At 10:00 AM, myself and 10 other members of IA got into Audrey’s “creepy white van”, her words not mine, to go help paint the mural in an elementary school in Westerville. When we got there we met up with Jeremy and he introduced us to the kids we’d be working with that day. I quickly got to work cutting out leaves with inspirational and loving quotes on them with a little boy who’s name also happened to be Hayden. It was an incredibly kind and giving atmosphere that morning as we all calmly and quietly worked on the mural. Eventually, we broke for a pizza break and then I began painting the actual mural. Jeremy and the art teacher were excited to have me there because I was tall enough to reach the top of the wall. This event didn’t change my beliefs or preconceptions in any way but it did remind me of the joy of volunteering. It’s not an energetic joy but more or less a peace that I’ve found washes over me when I put aside all the worries I face in everyday life and just focus on getting a good job done. This event relates to IA because it helps out CRIS, an organization that helps refugees from around the world in Columbus. To be in IA should be synonymous with a desire to help others around the world and one of the best avenues to do that is through CRIS.
On October 25th a group of IA students met Stephen in the lobby of Smith-Steeb Hall and took a bus to the North Market for dinner. In the North Market there is a wide variety of restaurants that represent food culture from all over the world. The pastries of France, ramen from Japan, pho from Vietnam, sausage from Poland, tacos from Mexico, and curry from India. It was an amazing experience just to wander around the complex and be exposed to such a wide range of diversity that is simply captured in the food we eat. This social event ties back to IA because it had us go out into the world and interact with a particular part of culture that we don’t always think about. It is the mission of this scholars program to get OSU students to experience the world outside of the United States and one of the easiest ways to start this process could be simply to try some new food. I had some vegetarian ramen for dinner but I want to head back to the North Market soon so I can try more of the dining options there. It can be costly to travel but a trip to the North Market is a good way to play pretend that you’re abroad.