This week was very exciting. I started classes and I had the privilege of hanging out with a member of my family in Washington, DC. My cousin traveled from New York to DC just to see me since she was on vacation. I was so happy to see her here in a completely different environment from Morocco. We got to visit new places, activities, and delicious food.
My cousin Salma was staying at a hotel only ten minutes away from my dorm. Our first day together, we had dinner at a burger restaurant called Shake Shack. It was delicious, especially their well-known cheese fries. Later that night, we walked around and sat by the fountain at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza. On the second day, we went to Georgetown and I was a tour guide this time as we navigated around the clothing stores and restaurants. Salma and I had Thai food for the first time near the Watergate Hotel.
Our first day of classes will always be remembered by a crazy fire alarm “May I have your attention, please. There is a fire emergency reported in the building. Please exit the building by the nearest exit. Do not use the elevator.” That was how I started my first day of class at George Washington University. We had to stand on the street so that the firefighters can enter the building. The police officers monitored the residents outside. I posted a video on my social media and people thought I was at a movie filming. The alarm started at around 4 am in the morning, so I was very tired that day.
Classes at GWU were exactly as I expected. This semester I am taking psychology, software design, stress management, golf, yoga, and cycling. I am very thrilled about my classes because they are allowing me to try new interests. I was so surprised to see my classmates which are all diverse. The professors are nice, knowledgeable, and willing to help as much as they can. The first class I went to was cycling, unfortunately, it was not outdoor cycling, but I still enjoyed getting my cardiovascular workout. The next class I had was Software Design, I was amazed by the engineering students’ high level of experience and knowledge. I also had a psychology class that I consider my favorite because of the interesting material. My golf and yoga classes are fun as well because I have never tried either of them. The stress management class is helping me learn relaxation techniques and controlling levels of stress.
On Salma’s final days in DC, we had coffee in Dupont Circle and last but not least we visited the Smithsonian National Park/Zoo. We got to see all types of animals such as elephants, pandas, lions, reptiles, and much more. I was surprised by the amount of interest people have on pandas here. I had a lot of fun exploring with my cousin Salma, it was a highlight of my week to have her here with me in Washington, DC.