Hump Day Chomp: Study Space Edition

humpdaychomp

If you’ve already started studying for finals, you know that nothing fights the study blues quite like a good snack. Here are a few off-campus locations that combine delicious food with a convenient and comfortable study space.

1. Open City

Located on the grounds of the National Cathedral, this is the sister café of popular study spot Tryst. It opened today (12/10) and offers cool tables and breakfast food, sandwiches and salads. They also have WiFi, which is such an added bonus.

2. Panera

Just a GUTS bus ride away, Panera Bread in Dupont has an entire downstairs level with booths, tables and a ton of outlets for all your charging needs. They are currently running a promotion offering any baked good for $0.99 (these usually are $2+) with the purchase of an entree and drink. 4E recommends the chicken and avocado Cobb salad or any type of soup in a bread bowl (duh). They also have an extensive breakfast menu served until 10:30 a.m.

3. Farmers Fishers Bakers

Facing the scenic Potomac waterfront and well known for a really cool (expensive) weekend brunch, Farmers Fishers Bakers also offers a really cheap weekday breakfast menu. You can order and hang out with free WiFi from 7:30 to 10:00 am. Also, the cinnamon buns are to die for.

These places will help you gently break the bubble during finals week as you discover new food and maybe a new favorite study space. Be brave and venture off campus — it’s a great way to avoid the kids you don’t like at school and quickly experience some of the D.C. culture.

Seth Meyers Nailed It At GW

Seth MeyersA few months ago, we received word that legendary Saturday Night Live writer and Weekend Update host Seth Meyers would be doing a show at George Washington University in October for their parents’ weekend (part of some nonnegotiable contract, probably). A few Georgetown students decided to purchase these coveted tickets to see the great comedian and current Late Night host.

He nailed it. For almost 90 minutes, Seth Meyers owned the stage, captured the audience and absolutely nailed all of his jokes. He also taught us a lot of valuable life lessons. Here are a few.

We really do have a lot to worry about here in America.

“We worry about Isis, we worry about Ebola. We worry about Isis getting Ebola and using it as a weapon. We worry about everyone except Isis getting Ebola. Isis really needs to pick a name – they are way less intimidating if you can’t decide whether to call them ‘Isis’ or ‘The Islamic State’ or ‘Elsa’ or whatever. Also, if you see Isis don’t tell them I made a joke about them.”

Obama doesn’t need us.

“I think Obama is ready to be done being president. He doesn’t need the love of the American people. Bill Clinton – he needed the love of the American people. If he could be president again today, he would. George W. Bush might still think he’s president. To make the transition easier for him, they probably told him that he could continue doing the job from Texas.”

Not everyone was happy about Bin Laden’s death.    

“Obama is tough to make fun of because he’s really self-aware, but at the White House Correspondent’s dinner I really nailed it. I felt so good about it, and I thought that I would be all over the news on Monday morning; I was just hoping no big news would break over the weekend.

Of course I turn on the news Monday morning and see that we f**king murdered Osama Bin Laden. Honestly, I was so pissed. Like, we chased the guy for 10 f**king years and they had to pick THAT day to finally kill him?

But I do have a theory about this to make myself feel better: I think that Obama knew that I was going to get all the attention, so he assembled all his advisors and was like, ‘Hey, we need to do something, I don’t want jokes about me to be on Monday morning news’, and they were like, ‘Oh, we could kill Bin Laden’ and he said, ‘Do it.’ So, you’re welcome America.”

Paris is tricky.

“I dated my wife for a long time before I finally proposed to her, and by year 4 she was getting really antsy about a ring. For her birthday that year, I suggested we go to Prague but she insisted on Paris. We were walking on a bridge and I dropped my passport. I realized that it would have been easier to kick the passport into the water and say ‘Well, we live in Paris now’ than to get down on one knee in the middle of Paris and come up without a ring in my hand.”

