Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Very Last Semester

The campus is filled with blossoms. The flowers are flourishing. People are full of laughter. The sun is shining. It is spring an unusual one, but wonderful. Foss field is cramped. Everyone is trying to catch some Vitamin-D before the clouds move back in. One group is missing. Where are the seniors? Well, I can tell you.

Without doubt the last semester has been the hardest one. Not because of school. School is fine. Even if one’s upper level classes complemented by the Capstone project keep one busy, it is most likely not the main concern of a senior. Next to one’s girlfriend, social activities and sports, which seem to take second priority during the senior year, one task is of significant priority. Resolving uncertainty. What will I do after graduation? Work, travel, or simply chill? Whereas the latter is unlikely, the other two sound tempting. Finding a job is a challenging pathway with ups and downs and many rocks on the way. Keep your head up! Do not give up! Commit to those principles and you WILL find a job. 

The grass on the other side is always greener. For many it is the switching point between academia and the business world. How fast does the switch have to be made? I sincerely believe that traveling is another viable option after graduation to find oneself and prepare for the job world. Of course some funds would be helpful. However, traveling is not a pleasure reserved for the wealthy. Travel and work become another attractive options to those who do not fall into this category. Widen one’s horizon, create a feeling for different cultures, and develop an understanding that the world is bigger than all of us are essential life lessons to learn. Maybe your education is not done yet…

Whatever you decide to do after college, stay true to yourself, and be a Lute: take our principles and inject them into the world! Do something great with your life, you only got one.  


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Seattle, what to see and what to do

I am a big, no, HUGE fan of Seattle. In the past 3.5 years, this city really grew on me and I've been able to explore a lot of nice places. Here are some recommendations for you when visiting the city of the Seahawks and Sounders.

Pike Place Market
The water fountain close to the Space Needle
Besides being one of the main touristic spots, Pike Place Market is a great place to hang out with friends, buy some fruits, veggies and snacks. Or you can just find a seat at one of the restaurants and people watch for some hours. I've been there really often but still stop by whenever visiting the city.

Space Needle
It's one of those places you should go to at least once when in this area, and after that you don't have to go anymore. It's a nice tower with a great view if you go up on a good non- cloudy day. Around the Space Needle they build a park with a big water fountain. That's really cool to visit on a nice sunny day and try to touch the center part.

Discovery Park
If you are not enjoying the big city too much, there's a great park to hike, sit on the beach and enjoy nature. There is a hike of about 3-5 miles around the whole park, which is long enough for me. There's several viewpoints with a great view on the different islands across Seattle.

Kerry Park
One of my personal favorites. From this park you get an amazing view of the city and of Mt. Rainier. It is also the place where all the pictures are taken on the post cards and the search engine if you look for pictures of Seattle.

Kerry Park

China Town
I never go to Seattle without visiting China Town or International District. There is so much good food, and great bubble tea (I have to admit, I hated it the first time I drank it, but got sort of addicted to it now). One of my favorite places to eat is Dim Sum restaurant Harbor City. If you eat there with a big group of people and order all sorts of different dishes to try, it only costs you about $5-10.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Activity vs. Rest During Spring Break!

At the beginning of this semester, I had a big snafu and had to conduct a major operation on my academic schedule. Because of this, I have had the great fortune of getting to take a global religions course called “Judaism in America” where we have been learning about Jewish history and different Jewish opinions about what it means to be Jewish and how Jewish philosophies apply in different areas of American life. Needless to say, this has helped to make my semester extremely interesting and has made me change my perspective on several things.

Unlike most classes I’ve had, I was required to take 24 hours out of my spring break and do… mostly nothing. One of the focuses of this course has been understanding what it means to practice Shabbat (the Sabbath) and there is no better way to do this than viscerally. So, with my mother, I prepared during Thursday and Friday for a day of rest, which began with an extremely rushed dinner preparation and ended with a slow reintegration back into actual “work.”

Shabbat begins on Friday at sundown and doesn’t end until the following Saturday at sundown. It entails an investigation of oneself moving through time and there are many rules as to how one should appropriately do this. My mother and I decided on a few activities to do in those 24 hours: we made challah, mejadra, and latkes (all with varying levels of success); we slept in, dressed up, ate all day, read for a lot of the day, gardened, and enjoyed each other’s company. This was possibly one of the nicest days of the year so far and I felt that I was able to still experience a lot without having to fill my schedule like I do at school.

I’m hoping to somehow incorporate the ideas of Shabbat into my life moving forward and am glad that I was able to make it a part of my semester this year!

Also, there are currently a lot of dogs at my parents' house. They were very involved in Shabbat.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Break- in New York

Dear friends,
Welcome back to the last portion of the Spring Semester!  
I really hope you all had an enjoyable Spring Break! Mine was nice!
During the break, I had the chance to visit New York City for the first time, and the experience was definitely an amazing one. I was mainly in New York to renew my passport because as a general rule, most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. Therefore, I believe that having a valid passport should be a top priority for any international student who intends to travel outside of the U.S.
Though, I was only in New York for three days, I had the chance to meet a lot of people, eat some Senegalese food along the way, and visited many places such as Times Square, UN Headquarters, couple of museums, and of course check my friends from Wall Street :)

I also had the chance to visit Columbia University, where I was fortunate to attend one of their MBA information sessions and meet with many of their students. 

Overall, my Spring break was really a nice one. After New York, I got to spend a little time with my family & friends, and had the chance to relax a bit before the semester starts again.
I wish you all a wonderful end of the Semester! 
Your friend,
Pape Mathioro Samba