Very white, indeed. When I landed in Toronto last Wednesday night I was confronted by a huge dose of nostalgia. The orange sky at night, the bitter wind, icicles dangling from Gothic eaves, bare trees dotting an empty snowy park…it was like being in Chicago ten years ago.
And all the while Alexandre Desplat’s beautiful score for the film Birth haunted every moment. As you can tell from my photographs, I definitely had my undergraduate memories, as well as the film’s opening scene, in mind. But it was not all a sappy memory fest. I actually saw stuff and went places. Here are some highlights:
1. The Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Even though it seems politically incorrect, given India’s struggle for independence during the twentieth century, I really enjoyed this exhibition. There was a Rolls Royce Phantom on display, as well as jewels, saris, and large-scale paintings. This was all together a wonderful display of this culture’s often baroque sensibilities.
2. Falafel, everywhere! I’m a few meals away from becoming a full-fledged vegetarian (something born more out of a fascination with vegetables, fruit, and beans than any political motivation) so the abundance of Middle Eastern eateries was very welcome.
3. The artist talk by Shary Boyle. I probably should’ve mentioned this earlier but I was in Toronto for a symposium. (My first international one!) And Toronto-based artist Shary Boyle was our keynote speaker. She started working with porcelain about a decade ago and actually learned it from hobbyists rather than art school. She shared a funny anecdote about one time when she was working on a figurine. The mature woman mentoring her couldn’t understand why Boyle insisted on deliberately placing the figurine’s arm the wrong way. But Boyle eventually convinced her that this was the look she was going for.
4. Wow, I was in Canada! Even though the flight from Chicago was only an hour long, I felt as though I was in a different country. The architecture, streetcars, cultural diversity, and friendliness were very impressive. My Chilean cousins always ask me why South Park mocks Canadians and I never really knew why. Now I understand that it’s most likely rooted in jealousy. Though their winters, despite my nostalgia, become unbearable after a few days.
I’ll admit it. Today was one of the most challenging days I’ve had in a long time. Mentally. Emotionally. Technologically…
Last semester, I applied for Teach for America. On Tuesday, I found out that I was accepted and placed in Houston, teaching grades 4-8th. This is exactly what I wanted! I was a little worried I wouldn’t get in, but I prayed during my interview that if it was God’s will that I would get accepted. And I did! So did a few of my friends:
I’m very excited that these awesome people got in too!
I missed a few people:
Micheala Gibbs, Britnie Franklin, Kopoa Keculah, and some more others. I am very proud of the Teach for America 2011 Corps. I hope that you all will join me in congratulating these seniors who are dedicating the next two years to fighting educational inequity. I’m excited to know I will be working alongside these individuals and individuals like them. From the stories I have read, I know the journey may be difficult, but I know it will be worthwhile for the result of positively impacting the lives of students through education.
If you want to find out more info about TFA, check out the Teach for America website
If you are interested in applying, the last deadline is February 4th. Apply now!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/12/education/12winerip.html << Check out this NY Times article about TFA.
The first week was slow, but I got to meet the great group of guys that I’ll be working with and get accustomed to waking up at 7am to go to work. We as college kids think it’s insane to have three hours of class in a day, but the real world will really hit you hard with an 8-5 work schedule, not to mention the daily commute and the fact that many of us will have to cook for ourselves instead of having the convenience of Kinsolving down the street.
It seems like just yesterday that I was writing my final blog post of the fall semester. I hope that all of you had a great holiday break! I had a pretty relaxing break and can’t wait to tell you all about it. But, what’s really on my mind right now is that I just had my final first week of class! The next time I go to a first day of class, it will be as a teacher…isn’t that crazy!?
I am hardly a week through and my second semester feels different already.
On Tuesday, the new Student Activity Center on campus finally opened. After narrowly avoiding reversing dump trucks on campus my freshman year, it’s great to see it finally opened. The SAC is located on the corner of Speedway, campus’ north-south thoroughfare, and the East Mall. Since the building opened, the East Mall has gone from quiet to crowded.
The Wizard of Oz movie offers more advice than follow the yellow brick road.
It’s my last semester of senior year! I just had my last first day of my undergraduate semester! I’m getting ready for graduation, but I can’t relax just yet. My seniors by now have informed their professors that they will not be operating at their full capacity because they have senioritis. I don’t have the option. Slowing down is not allowed for me. I’m cramming my schedule very tight to graduate. Here’s what’s on my plate this semester (don’t judge me):
I’m not going to tell you the obscene number of hours I’m taking this semester. It’s excessive but I have to graduate!
I’m a new writing intern for Naturally Curly. I’m a very excited. They are a really great company. They are very dedicated to helping women love their hair.
Yep, as of this semester, I have been an RA for 2.5 years. I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.
African Students Association
ASA is like my second family. I love the people. They are supportive and keep me grounded. Can’t wait to see them on Thursdays at 6pm.
This semester, I’m going to try and see all that Austin has to offer. I’m going to hang out with my friends as much as I can. I have an Austin bucket list that I started up again. I think I’ll look into completing some items on my list soon.
Sky diving is somewhere on my list…around graduation. We’ll see how that goes.
I love hip hop dance, so I’m going to try to attend at least one of Redefined Dance crew’s free tutorials on the weekend.
I want to go kayaking (when it’s warmer).
Explore what Austin has to offer. Let’s make the best of this semester!
Welcome back everyone!
I hope you all had a great break and are ready to start off the school year on a good note. If you haven’t already noticed, the campus has changed a little. One of the new places I visited was the SAC. I was very impressed.