July 6, 2015: George Washington Experience

July 6, 2015

This morning Carmen and I woke up at quarter to seven and got ready for our first full day on campus and of class. We headed into our hall lobby and waited for other people to come out so we could all figure out where breakfast was together. After we got a group together we headed down to West Hall and enjoyed a breakfast that helped us wake up and prepare for our day. After we finished cleaning up we went back to our dorm and collected all of our materials for our first nine to three o’clock class.

We quickly found Ames Hall, which was where we would be meeting for our course and we entered into our room. Our professor’s name is Mel and she teaches at George Mason University in the Creative Writing Department. Our first assignment was a five-minute free write where we wrote out all of our ideas about why we came to the program and what we hoped to gain from the experience. It was an interesting way to get to know all of the fifteen students in the class- only three of us from Cole Hall. The second assignment we received was an article of Rosa Parks that we were to analyze in groups and then discuss. The discussion questions were mainly based around what could be considered an original story and what Rosa Parks’ original story was based upon the article we annotated. After brief discussion we headed out of Ames to catch a bus down to the Foggy Bottom Campus and receive our GWorld identification tags.

Throughout the ride Carmen and I tried to start up conversations with as many people as possible from our program in order to get to know people outside of Cole Hall. There were people from all over the country and world coming specifically for this program, most of whom had never been in the United States before. We quickly received our ID, which I was excited about as it was not the worst picture ID I have had taken and way better than my driver’s license. As soon as we got back from getting our identification cards we headed to lunch. I began talking to, and became friends with, this kid also in Writing the City named George. Carmen and I ate lunch with him, some of his friends, and a couple of the other guys also in our program. Lunch consisted of lasagna, delicious caesar salad, and bread. As the minutes ticked closer and closer to one o’clock we hurried to finish up eating and make it back to class in time.

As soon as we got back into class we got back to work talking about the logistics for our first field assignment that will be happening tomorrow. We are going to go to the National Mall and pick out a monument that we want to spend ninety-minutes at observing and taking notes on for a writing piece that we will be completing later on in the course. I chose to go to the WWII Monument because of all of the different aspects that make up the monument as well as the controversy around its placement and the strong meaning that it holds within United States and World History. After about twenty minutes of discussing that we headed out onto the campus to complete our first legitimate writing piece. It focused around William Burroughs and his pieces discussing color and the role it can play within the natural world. Our assignment was to pick a color and then spend ten minutes walking around the campus jotting down thoughts relating to that particular color. I chose white. After our assignment we walked over to the library for our orientation and the second segment of our afternoon classes.

The librarian’s orientation was some-what boring because he droned on and on about using basic databases- something that I am already comfortable doing. After he finished showing us how to access the university’s databases we had some time to do some more research regarding the monument that we planned on traveling to the following morning. Once we headed back into Ames we began our second and final reading of the day. It was a book written by Jena Osman called Public Figures. We went around our table reading aloud for a while and then answered some discussion questions that Mel had also passed out. With about ten minutes left of class Mel could tell that our attention span was slowly, but surely fading so she allowed us to wrap up early as long as we promised to meet up with the other people going to our same monument the following day. Finally, we were dismissed and allowed to head back to our dorms after a long and tiring day.

Our dorms were strangely quiet as all of the Robotics people were still in class. We found Andrew and Michael and went to hang out in their room. Andrew made a comment about me being like a disappointed mother and from that moment on I became dorm Mom. At four o’clock we were forced to go to listen to our RAs talk about their college experiences. Once that was over we got a group together to go to Safeway and CVS, but then it started raining so we could not go. We hung out in the dorm and each other’s rooms until it was time for dinner. Dinner was not anything exciting. After dinner we went back to the dorm until seven and then went to game night. About twelve of us squeezed into a small circular booth meant for about five people and played Apples to Apples. Once we could leave we headed back to the dorm and Kyle, James, and I went down to the field to check out the alleged soccer game. The game was entertaining although Kyle and I did not feel like playing. Finally, the game ended. We gave James his stuff back and then Kyle and I wandered around the campus talking until one of the RAs told us he saw lightning and we should head back to Cole Hall. The evening came to a close soon after as we all turned in around ten o’clock- exhausted from the day’s festivities.

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