Macalester has a tradition of volunteering on Valentine's Day, hence the name Voluntine's Day. This year, a group of us consisting of half Bonners and half non-Bonners went to Second Harvest Heartland, a local food bank, to help package foods into smaller packages for households. An employee gave us an overview of the organization's mission and the hunger that plagues 600,000 people each meal in the Midwest. Our job was to pack 1.5lb bags of cornflakes from a large 500lb bag that came from the manufacturer. Hairnets and aprons went on, and we worked for about 2.5 hours. Afterwards, we got back together to see the results of our work, by dividing the total pounds of food we packed. It was estimated that each person packed enough food to feed ~70 people.
Authentic Chinese food is already difficult to find if you're not in San Francisco or NYC, so it became my mission to find a place that serves dim sum in the Twin Cities. However, I failed yet again. The restaurant that Jennifer and I visited on Sunday in Saint Paul stopped serving dim sum and only had basic dim sum dishes listed on a menu :(
But! No worries because Jennifer promised me that we will try a dim sum place that I found in Chicago's Chinatown (more on that later). Crossing my fingers!!!
Anyway, going back to the conversation with Jennifer, I will be visiting Chicago (and Jennifer's hometown, Waukegan) for Spring Break in three weeks. I'm super excited that I'll get to see a bunch of museums, be ridiculously tourist-y, and eat authentic Honduran food cooked by Jennifer's parents!
Aside from constant classes and homework, I really haven't had much time to do anything else besides on Friday nights and Saturdays (when I watch my Korean shows and basically just sleep 11 hours for 2 nights). Even that is taken away from me now....All of my Saturdays are booked until mid-March. If I'm not volunteering, then I have something else going on.
Speaking of which, I have decided to start volunteering on a bi-weekly basis on Saturdays at the local Science Museum of Minnesota with Jennifer. I really wanted to structure my time better and be a more productive person, so I decided to choose the museum as a way to volunteer.
Also, I have just submitted my application for the work site that I want to work at for the next three years as a Bonner. I applied to the Saint Paul Public Library as a tutor, the Ronald Hubbs Center as an ELL tutor, and the Science Museum as the Activate Program assistant. During the search process for work sites, I put the most weight on commute time and work hours. I don't want a work site with a long commute and a site that requires me to be there for over two days a week (I'm required to work about 8-10 hours a week). Therefore, those choices became the three sites that I chose. So far, only the Saint Paul Public Library has offered me a position; however, I would need to work there three days a week due to their short shifts.
Personally, I'm hoping for the Science Museum position but I realize that it is a super competitive position compared to the other sites that I applied to. I'm also volunteering in the Activate program this semester, so if I do get the position, I would have a better understanding of the program. Anyway, here are some pictures of the museum. I went there for a volunteer interview and managed to meet the Activate program team (because of my interest in working there) and received free admission into the exhibits.
Personally, I was really intrigued by one of their exhibits called Race: Are We So Different? Although I was short on time, I really enjoyed walking and reading through the exhibit about discrimination throughout history and the evolution of people's perceptions about race and ethnicity.
On one wall there were messages from people of all backgrounds, races, and ages. Their perception and definition of their own identities were very powerful and struck a chord with me. Their affirmation of their identity makes anyone who reads their messages feel more comfortable in their own skin, knowing that they are not alone.
The morning of my interview at the Science Museum, Jennifer and I actually went to visit the Walker Art Center because we have free admission on the first Saturday of each month. The center was actually much smaller than I thought, but maybe that's because I'm used to the size of the High Museum of Art back in Atlanta. Regardless, the art there is mostly modern and contemporary art.
Besides the things I've listed above, my life isn't really THAT interesting. Tomorrow, I'll be volunteering along with some other Bonners at Second Harvest, a food pantry, for a Macalester Voluntine's Day event. On Sunday, Jennifer and I will be going to a Chinese restaurant hoping to score some dim sum. Which reminds me...
Happy Lunar New Year!!!
祝大家新年快樂, 恭喜發財, 身體健康, 萬事如意!
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. I clean when I'm stressed. I blog for fun.
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