People who live abroad are insufferable.                                                      

“They come back and all they talk about is how great it was wherever they lived and how terrible it is here in the United States. They feel the need to show off their new language and insert words randomly into conversation – after dinner they’ll say, “Goodnight, goodnight, buonanotte, WHAT? Wow, why did I just say that? Oh yea, because I lived in Italy last semester!”

Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound a little like one of your study abroad friends (we say it with love!).

So Seth, thanks for teaching me more real life things in your 90-minute show than I’ve learned all year. Saturday Night Live isn’t the same without you.

Photo: eonline.com

4-eign E: All About that Mosque

Foreign E

Merhaba, Georgetown guys and gals. (Note: merhaba is Turkish for “hello”.)

Some of you might remember my last post about my study abroad adventures (if not, study up). Basically, I have been living an unreal dream that I hopefully won’t wake up from soon!

After spending my summer in Quito, Ecuador (a.k.a. lo mejor verano), I am now spending my fall semester in Alanya, Turkey, at the McGhee Center Villa.

But, like, what is Alanya?

Glad you asked. Alanya is, as my study abroad advisor said, the “night club capitol of the Turkish Riviera.” (Yes that is a thing, I have lived it.) Located on the Mediterranean Sea, the weather here is never above 95 degrees and never below 70. Jealousy is a thing, so don’t worry if you’re feeling it.

The Georgetown villa here is probably the best thing in the world. We get lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday (thanks to our fabulous chef) and our apartment building (the lojman) has the best view in the city. It is the best Georgetown housing option, in my non-professional opinion.

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Basically, being here is like enjoying a beach vacation, with a few classes mixed in.

Turkey is a pretty wacky country. Although it is a secular country, the majority of the population is Muslim. So that means us here at the villa get to hear the “call to prayer” 5 times of day (the best one is at 5:30 a.m.).

Other than the untimely alarms, Turkish society is pretty normal. In Alanya, there are TWO Starbucks (and yes, they do serve iced coffee), local shops, a beach and a million and a half tourists.

IMG_8587I went real basic white girl, just for this pic. You’re welcome.

One of the biggest struggles is definitely the HUGE HILL that we climb up everyday. Only Georgetown would choose an apartment building with a 12-minute walk up and then a villa with another 10-minute walk up. But the view is a sight for sore eyes (and sore legs).

Alanya is a tourism center through and through. The majority of the tourists come from northern Europe, so when Turks see Americans they get really excited. #celebstatus

For some reason, the town of Alanya thinks that pirate ships are the epitome of the tourist experience. So everyday, about ten pirate ships go out on a day-long “booze cruise”. You can hear the music from our classroom. The best/worst part of the day is when they play Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, but actually why would you play that song ON A BOAT???

The Turkish language is a grand old time. In my opinion, it is a mix of Spanish, French, Arabic and something else I can’t put my finger on. Our teacher is hysterical and talks in a way too proper English accent. So pluses all around. Right now I am speaking at a three-year-old level so go Coco go.

But seriously, even with everything going on 600 km east of me, nothing seems to be different here. It’s  a surreal experience … you wouldn’t understand.

My next adventure? My ten-day European birthday tour. Catch me in Munich or Barcelona. The game of hide-and-seek just got a little bit bigger.

jealousmuch

Wanna check out more of my adventures? Talk Turkish to Me.

Photos: Courtney Klein/The Hoya; gif

The End of the Beginning

Study Abroad Guide

The final days of summer are fleeting. All Georgetown students are filled with mixed emotions towards the impending situation.

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Especially for those students, like moi, who are shipping out (well, flying out) to study abroad, the end of this summer is a pretty big deal. You are filled with the excitement of a new country, new people and a new drinking age (you know it’s true) but you’re also pretty sad because YOU WON’T BE AT GEORGETOWN.

Ugh, the struggles. How will we deal with not seeing the beautiful Lauinger Library everyday? It seems, at this point in time, impossible.

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Oh, how majestic!

That being said, I bet you all that in, let’s say, 5 days, you will be praising the study abroad gods. #blessed? (Please never use this hashtag seriously.)

