Going to Hillel for the first time I didn’t know how the environment was going to be. I had never experienced the Jewish life at a college before. I had high expectations knowing the great population of jews in New York. So I went to their welcoming party.
Entering the club I was welcomed with heads of the club. Asking where I was from and engaging in simple dialogue. Speaking to people throughout the club I came to realize there were a lot of people I did not know. It was not just Jews from the area but there were Jews from around the country. I met Jewish kids from Maryland, Michigan, and LosAngeles. Learning diaspects of Jewish culture.
Going to their welcoming party I found out about a list of exciting events. The Hillel hosts different lunches with great foods such as wings and pizza. They also have shabbatons (weekend outings) at places such as Brownstone and Washington D.C. They have events such as ice skating, tech fairs, and tours. They also have 20 minute shiurs (Jewish biblical discussions) once a week every monday.
Not only were there many great events and activities at the Hillel but they also offer job/internship. Through the club, they offer Database, Social Media, and Administrative jobs/internship. As an incoming freshman who is looking for a job/internship this was very exciting for me. I would be able to have a good job/internship while being able to work in a comfortable environment.
Visiting this event made me realize how much of a Jewish home I have at Baruch. How much opportunity I have to engage in a Jewish community at the Baruch Hillel. How diverse the students are and how many events I have the opportunity to engage in. Most importantly, My life at Baruch and my life as a Jew do not have to be separate but rather intertwined.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Life imitates art, or so they say. Today I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art on fifth avenue and dove headfirst into one of my favorite art museums. I observed medieval art, modern and contemporary art, European sculptures, decorative arts, Greek art, Roman art and Egyptian art. The Egyptian art section was by far the best exhibit. Pieces dated from the Paleolithic era to the Roman era. Colossal obelisks depicted various stories through hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics usually mentioned pharaohs (Egyptian kings) and various gods. Around the Egyptian Temple of Dendur there was a beautiful moat laid out across the front half of the exhibit. My favorite pieces of art from the Egyptian exhibit were the sarcophaguses. The concept and history behind the sarcophagus are quite fascinating. Ancient Egyptians mummified the dead then placed them in sarcophaguses to rest. Ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife so they thoroughly prepared the dead for this. Egyptian tombs were decorated with the deceased person with food, property, and offerings to sustain them in the afterlife. To Egyptians “the land of two fields” was known as their heaven. When someone died their heart would be weighed on a scale by the Egyptian god Ma ‘at. Ma ‘at is known as the Egyptian scale of truth or balance. You had to earn entry to “the land of two fields”. Performing good deeds during your time on earth did this. If you managed to perform good deeds your heart would become light. If your heart was not light enough a crocodile-like beast, Ammit the devourer would eat your heart restricting you from leading a peaceful afterlife. If your heart weighed light, you were welcomed to Ra’s ship. Ra is the Egyptian sun god. Ra ruled the sky, earth, and the underworld. All in all Egyptian history is vivid and beautiful. The Metropolitan Museum of art was well worth it.
Name: Sameer Sewdath
Fun Fact: I believe that Kanye West is the most influential person of this generation.
Perspective Major: Finance
(My instagram caption would go something along the lines of: I don’t do public stunts… I stunt in public)
One thing I liked about The Book Of Unknown Americans: I liked the character development (specifically of Mayor and Maribel). Mayor’s feelings for Maribel allowed a beautiful relationship to blossom between the two characters.
One thing I disliked about the Book of Unknown Americans: I find it very unlikely that the special education list Arturo received in Mexico at that time period would specifically list care-centers in Delaware. Arturo could have probably went to another town in Mexico to receive the special care for Maribel.
Major: Real Estate
Liked about the book: Was very interesting and was able to draw me in.
Did not like about the book: The ending was very bad.
For one of the enrichment workshops, I stopped by the Baruch College Hillel Organization. Hillel is a nationwide jewish advocacy group found on the majority of college campuses. At Baruch, Hillel is a fairly large club, and is one of the most active on campus. Twice a week, they offer a free kosher lunch, which is open to the entire student body. Although I don’t plan to be involved with it, Hillel is a great resource for Baruch’s Jewish student body.
Fun Fact: Favorite genre of music is Rap.
Perspective Major: Sports Business
One thing I liked about The Book of Unknown Americans was how each character evolved over the course of the story.
One thing I disliked was the writing style. I didn’t find the book was able to draw me in and keep me engaged.
