Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
“To me, Bahrain is home, but I still think of myself as someone from D.C. I really love this city, and know more about it than I do about my own home. Sometimes, I find that when I talk, I say, ‘We’ or “People like us.’ I can’t vote, and if I break the law, I can be deported, but this is just as much my city as anyone else who comes here. I feel like I belong in D.C.
When I am here, I miss home. When I am home, I miss here.
“Part of why I love it here so much is because of how international it is. When I came to the United States for the first time for boarding school, I lived in the middle of nowhere in Connecticut for two years. It was definitely a culture shock for me. When I came here to go to Georgetown, I was so happy, and it felt so comfortable. My friends are from all over the world, and I am one of the few people I know who only has one passport.
“While many of the international people just come and go, I want to stay here after finishing my Master’s. I feel like I know this place. I know where to go and what to do here. When my friends come, I can show them around. I take them to Georgetown, but to the real Georgetown! Even if my friends want to go to Georgetown Cupcakes, I tell them that it is over-rated and we should go to Baked and Wired instead. Then, I take them to my favorite hole-in-the-wall spots and the other little places I have come to find.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
“Over the last twenty years, there have been a lot of chess games played within these walls. In truth, I am less interested in the games than in seeing how kids develop because of them. I like to think that learning chess helps children grow up to be good people and contribute something to society.
I like to think that learning chess helps children grow up to be good people and contribute something to society.
“While a few of the kids who train here go on to be very talented players, many just come to learn and have fun. Chess is a game of creativity, and kids can engage in competitive imagination. I realized the potential of the game when I was a high school teacher in the 70’s. I found that teaching kids to play chess had a profound, and almost instantaneous impact on their academic performance and social skills.
“By the 1980’s, I thought about creating a facility to teach chess. In the 90’s, it became a reality when we opened the U.S. Chess Center. Now, we teach 2,000 kids a week. And, I remember a time when it was not cool to play chess! Fortunately, the game has crept into youth culture, which I think is a move in the right direction.
Friday, November 11th, 2011
This week, People’s District shares three stories about and recipes from City Blossoms, a non-profit committed to kid-driven, community engaging creative green spaces. Today, we hear from five-year-old Lorenzo, the garden’s master waterer.
“Hi, my name is Lorenzo and I live on Girard St. in North America. I am five-years-old, and I loooove gardening. I like to plant plants so that other people can have plants. Did you know that plants need water? It’s true, they get real thirsty just like people.
I love to cook big, giant steaks and popcorn. We don’t grow any steaks or popcorn at the garden yet.
“I am a great waterer and I just got an award for watering the plants so good. I want to make sure that they have what they need, so they can grow up big and tall. When the plants grow, we can have more to eat, and share our plants with all the people who come to the garden.
“If you come here, you can see all of the plants that I done watered, like the eggplant and the grapes. I like to cook that stuff, but I love to cook big, giant steaks and popcorn. We don’t grow any steaks or popcorn at the garden yet.”