Some things you need to do before you jet-set away…

EAT

Whether you fancy bagels with iced coffee or rich Italian pasta, make sure to get your fill of your favorite snacks. But then, PUT THEM OUT OF YOUR MIND. You will not be able to deal with yourself if all you are thinking about is Mai Thai Pad Thai.

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Netflix

While most countries in the world have come over to the dark side (and by dark side I mean Netflix), there are still some who are resisting the urge (cough cough, TURKEY). Just to be safe, binge watch a few episodes or seasons of your favorite show.

Fotografías 

Yes, fotografías is Spanish for photos. This is essential for your study abroad decor and your sanity. Yesterday, I printed about 50 photos from CVS (you can do it online) of all my friends, family and enemies. Hey, you never know who you are going to keep around and who you are going to de-friend IRL.

Tunes 

It is not always easy to download your favorite jams at the touch of a button while off in the middle of who-knows-where. I always like to have all of the songs I would want to, not want to or possibly want to listen to. Does that make sense? Maybe not now, but you will be bowing down to me when you realize how much of a life saver this is.

School Work? 

Contrary to popular belief, study abroad does actually include some studying. While you are also there to have fun and meet new people, make sure to save yourself and download all the things you may need from Blackboard beforehand.

Plans 

Make a list of all the things, places and monuments you want to see so that you can easily plan out your trips! Of course you’re going to learn about new places as you go, but it is always good to have a jumping-off point!

There are a ton of other things you should/need to do before you leave, but of course the most important is to continue reading the 4E.

Enjoy your time being Americans and drinking all the iced coffee you can. Maybe people will miss you when you’re gone.

Oh, and when you are finally at your study abroad destination complaining about “how weak your internet connection is,” just think about your favorite blogger (a.k.a. me) trying to stream videos in Turkey. God help me.

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Gifs: tumblr.com

Photos: wikipedia.org, psu.edu

A Sport and a Palestine: Roaming through Ramallah

Ramallah

Have you heard the one about a Jewish student at a Jesuit university travelling to Ramallah? This is no Scheherazadian tale: against the advice of my summer program and my parents (love you, Mom and Dad J), two friends and I decided to visit Ramallah, a Palestinian city in the West Bank.

Beneath my J. Crew sweaters, Sperry’s and standard Georgetown swag, I am pretty badass—remember this when you see me on a Friday night in Lau 3 proudly sporting my watermelon-patterned retainer! Besides a twenty-one-year-old’s futile attempts to cling onto some semblance of a teenage rebellion, I felt strongly about overlooking the program’s warning and visiting the Palestinian city. While studying at Hebrew University, I have mostly interacted with the Jewish-Israeli population. Even if I didn’t plan on discussing politics with any Ramallans, I, as a diplomatically minded Georgetown student, aspired to at least relate with an alternate perspective.

The bus echoed with the penetrating trill of Arabic music and the whispers of my Palestinian-Milwaukeean friend preparing us on what to expect at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank. Entering the West Bank is easy: after we left the bus at the checkpoint and passed through three revolving doors similar to the ones at the exit of the Metro, we immediately were greeted with black-charred rocks and a putrid smell. My friend explained that soldiers spray “skunk-water” to disband protests, particularly repulsive for Muslims who fervently wish to maintain cleanliness in the final ten holy days of Ramadan. (It should be noted that only upon leaving the West Bank did we have to show our IDs and undergo security checks.) After passing through the checkpoint into the West Bank, a group taxi dropped us off in the middle of a fruit market. As we mingled between cars lurching forward in insurmountable traffic and fruit vendors hocking their mangoes, it hit me that I actually was in Ramallah.

The craziest part of my experience in Ramallah was the city’s apparent normalcy. Under overhanging lights, narrow streets, passable to two lanes of cars, merged into larger roundabouts; men and women, many of whom didn’t wear head-coverings, shopped in stores like Nike, which lined the street. Loud, overwhelming, yet simultaneously alluring, Ramallah has the atmosphere of a SAC fair (admittedly, this is hyperbolic, but you get the point).

