The Commencement of Classes

Monday
Happy Labor Day!

No school…no work…much play!

Tricia, Alycia, Meaghan and I made quality use of our Labor Day by exploring China Town! Phenomenal! To be completely honest it kind of felt like another country. Perhaps like China? Ha. I don’t actually know since I’ve never been to China, but it definitely had the feel of other countries I have been to. Mainly because of the shop owners that want everyone to come in and “take a look”. And they’re always willing to make a deal, or give you a “good price” or a “special price”. Vendors would come up and rapidly start saying “DVD! DVD! DVD! DVD! DVD! DVD! DVD! DVD!” (I hope you picked up on the fact that they were trying to sell DVDs there.) Or “Coach? Prada?” They would ask, trying to get us to purchase fake brands. It was adventurous. We pretty much just explored and talked to a number of vendors.
They had adorable shops!



Fish markets!


Fruit stands!


It was just grand!




Oh…and this T-shirt I thought was hysterical!




At one point we took a temporary detour through Little Italy…which really is little. It’s a street. The end. It was slightly random…China town—which is fairly large—surrounds this one strip of “Italy”. Odd. But charmingly quaint. It has mainly Italian restaurants, and of course gelato. It really did have the Italian feel.



It was like I was in Rome all over again…but in New York. You really can have an international experience without even leaving the country!  I'm only half kidding.

Anyway, we continued to wander back through China Town when we heard beautiful oriental music coming from across the street. The unique music lured us into a park where we joined over one hundred others at some music festival. It was phenomenal. There were numerous musicians playing an assortment of string instruments and accompanying singers of all ages.



It was great!

While in the park we also decided to test a strange fruit we discovered: the Dragon Fruit.
It was absolutely beautiful.


(That's us representing dragons...cause it's called Dragon Fruit!)

It had a pink spiky outside that you had to peel off.



The inside was white and nearly transparent.
It was kind of the texture of kiwi;
it even had kiwi-like seeds that were black.



Very enticing right?



Yuck!

Well we learned an invaluable lesson. Take people for example. They may physically be extremely good looking…maybe even considered “hot”. But just because someone looks attractive doesn’t mean they have any depth. What I’m trying to say is that Dragon Fruit is the most flavorless fruit I have ever tried! No taste! Nothing! SUCH a letdown. So learn now from my experience with this fruit: just because someone looks good, it don’t mean a thing. (Dad that moral should make you proud!)
After that monumental moment we decided to eat some Chinese cuisine. Menu options included jelly fish and eel…I felt chicken curry was a good idea. I was too hungry to feel adventurous.

Oh…and this is Tricia with her “Pad Thai” sauce. She ran off and bought it when no one was looking.

Glass bottle in a brown bag…fishy.

Tricia is attending NYU’s social work program so on the way back from China Town we stopped by to wander through NYU's campus. It is a beautiful area. Tricia describes it feeing like Harvard Square. It’s a very artsy, picturesque area. I quite like the feel. We also walked through Washington Square Park. Again, lovely.
TuesdayWhat an epic day!
My father turned 50!!!


Happy Birthday Father of mine!Thank you for all of the fun times!


For the adventures!



For the travels AND the morals you come up with in EVERY situation!




And pretty much thank you for being SUCH an amazing father, example, and friend!

LOVE YOU POPS!
...so you better live for at least another half a century!
And other than singing "Happy Birthday" to my pop’s…Tuesday I spent reading. Graduate school seems to have endless amounts of reading! I have to keep reminding myself I chose to do this. Ha. But I’m loving it.

Wednesday
Officially the first day of class!

9-12 Foundations of Social WorkA basic first day of class: syllabus overview, introductions.
I actually really like my teacher. He had each of the approximately 25 students go around and introduce themselves, tell why they chose social work, and last everyone shared their social work interests. Instead of simply nodding and saying “yay you”, our professor actually commended each individual student and gave each specific advice on how best to progress in their area of interest; he included specific faculty and research projects that we should each get involved in. And furthermore, he even remembered what people said 20, 30 minutes before (that is quite the feat as it seems many professors these days struggle to remember even just names…he remembered names and comments!). Really he just did a great job at encouraging everyone to pursue their dreams; and with the versatility of social work (especially with the many specializations offered at Columbia), he let us know that you really can do pretty much anything you want with social work.

12:30-1:30 Sushi with the girls!Sadie, Eleanor, and I decided to celebrate our first day of classes by having sushi. Yum. We even went beyond California rolls (which really isn’t true sushi) and ate the legit stuff. Love food!

Natalie and Eleanor:

Sadie and yours truly:

2-4 Policy in Social WorkThis will probably be my hardest class. It’s pretty much a lot of history (that’s not the hard part); the hard part are the outlandish reading requirements (seems to be a history class thing)! Yay! And to encourage us to do all of that most splendid reading we have pop quizzes too! Arg! Oh well. Just 100+ pages of article reading a week for the one class—no big deal right? Ha.

Wednesday night: READING! Yay!

Thursday
Read, read, read (They did warn us when classes began that we would no longer have social lives…and when our internships start in a week and a half we will simply have no lives at all.)

