The first week at GW, otherwise known as syllabus week, was nothing short of amazing. Not only do some classes run short, it is also a welcome week filled with exciting activities such as Sports Fair, Org Fair, and Fall Fest. It was also a week of discovering the American learning style, which has smaller classes and somewhat compulsory attendance. The lectures and tutorials structure is replaced by a small seminar-style class that occurs twice a week. One thing remains unchanged and that is the skyrocket prices of textbooks here that are comparable to the prices back home, but at least the textbook rental is cheap. I also love the free gym membership provided to students at the Lerner Health & Wellness Center. It was rather packed for a Friday morning but there were plenty of equipment to be shared around.
I also caught the last Jazz in the Garden on the Friday at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. It was also the day I discovered the spectacular D.C. sunsets. Purple, orange, yellow painted across the sky. People slowed down their pace, paused, to take in the colors that seemed to be too unreal for this world. This was also the time I fell in love with D.C. and all its beauty.
Another highlight of the week would be the 15th Annual Page to Stage performing arts festival held at The John F. Kennedy Center. The Brave Soul Collective gave an insight into the Black Lives Matter movement as well as highlighting issues faced by Black LGBTQI communities. The moving performance was followed by a standing ovation from the crowd. Coming from Australia which has a very low population of people from an African background, these issues are often not highlighted in mainstream media. In the coming months, I endeavor to learn more regarding the issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequity that exists in America.
The weekend was complete with a brunch at Ambar and a visit to the markets of Eastern Market on Sunday. I bought two George Orwell books from Capitol Hill Books for $8 and fresh peaches from the market. We followed the sound of jazz and enjoyed the antiques and art along the way. On Monday, we paid a visit to the Air and Space museum as well as the American Indian museum. We were overly ambitious and walked a bit too much and realized that visiting two museums in a day is nearly impossible. Just hope that I won’t be too tired for class tomorrow!