Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Exercising my Independence

Unlike most other days, my Sunday was rather uneventful. After looking at the events planned for the next few days, I decided that nothing in particular stood out to me, so I chose not to sign up for anything. As it was a Sunday, breakfast and lunch were combined into brunch, which was served at the 1920 Commons starting at 11:00 AM. I'm not particularly fond of this schedule, as it creates a large gap between dinner the previous night, which was about 8:00 PM, and brunch the following morning. In my case, it meant about 15 straight hours without food, which is a rather long time for me. However, this is only a minor complaint of mine and it is certainly tolerable.

Upon returning from brunch, I continued to work on my blogs to catch up and on my capstone project, for which I read through several more of the scholarly articles. While they contained vast amounts of very specific information, they essentially detailed the correlation between air pollution in certain areas and SES and the detrimental health effects of air pollution, particularly among children, who are more prone to develop asthma in areas of greater air pollution. Eventually, I found it increasingly difficult for me to articulate what I wanted to say satisfactorily, so I decided to go out and take a reprieve from working in my room. Although I had initially intended to go to the library to continue working, I discovered it was closed, so instead, I headed to Starbucks, as it seems to be a popular location for students to study. I almost never go to Starbucks, so I had no idea what to order when I decided I wanted to try something to drink. Eventually, I ended up getting the Mango Black Tea Lemonade, as I don't like coffee very much. Once I had gotten my drink, which took about ten minutes, I went upstairs to find a place to sit and study. It was nearly full, so I took a seat at a long table in the center of the room. There, I drafted and revised my thesis for my capstone project and completed more research as well.
I thought the artwork on this wall was interesting
The Starbucks counter
After finishing my drink, I headed to the UPenn Bookstore again to look for some spirit wear. Eventually, I found a simple navy T-shirt with "University of Pennsylvania" and the coat of arms printed on the front of the shirt in white that I liked, so I purchased it. Once I had done so and returned to my room, I discovered the stories of the attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as the use of a taser on Patrick Mumford, who was misidentified for Michael Clay. Both incidents merely show that there is much work yet to be done to achieve social justice, as it appears each group has some hostility towards the other.
The courtyard of the Quad
Eventually, I turned my attention away from the incidents to meet up with Kamillah so we could walk to Hummus Grill together, where we were to meet up with Mr. Hillyer for dinner. As we ordered our food and waited for it to be prepared, we took the opportunity to catch up, as Kamillah and I told him what we had been doing for the last week or so while he did the same for his own experiences. Once we had gotten our food, which we each took to-go, we all walked together until we eventually had to go our separate ways. Upon returning to my room, I enjoyed my beef gyro over rice, which was accompanied by several sides of vegetables. The delicious food was a much needed break from the standard fare we receive from the 1920s Commons and Houston Market.
The menu and counter at Hummus Grill
The dining area inside Hummus Grill
Although my Sunday was much less busy than most of the other days in my time here in Philadelphia, I think that it gave me the opportunity to truly exercise the independence I've been granted here, as almost everything I did was by my own choosing. However, to ensure there's no confusion, I've thoroughly enjoyed the activities I participated in as a part of the fixed agenda, but it's also fun to determine what I spend my day doing on my own, so I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to do so.


  1. You took what looked like a mundane Sunday and made it interesting. Well done, Chris.

    Just curious, though, if you had dinner with Mr. Hillyer, where did the gyro with veggies come from?

  2. I'm glad you thought it was interesting, so thank you! As for the dinner, we ordered our food to-go, so we each brought it back to our own rooms to eat.