BY SAUD A
First of all, our institute was the first point to the museum, however, some students went to museum directly and I was one of them. After that, we met an African American woman who works there. She was wearing a necklace that had words “ASK ME”. She was an older woman but she was energetic and she was smiling all the time. We started from the fourth floor by using the escalators. She started to give us general ideas about each floor. Then, she said the museum was established around one year ago in the Obama period even though there were many people who had tried to open the museum throughout the last 100 years. We listened to her explanations about African American culture and how they had been enslaved since several European countries started their empires. She talked about many things such as styles and clothes, and how that has changed from the past until today. Also, she talked about African American religions such as Islam and Christianity. After that, she gave a brief report on the African American struggle to get their rights. I saw many things such as paintings and military tools and weapons as well as holy books such as Quran and the Bible.
On September 19, the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute organized a field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture for us. The museum was opened on September 24, 2016; almost a year ago, and it has been booked almost all the time since it was opened. When we arrived we recognized the museum by its well-designed structure, which was inspired by a statue in the Culture Gallery of the museum. We were really amazed by the huge amount of people who were waiting. We waited for almost half an hour just to get in even though we had our tickets. The security officers were really efficient and did their work swiftly. Then, we took off to explore the Culture Gallery, which had an enormous bottle tree that people from the south of the United States claimed catches the evil spirits around you. Then, we had the opportunity to improve our knowledge of the African Americans’ art styles and music.
Clearly, African-Americans faced many hardships regarding their rights and freedom in the United States; for instance, they were not allowed to be on TV shows. Thankfully, that has changed. After that, we went to see some African-American artworks like the painting “The Fulfillment” and “The Mothership”, which was really meticulous. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to cover the whole museum; however, I continued exploring it on my own because I knew how difficult it is to get a ticket due to the huge number of people who visit the museum regularly. I learned many things about the African-American culture and I had wanted to visit it since it was opened, so I am really glad that I visited it with VTLCI.
We spent a wonderful morning together in the National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 19th. The weather was really nice yesterday, and all the VTLCI students were led by our professors to the museum by metro. This museum was built almost a year ago. Therefore, it is very popular among people who live around here.
After we got into the museum, we went to the 4th floor, and started our journey with a nice lady, who gave us many details while we were in the Culture Gallery. In the Culture Gallery, there are many different themes you can enjoy. For me, I was attracted by the video played in a big screen that is around the lobby. It displayed many different faces. Some of them are singers, some of them are athletes, some of them are dancers. Different people have one characteristic in common: they are all very energetic. The video shows their passion for their lives and culture even though they were treated unfairly at that time in history. This spirit inspired me greatly, and drove me to know more about African American history and culture. Furthermore, the music and the language they created also impressed me. They tried to tell people things they wanted to say via music, which is the best way to share something around the whole world, I believe. Also, they created their unique pronunciation of English in many cases.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to visit all the galleries in the museum. There are too many things on display and activities to engage in while you are there. I really want to go again with my friend. This museum doesn’t just express the history of African Americans, but also sings a beautiful song about their spirit.
Away from the classroom, Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute prepares cultural and academic field trips for the students as a part of its program and a part of its responsibility toward the country. Those filed trips introduce the history of the U.S in an enjoyable way.
On the last trip, students and professors went to The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. After we went through security, we went to the fourth floor, the culture galleries. The first gallery was about cultural expressions. It shows different aspect in the African American culture such as food, clothes, industries, and entertainment. After that, we went to the “Musical crossroads gallery”, which displays the revolution of music in the African-American culture like Jazz, Soul music, R&B, and Pop music. Then, we were taken to the visual art and the American experience gallery. There, various fine art works illustrate the role African American artists played in shaping the history of American art.
Social networking these days is everywhere around us. Social networking is very important for family members, coworkers, friends and just people who like to share the same type of interests, however, personal communication is also very important. How can we communicate? New technology brings us freedom to find each other around the world. Programs like Viber, Messenger, Skype and Facebook let us find our friends and relatives and remain a part of their lives. We can share with them happiness and misfortune. When you need somebody’s help your best friends can also help you. The great thing about social networking is that it does provide an opportunity to learn. You are always in the educational process. What is great about social networking? You are always on the front line of the latest news. It helps us understand political situations around the World and make a correct next step. As you can see, social networking is a very important type of communication. It makes us happy, smart and healthy.
In decades there have been many advances in the technology. One of the most important of those advances has been the internet. The internet is particularly important because it enables people from different countries to share information with each other without travelling. Also we can communicate with friends from other parts of the world either by a sending message through typing or voice call. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Skype allow us to communicate through the internet.
Spiritual life is very important in our life and for human nature it’s fine to think about our existence. Everybody sooner or later asks the same question. Who am I? What do I have to do with my life? If I have a choice to meet anyone in my life, it would be God. I would ask him who are we, the people? Are we the soul or the body or both? The second question is about life. Why are we living and what is the purpose of human life? Finally, I would like to ask God how to be a better human. As you can see, our internal ego is very important to each of us, but only God can answer the questions.
Dear RW 300,
I’m impressed and moved by your writing samples on the blog! Thank you taking the task so seriously, and for opening up and sharing so much about yourselves. Thank you for allowing us, instructors, to get to know you better. This type of communication is so important in education!
Thank you, Prof. McKenney, for embarking on this adventure with your talented and hard-working students. You all have made the blog project so much richer and more meaningful. I couldn’t be happier!
Looking forward to reading more.
Has online social networking helped us or harmed us?
Nowadays, social networking is doing many things for us. Many people need social networking to work, shop and communicate. For example, when I open Facebook I can see a lot of information about my friends. So I usually can get a lot of interesting information from Facebook. In my opinion, I will suggest when people are using online social networking don’t use it for too long . I know the online social networking is helpful to develop people’s social condition but on the other hand it can make same problems for us, so we should have a balance.
If you could meet any dead or a live, who would it be and why?
I sometimes think that it would be lovely if my dad would just be sitting our living room having a meal with us, conversing with me. The bad moment was when I was 8 months old and my dad died. The saddest thing is when I am feeling alone because I miss him so much. I will feel happy when I meet him now. It would be the best feeling in the world.