Archive for April, 2010

‘Allo!

April 28, 2010

My name is Lisa Craig, and I am currently a sophomore at Gallaudet University even though I don’t exactly consider myself a sophomore anymore since there is only one week of school left. I have been an avid blogger for seven years, and I doubt I will stop blogging any time soon.

I am still astonished that I will be a junior this fall because I still remember the first day of going to Gallaudet pretty vividly. I feel as if the first day of my freshman year was only yesterday, but at the same time it was nearly two years ago.

Anyways, I will do a survey of the questions commonly asked at Gally, so the readers will get an idea of who I am.

Name: Lisa Craig

Class status: Currently a sophomore

Age: Almost 21 years old!  48 days to go, yippee!

Hometown: Benton, Arkansas. I usually tell people that I am from Little Rock because Benton is only 20 miles south of Little Rock, and many people from other states have only heard of Little Rock.

Deaf or hearing family: I am from a Deaf family. In my family there has been fifth generations of Deaf people (according to what my family know so far…), and I am the last generation of Deaf people in my family.

Mainstream or school for the deaf:  I went to Arkansas School for the Deaf the first four academic years of my life, but after that I transferred to a public school in my hometown.

Major: Gallaudet is about to establish a new major called International Studies. I am very excited about it because I have always wanted to travel around the world and help people in need. Hopefully, that major will be fully approved in a month. I am also planning to either minor or major in Spanish in order to boost my communication skills. I fully intend to work in another country some day.

Goals after graduation: I plan to join the Peace Corps and work there for three or four years and then join the FBI or an anti-human trafficking organization. The human trafficking enterprise is the second largest criminal industry in the world. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are more likely to be targeted by human traffickers, so I would like to work with those people some day to help improving their lives. But if my life doesn’t go down that path as I hope it would, ah… I am open to new possibilities.

My plans for Junior year:

1)   Make good grades

2)   Join the swim team

3)   Possibly rush for a sorority

4)   Continually work as a Resident Assistant

5)   Keep up with my Vegetarian diet

I have a lot of things to talk about my time at Gallaudet; however, I will take my time to write those entries, so nobody would be spammed by too many entries in one day.

Rockfest and Spring Break

April 17, 2010

Yikes, I’ve been away for a while. I’ll start this off by updating my readers on what’s going on at Gallaudet now.

What’s going on at Gallaudet? Well, this weekend is Rockfest weekend. Rockfest weekend happens every other year at Gallaudet, it’s where students from our rival, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), or the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in New York (the only technical college for the deaf), come to Gally to compete in various sports and fun activities including soccer, swimming, video gaming, ping pong, etc. Since RIT and NTID do not have a football team or the same athletic division as us, we do not compete against them in regular sports. Since they are considered our rival school, we came up with another way to compete with them. Every year, the competition is held at Gally or RIT, when it is at Gally, it’s called Rockfest, when it is at RIT, it’s called Brickfest.

Overall, it’s kind of a fun activity, bonding and having some fun competitions against old friends and high school classmates who just happen to go to RIT. The weekend comes to an end with a big party on campus, and the next day, everyone goes home to prepare for finals week. Which is coming up soon, yuck. Anyway, the point of Rockfest/Brickfest is to socialize with other students, to connect to other communities. Gallaudet is anything but closed off, don’t let our iron gates fool you.

Anyway, I thought I would explain what I did for spring break, which was almost a month ago. Wow, time moves very fast when you’re in college. So, for spring break, me, a friend of mine, and her boyfriend decided to rent a car and drive down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where my friend lives. We decided we would stay at her family’s home and stay at a hotel too. I got to see Disney World and the ocean for the first time! However, I’m never doing it again.

Did you know that Ft. Lauderdale is almost at the very southern tip of Florida? We didn’t really realize that. It took us 18 loooong hours to drive from Gally to my friend’s home. On the map, DC and Florida really didn’t look that far apart. Yeah, we pretty much felt like fools. But here’s a nice picture of the beach. Nice, ain’t it?

Ask me anything you want to know about Gally!

Cheers,
Heather

Why I Love DC

April 14, 2010

Here is a recent essay I wrote for We Love DC, a popular local blog. You can read the original here or just check it out below!

I always thought that people who weren’t native to a place didn’t really identify with it – that if you asked somebody where they were from, they’d name their hometown. I grew up in the DC area, so whenever someone asked where I was from, I’d always say “here” – this has always been my home, and I can’t consider myself “from” anywhere else. I’m a Washingtonian because I’ve always been one.

So I assumed that DC was “my city” and that people who moved here didn’t necessarily feel that they were Washingtonians. Until I started reading We Love DC, and realized that even transplants love this town and feel a connection to it. People who like to move from city to city may not identify with DC, but anyone who makes their home here is a Washingtonian.

So DC is my city, but it’s also your city, our city, and everyone’s city. Tourists flock to DC every spring and summer because they want to see where their tax dollars are going, where their senators and representatives live, and all the famous monuments and buildings that grace their money and their history books. Across the nation, civic pride is personal – the Statue of Liberty belongs to New Yorkers, and the Golden Gate Bridge belongs to San Franciscans. But the Washington Monument and the White House belong to all Americans, and I love that they come to experience DC because America means something to them. It’s not so much “welcome to my home” as it is “welcome home.”

And I love that what those tourists are coming to see is part of my daily landscape. Not everybody in Los Angeles drives past Disneyland every day, but as part of my commute I drive past the White House, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and the United States Capitol (I used to drive past the Pentagon, too). I’ve been driving this route for years now, and I am totally serious when I say that these landmarks touch me every time I see them.

I love it when out-of-towners come to DC to protest, too. Sometimes it causes traffic delays, but I’m okay with that because it’s part of the joy of living here. DC is home base for protests and rallies of every stripe, and it’s precisely because of the unique political nature of the city. Nobody holds a “March on Chicago” when they have an important cause – they come here. This is where you can capture the nation’s attention, this is where you can make a difference. DC is about effecting change, we are ground zero for making your world better.

We’re also ground zero for honoring people. I love the lead-up to Memorial Day weekend, when motorcycles start appearing on our highways and streets. I have absolutely nothing in common with the people who come to remember our POWs and MIAs, but I love when Rolling Thunder comes to town – they have a conviction, a sense of duty, and they bring it to DC every year. And despite the fuss over the Tom Hanks-endorsed WWII memorial changing the landscape of the National Mall, we find room to honor everyone. The Air Force memorial might be just across the Potomac, but it’s still part of the celebration of men and women who have done something for America.

There’s so much to love about DC: I love the Truth Truck, the Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn, the motorcades, the swarms of students in matching shirts, the cabs in every color of the rainbow, Braddock’s Rock, the Old Stone House, the Canal House, the friezes on EPA-East, softball games on the west end of the Mall, and that a little panda could melt the heart of everyone.

And I love how we’re growing. I’m a student at Gallaudet University, which is adjacent to Trinidad and just north of the Atlas District. I curse the construction on H Street every time my car hits another steel plate, but the H Street Trolley is going to make a big difference to a neighborhood that’s been struggling nonstop since the 1968 riots. Eastern Market is growing too: it’s better than ever after the renovations following the fire in 2007.

When friends from elsewhere mock the District, I tell them not to make fun of my city, my hometown. I got especially defensive when I saw the New York Times write about our nightlife, saying it had “finally come of age” – as if my city was only about politics and didn’t know how to have a good time! But when it comes down to it, it’s not my city, it’s America’s city. A recent study says DC is the fourth most liberal city in the nation, but by nature we have conservatives and liberals here. We’re everybody, and that’s why I love DC.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.