Getting Settled in D.C.

Well, it certainly has been an eventful few days here in Washington, D.C.

My parents and I left Raleigh early Thursday morning. We stopped for lunch outside of D.C. at Uno’s pizza (last lunch as a family until November). Then, we made our way through D.C. traffic to the Dellenback Center.

We made it here, checked in and I unpacked myself. After my parents left, I spent some time getting to know my roommates. Speaking of roommates, I have five of them!

Our apartment has two floors. The bottom floor has a kitchen, sitting area, kitchen table, a half-bath and desks. Upstairs has a full bath and two bedrooms. Four of us live in the larger of the two bedrooms, and the two others sleep in the smaller bedroom.

Friday night and Saturday morning were spent in Orientation activities. We learned about the safety and transportation in the city. We also went over the Community Covenant and academic expectations. Saturday afternoon, we were divided into groups and went on scavenger hunts throughout the city. My group visited Senator Burr’s office, the Giant Chair, Arlington, The National Press Building, and the Smithsonian Natural Science Museum. We had to make a video, so I’ll post it once I have the link.

Speaking of the National Press Building, that’s where my internship is going to be.

This morning, about 10 of us went to Capitol Hill Baptist church. After church, we came back, fixed lunch, and then went grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping was definitely the adventure of the day. One of my roommates, Elizabeth, wanted to find her internship, so we took the bus to downtown. After we found her internship, we got on the Georgetown Circulator, which EVENTUALLY was supposed to drop us off at Safeway near our apartment… or not… it took us all the way to Georgetown. We found a Safeway in Georgetown and did our shopping there. Then, we went to the bus station and took a different circulator bus to Union Station. During this ride, our bus driver got lost. When we finally got to Union Station, we walked back to our apartment. Total trip time: 4 hours.

The end of life as I know it (and the beginning of something new)

Today is the end of life as I know it.

Tomorrow, I get in a car, drive for about four and a half hours and move into an apartment with five other girls in the heart of our nation’s capitol. We will all be participating in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities’ Washington Journalism Center program or American Studies program. In early September, I will begin a journalism internship with the Religion News Service, “a non-profit wire service delivering current, unbiased coverage of religion, ethics and spirituality from around the globe.”

This semester isn’t just about professional development, although that is an essential part. This semester, will be different to say the least. I will have no option other than to be stretched. I will learn/grow life skills such as budgeting and cooking my own meals.  I will form new relationships, both personal and professional and I’ll have to learn how to tackle transportation (and just life in general) in a city larger than any I’ve ever lived in before. So by the end of the semester, I will hopefully be a better writer and a more mature, self-sufficient, confident adult.

These experiences are not the only ones that are shaping my new life; the people around me are changing as well.

Perhaps the biggest change is that exactly one week after my parents leave me in D.C., they too will be packing their bags, uprooting their lives and starting over in a new place. My dad’s company  has given him a 16 month assignment in Wisconsin. They will be moving back to home just before I graduate from Gardner-Webb. This means that for the rest of my time in college, “coming home” will either consist of short vacations with my family in Raleigh, or coming home by myself. It also means that I will spend some holidays in the “Cheese State.”

Another change is that my friends’ lives are changing as well. Between marriage, grad school and internships, my core group from Gardner-Webb has dispersed across the Southeast. My roommate of two years will no longer be there and hopefully, I’ll be taking an RA position when I return.

At home, two of my best friends graduate from college this year (one in December and one in May). Neither of them are really planning on staying in the Raleigh area after graduation.

I have no clue what I’ll be doing next summer, or where. Living in Wisconsin with my parents is one option, as is living in our house in Raleigh. Of course, nothing is really tying me down to either place, so that opens the door to explore internship opportunities in other areas.

After next summer comes my final semester of college, graduation and–the real world.

I normally don’t do well with change. I don’t like not knowing what’s coming next, but surprisingly, I’ve been at peace about the changes. I know that these next few uncertain weeks, months and years are an adventure and the start of something new.

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18-19

Portfolio: Ancient Play, Modern Implications Press Release

ANCIENT PLAY, MODERN IMPLICATIONS

GARDNER-WEBB UNIVERSITY THEATER TO PRESENT “THE BURIAL AT THEBES” MARCH 2-6

BOILING SPRINGS, NC–Gardner-Webb University will present Seamus Heaney’s “The Burial at Thebes” March 2, 3, 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m., and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. at the Millennium Playhouse, located in the Communication Studies Hall.  The play will be directed by James W. Thomas, interim dean of the School of Performing and Visual Arts at Gardner-Webb, and the sets designed by GWU’s award-winning technical director, Chris Keene.

The production will feature Gardner-Webb students and faculty, with special performances by communication studies professor Dr. Joseph Webb as the leader of the chorus, and longtime professional actor Dr. Earl Leininger, associate provost at Gardner-Webb, as Tiresias.

“The Burial at Thebes” is an adaptation of the Greek tragedy “Antigone,” written by Sophocles in the fifth century B.C.  When Antigone’s brothers kill each other in brutal civil war, her ruling uncle Creon honors one with a decent burial, but insists, on penalty of death, that the other be left to rot in disgrace on the field.  What follows is a daring collision of personal liberty and tyranny, religious conviction and legal oppression, and a sister’s heroism amidst her uncle’s stubborn resolve.

Although written within the context of ancient Greece, Thomas decided to set the play in modern Middle East.  The script brings up timeless issues, said Thomas, ones that we are still dealing with today, making the setting particularly appropriate.  “How much control does the state have over the individual rights?  At what point does religious freedom end and the good of everyone else begin?  These issues are prevalent in the play, and we hope the audience will notice their prevalence, also, in our everyday lives,” Thomas said.

Seamus Heaney, an Irish Nobel laureate, wrote “The Burial at Thebes” for Abbey Theater’s one-hundredth anniversary celebration.  Initially skeptical about the potential for such a dated play, Heaney quickly discovered its contemporary relevance and pursued the project with passion. It was first performed in 2004, and has enjoyed rave reviews since.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University seeks a higher ground in higher education – one that embraces faith and intellectual freedom, and inspires in students a love of learning, service, and leadership.

Published on Gardner-Webb University’s Website 2/24/12.

http://gardner-webb.edu/newscenter/?p=1679

Published in the Shelby Star 2/26/2012.