Initially, we went to the Stars and Bucks Café. Replete with red velour and crescent-shaped couches, the café takes Starbucks to the next level: let’s see when Starbucks offers cheeseburgers, hookah and a view of Al-Manara Square. After our bout of touristic fervor, we went to a local clothing shop to pick up my friends tailored Abaya, a long dress for women. She even let me try hers on: putting on the black and red embroidered gown, I envisioned myself looking fly at Dip Ball. To wrap up our speed Ramallah tour, we tried Arab style ice cream: basically ice cream without milk, Arab style ice cream stretches and sticks more. Any ice cream that offers a Nutella flavor falls under a win in my book.

After we survived—aka made it back through the checkpoint and bus to campus— I sat in my Jewish history class, finding it impossible to concentrate on our lesson about nineteenth century rabbis. Pulling up Time magazine (because surfing the internet during class always seems better when you are not on Facebook), I stopped at an article about violent rioting at the Qalandia checkpoint, or the place I had just been two hours before. Not going to lie: this freaked me out. Looking back on the experience, I probably should have done more planning before I just YOLO’ed a spur of the moment trip to a politically volatile area. Yet, especially considering that we encountered no security issues, I am still glad I visited Ramallah. To understand a different group’s perspective, it’s essential to walk a mile in their Abaya.

Photo: cjournal.info

Coping with Conflict in Israel

Coping with Israel Conflict

“Would you like your drinks before or after we go to the bomb shelter?” With unwavering calm, a waitress coolly inquired after our drink orders as incoming rocket fire compelled us to flee our oceanside table for the local Tel Aviv bar’s shelter. To quote the 2003 cinematic classic “Bad Boys 2,” shit just got real.

After growing up in the Midwest and spending two years of college in the Georgetown bubble (where the greatest threat to my survival was Tuscany’s closing), I have found the gravity of the conflict in Israel difficult to fully fathom. While rockets have sporadically threatened Jerusalem, warning sirens echoed through Tel Aviv at least five times a day in the past week. Even in the relative safety of Jerusalem, I still consider the blaring of the alarm bells terrifying. I am not alone: Fearing an escalation in conflict, many universities have evacuated their students from Israel.

Unaccustomed to such a threatening environment, many students in my group have turned to humor in order to cope. From setting a picture of the Iron Dome demolishing a rocket as a Facebook cover photo to complaining that the bomb shelter doesn’t have Wi-Fi, humor provides the best medicine. By jokingly thanking Hamas for timing their missile firing during class time, we conceal our greater fear that the classroom — our supposedly sheltered cocoon of learning — cannot escape the looming menace of the outside conflict.

Yet, I wonder if this treatment of the crisis unfairly diminishes the suffering and fear both sides have experienced. Since I am a foreigner staying in Israel for only a short period of time, I can brush off the frightening moments I have confronted as an adventure, which will impress the SFS hotshots when I get back on campus. For most people, however, this is their home: Innocent civilians in Gaza have been killed and displaced, while various Israeli cities experience continued rocket attacks. We must remember this is no laughing matter. In order to reduce hostilities and begin to mend the widespread mistrust, it’s going to take more than a few one-liners: Both sides need to express a commitment for peace.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior in the College. Check out her other posts about her experience at Hebrew University this summer.

