My Kind of Spring Break
If you are a follower of UFindlay Instagram or my Instagram profile, you may have seen that I had the great opportunity to be part of an alternative spring break program called, “Engaged Citizenship: A Cultural & Social Justice Exploration.” As a freshman here at the University of Findlay, it was my first spring break here in the U.S. For days I was wondering what I should do! Should I just stay on campus? Go with my friends to visit somewhere? I was confused. But then Dr. Robert Braylock, who is the director of UF’s Buford Center for Diversity and Service, shared the opportunity with me. After reading the description of the program, I knew it was the right and perfect thing for me to do. Thank God, I thought so!
We had five people in our group: an American of Nigerian descendant, one from Egypt, one from Japan, one from Taiwan, one from the U.S., and of course, me from Bangladesh. The group was full of people from diverse backgrounds.
We packed the van and we went to Cleveland for this experience. For two of the days, we attended a diversity conference where we interacted with students from middle school and high school at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio! It was so amazing to see how these young kids were becoming a part of this hugely important conversation of diversity, and thinking about the true meaning of being an American and a human being.
We also explored some cultural sites in Cleveland during the week. We had dialogue, discussion and reflection at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (the second time for me, the first-time credit also goes to UF) Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage .
There were two surprise events which we didn’t have any clue about. One was my first time watching an NBA game as LeBron James and the Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons. We also saw the 20th anniversary touring production of the famous rock musical, “Rent.” I can’t explain in words how joyful that was for me.
And I probably should mention the various foods we ate during the five-day trip. From day one until the end of the day we left, we treated each other to foods from other cultures — cooking by ourselves with the fresh ingredients from the West Side Market of Cleveland. Fortunately, I also worked out every night with the best group ever to make up for all the food we ate.
I am very grateful that I did decide to spend my break with this program, and I’d encourage other Findlay students also to involve themselves in programs like this. There are other programs that include service projects and traveling abroad. Finding a meaningful way to spend your break doing something that would interest you should be easy.