Faith, Football, and the Future

Faith, Football, and the Future

Every week in Washington has been jam-packed with events and experiences. That much you would probably expect. What has been unexpected is how diverse these weekly adventures are. Last week was the perfect example. There was professional development through a graduate school panel, personal exploration via an opportunity to learn about a different religious traditions, and community bonding through a great football watch party.

 

Grad School Information Session

Every Friday afternoon we have Professional Track programing, which is different for each student depending on what interest group you signed up for at the very beginning of the fall. My track is Politics and Public Policy, and so far, we've had several panels featuring experts who work in various aspects of the policy and nonprofit sectors here in D.C. This Week, however, the focus was on us as students. We had the option to explore one of two graduate school programs at George Washington University, a very good school here in the District. I decided to go to the information session for the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration. I'm still undecided about pursuing grad school after I graduate, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about one particular program and what it has to offer. It was very interesting to hear about the difference between the two degrees: an MPA is more focused on management while an MPP is more research-heavy. I walked away with a little better understanding of what I'd be undertaking if I decided to pursue graduate school along this route. I'm glad The Washington Center offered the politics students the opportunity to learn more about GWU's programs.

 

Diwali Celebration

Last week was Diwali, a major Hindu holiday. George Washington University has a Hindu Student Association on campus (one of their Co-Presidents is a fellow DNC intern!) and they hosted a Diwali celebration on their campus on Saturday night. My roommate Guneev really wanted to go and I decided to go with him. I'll admit I knew very little about the holiday going into it, which is part of the reason why I wanted to attend this event and learn more. GW's HSA (acronyms are all the rage in D.C., don't you know) invited a med student who is a certified Hindu priest. This priest went through each part of the traditional Diwali prayer in its original Sanskrit. He prefaced each step with an explanation of what was going on and the significance behind each blessing and prayer.

 

Diwali Celebration at GW. The Priest is the seated gentleman in front of the microphone. (Photo credit to Garima Jain!)

 

The entire event was a new experience for me, a way to learn more about a very different religious tradition from the one I am used to. Diwali is known as the "festival of lights" because it is a time to drive out the darkness of bad thoughts and bad energy and bring in the light of knowledge and hope. I came away from it feeling like I learned more about Hinduism and feeling ready to take on the rest of my semester in Washington with a positive outlook.

 

Food and Football!

Positive things would wind up coming sooner rather than later! Saturday night was the big LSU-Alabama college football matchup, and to celebrate some of my friends in the room across the hall from me decided to throw a watch party. The best part about football parties is usually the food (aside from the game, of course!). My friend Daniel had that covered, with an assortment of Louisiana-inspired cuisine:

 

Going counterclockwise, you've got Shrimp, Jambalaya, and Gumbo. Talk about a spread! (Photo Credit to Guneev Sharma's twitter account - @GuneevSharma)

 

The food was DELICIOUS. It was the perfect dinner for a game day Saturday. While Alabama ended up beating LSU pretty handily, the night was still a lot of fun. Spending time with friends is always a great way to enjoy the weekend. Throw in miraculous wins by my Arkansas Razorbacks and Hendrix College Warriors, and it was even better. It'll be tough to top, but I'm sure next weekend won't disappoint!

 

Until next time,

 

Barrett

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