Photo: rt.com

Emoji Dictionary

Guide to EmojisBy now it should be obvious that we love emojis. As we wait anxiously for the emoji update that promises hundreds of new emojiis, let’s make sure we’re taking advantage of the emojiis currently at our disposal. But first we have one question: tumblr_n6z1izqDbX1qk08n1o1_500 1. Flag This emoji seemed particularly necessary recently with the World Cup and summer traveling. Since communication apparently doesn’t slow down no matter what continent you’re on, these emojis can be used as a constant reminder that as you suffer through your unpaid internship or commuting from suburbia, your friends are having fun on vespas in Italy or bar hopping in Germany. Basically they are Lizzie McGuire in The Lizzie McGuire Movie and you are Gordo. emoji12. Flag + Soccer Ball A fun little twist on the Flag (see #1). For all you World Cup watchers, combine a flag with a soccer ball and you can pretend that you know something about soccer (football?) despite having no idea who Cristiano Ronaldo was three weeks ago (myself included). emoji2 3. The little chick with her hand up This is your basic bitch. It is probably the most fun emoji to send and the most annoying to receive. It’s like this little tiny lady is telling you that she is better than you. She holds more power in her left hand than you do in your whole body.emoji3 4. The single tear drop  This emoji is used when your friend has told you bad news and you want to express sympathy. Warning: this is only for when your friend has missed the bus or she has to spend the night in Lau. It would be an extremely inappropriate response to actual bad news. If your friend tells you horrible news, pick up the phone and call her instead of sending a little crying man.emoji4 5. Serious face + Gun  This combination is the best of way of saying “I hate everything and everyone, you may kill me now.”emoji5 6. Food  I always wonder about the taste of whoever created the food emojis because while it seems like there are many options to choose from, there are only a few that represent foods I eat often. I personally don’t ever crave flan enough to text about it, but to each their own.emoji6

Under the Iron Dome: Experiencing the Conflict in Israel First-Hand

lifeundertheirondomeI did not expect to become a target of missile fire this summer — that was never on my intended agenda of tanning, shopping and padding the resume. Yet, during the middle of my Jerusalem summer program’s potluck dinner, our shrieks of delight at the watermelon and feta salad succumbed to deadening silence as a siren suddenly blared over the loudspeaker.

Nothing kills a dinner party like an alarm and the voice of God — or in this case, a man sputtering forceful directions overhead in incomprehensible Hebrew. All seventeen of us squished into the bomb shelter — aka my friend’s room — which was equipped with a double-paned window and incredibly thick walls. Deeming the disturbance a drill despite its unusual timing, we passed around the chocolate rugelach and pumped up the One Direction (Harry Styles has helped me through many a crisis). After we waited ten minutes, or the allotted time for such practice security measures, we uneasily filed out of the room/shelter and continued our meal.

Soon, however, we learned the truth: Rockets from the Gaza Strip had not only targeted Tel Aviv and Beir Sheba, but even aimed at Jerusalem. Fortunately, the Iron Dome — an air-defense system which Israel recently developed — intercepted and destroyed the rockets.

Though currently safe from rocket attack in Jerusalem, I am most struck by the resiliency of the Israeli people I have encountered in the face of possible danger. While the architects of VCW absentmindedly forgot to include closets in the rooms, each building in Hebrew University was designed to withstand bomb threats and shooting sprees; each apartment has a bomb shelter. It’s incredible to me that the students here so easily live and study in such an oppressive and terrifying environment. After one mere alarm, I was freaking out! Luckily, my mom’s concern if (a) I was okay and (b) I did my laundry, promptly brought me back from diva-land to reality.

I also learned how to cope in this new reality by observing everyone around me. In the face of the escalating conflict, life here in Jerusalem, besides the occasional security cautions, carries on as usual. For example, on the top of Masada, an ancient archaeological site, we saw three unmarked planes fly close to the ground in the span of twenty minutes. While our group looked at each other nervously, our Israeli guide, clearly unfazed, just exclaimed, “that’s unusual,” and continued blathering on about the Romans.

Leaving aside any political conversation, I am amazed at many Israelis’ capacity to recover and thrive in the midst of crisis. If there is anything I will learn from my summer experience in Israel, it’s that nothing — whether a midterm or a hangover — is as bad as a missile hurtling toward you, and I can handle that.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior in the College. This is her third post about her experience studying abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Eat, Pray, Rest: Shabbat in the Holy City

Shabbat

While most Georgetown students worship the weekend as much-needed time to catch up on homework and binge-watch Game of Thrones (let’s be honest, though, when did midterms ever truly thwart us from GOT?), Jerusalem regards the weekend very differently.