Last month I visited a Pop-up art gallery in Soho. The gallery featured art work from up and coming artist Arlette Tebele. Tebele is originally from Brooklyn, and uses a really unique styles in her work, which depict various influential pop culture icons. I found out about the gallery from some of my friends on snapchat, and decided to go see the art. Among my favorite pieces, were multiple murals of Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Tebele’s work has a real “street art” and graffiti feel. Her work is unique, and definitely provides a new cultural vibe to New York’s downtown art scene. I really enjoyed going to the gallery, and am hoping to find more opportunities like this around New York City as the year goes on.
During mid-September I visited the Whitney Museum of American Art with a few of my friends. I’ve visited this museum before but only viewed it for a short amount of time. Honestly, my favorite part of this museum is the insane view of the city. We sat outside for a while and watched the sunset. The architecture is amazing, thanks to Renzo Piano. He’s truly a genius, and I loved the flow of the building. We were recommended to view each exhibit from the top floor to the bottom. Majority of the time I was appreciating the building craftsmanship over the art pieces. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River, and to the east you can see the High Line Park. The exhibit that struck me the most was, “An Incomplete History of Protest.” All the work is related to activism and politics. One of the art pieces wrote, “Ignorance=Fear, Silence=Death, Fight Aids Act Up.” Definitely a strong quote and something very important for everyone to acknowledge. Ignorance only leads to greater fears in this world, and silence does nothing but bring more destruction. The big themes of race, nation, gender and movement are all here. This exhibit really opens your eyes, it’s more than just pretty art, but something to learn from. The stairs in the exhibit were also cool, until you realize what it depicted. It was a bunch of children-like-figures that were linked to each other through a rope. They each symbolized something different, one figure wore an “all holes matter” t-shirt, the other wore a “remembering 9/11” t-shirt. It was a very interesting piece.
A couple weeks ago I visited the Whitney Museum for the first time. It was such an amazing experience, the art was beautiful and the views were breathtaking. The exhibits especially, were extremely unique. Some were interactive and required your five senses in order to fully enjoy the art. The Hélio Oiticica exhibition was my favorite, it first required you to take off your shoes, where you would then venture into a world with sand underneath your feet and small rooms to explore. There were tents assembled, one with wet leaves as the floor, and another with water, while next to that would be one with pillows and headphones ready to listen to some Brazilian tunes. There would also be a maze like room where you would have to walk in the dark to find a small television, that’s playing a black and white movie. There were also “beds” with curtains sectioning each bed apart. Each bed were cushioned with all different type of things, ranging from old books, to leaves, to an actual mattress. Other exhibits required using your sense of touch, liken to touching some red sand in a bowl. As for the actual paintings, they all had a quirk to them. They were unique in their own magical way. The views from the actual building were magnificent, it was overlooking the High Line, with some interesting sculptures on the terraces of the museum. Even the staircases had art that were rather disturbing but thought provoking. There was a person with what seems to have a wedgie, but is hanging them self. This seems to portray the affect of bullying, and the consequences that could happen. The Whitney showcased art that had a deep message to them, which really made me intrigued by the museum. Art with a story is the art I truly love.
Ever since school started, I’ve been waiting for the day I can go study abroad. College is the place where you can finally take these opportunities appropriate for you, and you can do so independently. I knew I had to attend the study abroad fair to learn more about my options, and so I did. Before entering the gym, I took the small map that displayed where every table for the different countries were going to be. As soon as I spotted China and South Korea, I wanted to head there, but I knew I should really take a look at all of my opportunities. At the very first table, I picked up booklets from non-profit organizations that promote international education and exchange, providing with scholarships and grants. They had booklets on study abroad in general, but also on internships and jobs abroad. I also ran into a group of people who were speaking Spanish with a Spaniard accent, and it instantly caught my attention, or better yet, my ears. I haven’t encountered many Spanish speakers ever since I started in Baruch, and I was used to almost half of my school speaking Spanish in high school. I wondered why I don’t take advantage of my second language, and network with these people. I could take an opportunity to go to Spain as well, and I might discover that I like Spanish people, aside from taking an interest in networking with Asian people. Afterwards, I did head to the tables that had information on studying abroad in Chengdu, China and Seoul, South Korea. After having a conversation with the girls who were exchange students at Yonsei University, one of the top three prestigious universities in Korea, I felt extremely motivated to take the chance. I want to further my knowledge on Korean culture, as I’m already captivated by the style, the food, the music, and the language. Through an exchange semester at China, I would continue learning Chinese, and improving my speaking and listening skills that an opportunity like this would promise me the best results as I would be surrounded by natives. With the insight that I got from this study abroad fair, I can see myself in a near future taking a trip to one of these countries to study, or even to work.