Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 19: Any moment now, I will learn to live in the moment.

Today was both exhilarating and exhausting.

Starbucks and Sonnet 19 preceded meeting up with Jessie and heading over to Oyster-Adams Bilingual Elementary School to help coordinate their mini-walk for the homeless, which will take place later this month. After we met with the administrators and finalized a date for the presentation and march around the block, I got a tour of D.C. -- Jessie style! We drove around Rock Creek Park (so peaceful) before returning to the vicinity of Sasha Bruce. There, Jessie showed me a number of projects, including Barry Farm (a notoriously violent housing development), St. Elizabeth's Hospital (a partially abandoned psychiatric facility), and Ferebee Hope (an inner city elementary school where Jessie will be initiating an after-school counseling program next month). As we cruised along, we discussed a number of key concepts -- gang violence, third party monitoring, and gentrification -- but also took time to laugh and exchange outrageous stories about our respective friends.

After this incredible survey of the area, I walked up the street for a smoothie and some Ovid. Mr. Chang has lent me an Ars Amatoria reader annotated by Graves Haydon Thompson, and I found the introduction absolutely delightful! The arrangement of the notes is great, too, and I am highly amused by Ovid's offensive and objectifying account of how a man ought woo a woman.

I then strolled back to the SBY office in time for the Help the Homeless committee meeting. This group is planning a number of events similar to the one we coordinated at Oyster-Adams this morning, at various schools in the area. It will also sponsor a kickball game this weekend, at which I hope to help!

Later, I headed next door to SBY's administrative office to meet with Jim Beck, the Development Director. Jim took an hour to walk me through Sasha Bruce's development model -- from general organizational structure to specific government funding proposals! Although I am not (yet) a student of economics, the way in which Jim presented the concepts to me taught me so much. It was both fundamental and detailed -- Jim would make a great professor! When he mentioned marketing (including the publication of SBY's annual report), I said I would love to help with this aspect. So, I will be doing a lot of editing and a bit of writing over the next week to help with the preparation of this year's report!

All this talk tired me out! It was time to unwind at Hello Cupcake, where I made friends with Emily, a cashier with plenty of suggestions on cupcakes . . . as well as hairstyles. I considered going home at this point, but the prospect of exploring another Smithsonian museum was too tantalizing.

I somehow found myself at the National Gallery of Art, and learned that it was the last day there for the Capitoline Venus! We were not able to see her over the summer in Rome because she was here in D.C. -- imagine if I had missed her here as well! Lured in by this goddess of love, I joined a guided tour for the afternoon. Our guide covered a number of the museum highlights, and analyzed each from a sociopolitical perspective. What an impeccable learning experience! My favorite artist of the day was Fragonard, a late Rococo painter. I love art galleries.

My feet were crying after this endeavor! I trudged to a patch of grass with a view of the Capital building and Washington Monument and read some more Ovid, before pausing to close my eyes and listen to the city. 

Once home, I caught up with an old varlet-friend before shoveling down my dinner and preparing to hit the sack!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you saw the Venus. I went not long after we got back from Rome.