’t merely about portraits, but had remarkable artworks from different periods of time. The explanations of each artworks were written in such a neat and comprehensive manner, so that I didn’t know time had passed by so quickly by the time I exited. My favorite place was the president’s gallery, which contained portraits and detailed explanations of previous presidents. This is a picture of my at the entrance of the gallery, with the portrait of George Washington, the first president of United States.