It is hard to believe, but it’s also a relief, that I have finally reached the last day of classes in my first year of graduate school! The passage of time during the school year always seems to surprise me, how does it go by so fast and so slowly at the same time?? As I reflect on my first year of graduate school, I am so thankful for the experiences I have had, the people I have met, and the lessons I have learned.
I was born and raised in the south, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. With parents from the mid-west (yes, those carbonated and often caffeinated beverages are called pop, not soda) and eastern Europe, who knows what my accent is supposed to sound like….but I digress! Ultimately, my decision to go to graduate school involved transitioning to life out-of-state, removed from the port-city and its humid and salty sea air.
Nonetheless, graduate school in DC has been more than I could have ever dreamed of. Every day I am challenged, encouraged, and supported by my professors and peers. My classmates and I have learned and achieved so much over the past year. We have visited a variety of performing arts venues in the area, such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Performing Arts Center, GALA Theatre, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Leaders in the arts have graciously offered their time to meet with us, teach us, and answer our questions in class. I have gotten involved in school and with organizations in the community, meeting a variety of interesting people in visual arts, poetry, dance, music, arts education, arts policy, marketing, and more. I have also tried to take time to learn about the local culture of DC by visiting museums, monuments, sculpture gardens, and the US National Botanical Garden, as well as exploring Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and the well-known bookstore/cafe, Politics & Prose.
March and April have been particularly exciting months for cultural events. The annual EALS Symposium, hosted and organized by Arts Management students at AU, involved an amazing series of panelists, engaging discussions, and students in the arts from around DC and throughout the U.S. The past two months have been particularly special because of the centennial celebration of the Cherry Blossom trees. Not only did I get to see the national Cherry Blossoms for the first time, I got to participate in the 100th anniversary of the gift of Cherry Blossoms from Japan.
Over the next week, the curatorial class will open an exhibit in the Katzen Museum, the producing class will host Katzen Jammers: A Cabaret, and I will be taking my final exams and officially completing the first year in my performing arts management degree. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the care and support of my family and loved ones back home. I am so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life and to have the opportunity to participate in cultural events every day.
Summer fun ahead!