4-6: First class of the day = Human Behavior in their Social Environment.I’m SO excited! This class is in the room WITH the microphones! Ha! No matter how boring the class is…I WILL still love it due to the mere set up of the classroom! It feels so professional and UN-like!
For this class, our professor actually changes every month and a half or so (this semester is only the first half the class; the other half will be in the spring semester). The plan is that specialists on different ages of development teach on their expertise area. This should be interesting. For an introductory activity we were asked to take on the persona of a grandparent and introduce ourselves to a neighbor as though you were that grandparent. I took on the persona of my Grandma Price—thus I introduced myself as Lynn Price. Then I got to share where I (as Grandma) was from, about my large family growing up and my farm, about my husband (haha…that would be Grandpa) and about my five amazing sons, and my love of writing, serving, setting goals, and always helping others. I guess I didn’t so much take on her “persona” completely—my grandma is much too humble to have actually shared all of the amazing things she’s done; I, on the other hand, bragged a bit. Cause she’s one AMAZING woman! It was so much fun telling someone about her! Grandma Price! I just love you!

After class Alycia, Tricia, and I went to the movie The Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s ok…and by ok I really mean maybe don’t see it. Every time the guy time travels he can’t take his clothes. Therefore there are a number of bums. Quite unnecessary.

Oh: and please note the greatest subway add I’ve seen yet! Totally a public health social marketing success!


Gross right?!


Friday
I read ALL morning! And a lot of the afternoon.

After one amazing day of reading for class Meaghan and I went down to Ground Zero to check out the two spotlights representing the twin towers. It was sort of our own little way to commemorate the events of 9-11.


It was both eerie and melancholy to see the lights with all of the rainy mist everywhere. So many were affected by that tragic day.  So many still are affected by that day.  It's funny, but to some I feel 9/11 is now history; in reality, however, it needs to stay with us. 


After Ground Zero, we went and wandered through Time Square a bit—it was a little less somber. It was fun wandering in the rain! Oh East Coast weather!


Side note: weather here is CRAZY! I mean it…September to me is typically rather warm. Not here. No no. People were wearing coats! I repeat COATS! Coats were probably a bit of an overreaction to the weather—but it has still been chilly! I can recall just two days of warmth! Forecast says Monday will be nice! We’ll see. We’ll see.


Saturday
This weekend, there was a tri-stake regional Young Single Adult (YSA) conference for our church. Thus Saturday morning, my roommate, Kelly, and I joined the conference for a service project cleaning a park in Brooklyn. It was my first experience wearing the LDS Church's "helping hand" shirts (well, ours were technically pennies...that smelled like crayons). My group weeded the entire outer fence of the park. It was actually a lot of fun! Lauren Clough—a friend from church in Provo who is now at Johns Hopkins for medical school—was in my group! It was so fun catching up with her. We weeded from 9:30am to 12:30pm; breakfast and lunch were provided! Yum! At lunch I also ran into a girl from my childhood—Catherine Milifeth! I hadn’t seen her in ages! She’s doing PA school at Yale! Small world really!

After everyone went and cleaned up a bit, we enjoyed an afternoon of workshops—about “Attacks on the Family”, “Loneliness”, “Workaholicism”, and a whole lot of others. The different stake presidents taught them. They were definitely interesting.

(I think many of them felt they were quite sly by dropping a line or two here and there about how we all should get married. I quote: “You should be getting married younger; and you should start having babies younger”. Every time they said something like that I started cracking up! And I thought Provo was marriage crazy! No no! In Provo people get married a lot, but Provo is NOT marriage CRAZY. Here everyone is SO busy doing their own thing that the leaders are truly marriage crazy in our behalf... That being said some older folks are getting scared; they could be classified as marriage crazy too! It’s nauseating really. But in a comical—are they serious right now??—sort of way. Perhaps I should have more empathy; ok, I know I should have more empathy.  But marriage...not now.  I want to play!

Another example:
After an hour long presentation about taking up the shield of faith and righteousness by a sweet husband (of the quorom of the Seventy) and wife—this one surprisingly had NO getting married hints—they opened up to a question answer session. Sweet audience members, however, asked the most non-applicable questions! They were more along the lines of “how do you know when you’re actually in love?”, “how long should you date before getting married?”, “when do you know that it’s the one?”…AND they were 100% serious! Don’t EVER say Provo is marriage crazy again. They aint got nothin on New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island!)

At night, there was a dinner and a dance. Meaghan and I went for the food…but as we were exhausted (that, and I am morally opposed to church dances) we went back to my apartment around 10:00pm and watched a movie and ate muddy buddies! 

Sunday
Church today wasn’t til 2:30: a regional meeting followed by lunch.

Again, those sly speakers slipped in marriage this and marriage that…one even said that marriage would "solve the problem of loneliness". Which I feel is not necessarily so. Loneliness is often due to a low self- esteem—perhaps marriage may help some, but I absolutely cannot agree that it really SOLVES this problem as not being married is not the core root of the problem. But that’s just my opinion.
Note: I am not anti marriage at all. My philosophy, however, is: Stop trying to find the right person, and start trying to be the right person. It will happen!

Going on: lunch was divine…fruit, sandwiches (that were not premade so I got to take meat and wrap it in lettuce), cheetos, juice, and lots of other random things.

And it was another great NYC week! Can you believe September is already HALF OVER! How time flies!

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