As Friday evening approaches (weekends in Israel are on Fridays and Saturdays), supermarkets crowd and bustle with a fervor similar to students dashing to the Leo’s pasta line. Yet, once the sun begins to set, a siren ushers in a silence discernibly grasped throughout the city. From Friday evening to Saturday evening, Jerusalem respects Shabbat, or the Jewish day of rest. Restaurants close; buses and light-rail cease their customary routes. For tourists—and students looking for a fun time—the choice is simple: pray in Jerusalem, or play elsewhere.

Initially, I considered this strict practice of Shabbat overly daunting. Observant Jews not only are unable to check their email, drive a car or prepare a snack during Shabbat, but they cannot even turn on the lights. Is this lifestyle possible at Georgetown? Given our busy schedules packed with difficult classes and leadership engagements, students rarely take the time to even breathe, much less dedicate twenty-four hours to “rest.” Nevertheless, in my study abroad program, four incredibly intelligent and talented modern Orthodox students at a rigorous American university still manage to fulfill their obligations to their religious practice and their academic studies.

Although we cannot expect to fully embrace such stringent observances, Georgetown students can learn a lot from Jerusalem’s Shabbat. Winding down and decompressing after a hectic week can actually help us achieve more in the subsequent days. By dedicating even a few moments from our week to reflect on our lives and the world around us, we perhaps may enjoy a more restful — and meaningful — Georgetown experience.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior in the College. She has previously contributed to The Fourth Edition.

Photo: 500px.org

From the Hilltop to the French Hill

Georgetown in Israel

​After two semesters of trekking to Lau and whining about Leo’s food, summer provides a much-needed escape from the Georgetown bubble. Yet, even while exploring Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Mount Scopus—my new campus home for the summer—I have begun to put Georgetown in perspective. Located in its nation’s capital, world-renowned and buzzing with cafés and students lounging on the lawn, Hebrew University is actually a lot more like Georgetown than I would ever have thought. Here are some surprising similarities:

1. Call Animal Control
Let’s be honest: no one came to Georgetown for the rats and squirrels. I intentionally bypass Old North to avoid mice Mecca. At Hebrew University, however, cats prove an inescapable presence. Not only do cats roam the library and the student center, but students also maintain an area on campus specifically to feed the cats. Maybe if we took some cats to Georgetown, we’d at least lose one problem.

2. Dead Man Walking
While Georgetown houses a cemetery for Jesuits between Harbin and the ICC, Hebrew U actually boasts two: the British War cemetery and the American Colony cemetery. Nothing like looking at graves for some encouragement on the way to class.

3. Satellite Struggles
If you haven’t heard of the infamous and much-bemoaned proposal to introduce a satellite Georgetown campus, then you probably were living in Hebrew University. Although Hebrew U retains six different campuses depending on subject area, Georgetown students would universally protest the Mount Scopus layout. While the dorms sit on one side of the campus, students have to walk twenty minutes to the library and the academic buildings. Forget about waking up five minutes before class.

4. Campus on a Hill
Both Georgetown and Hebrew U are situated on one of the highest points of their respective cities. What a geographic sense of superiority!

5. The Village People
Rooming in VCW and Village A, I have always lived in some sort of village. Out of all the Georgetown idiosyncrasies, I considered this the most peculiar. Instead of being super confusing to visitors and new students, can’t the university just find some rich people to buy the name and then use the money to put treadmills in some common rooms? Yet, in Hebrew University, my dorm is number 7 in the Student Village. I guess some seemingly unique eccentricities really supersede countries and customs.

Before arriving at Hebrew University, I considered my summer to be a very different, if not completely opposite, experience to my first year at Georgetown. But I guess it just goes to show that no matter where you go as a Hoya, memories of the Hilltop will always travel with you.

Jessica Tannenbaum is a rising junior at Georgetown. Thanks, Jessica!

Photo: horizon2020projects.com