Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Washington field trip report

The following report was written by student Hamad Al Zaabi.

Last Wednesday the Virginia Tech Language and Cultural Institute organized a field trip for us to witness the cherry blossoms in the National Mall area. The trip was more than perfect due to the outstanding weather.

At the beginning we visited the World War II monument. The structure was wonderful as it showed all the states together between the Pacific and the Atlantic with the water fountains in the middle. The monument honored all the soldiers who were killed in World War II.

Then we walked across the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which reflected both the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, toward the Lincoln Memorial, where the statue of Abraham Lincoln is sitting on its chair watching his beloved city, Washington, D.C.

After that we walked back toward the Dr. Martin L. King Jr. Memorial. I was amazed by how the place was set between Jefferson’s Memorial, who wrote the Declaration of Independence that all men are free, and Abraham Lincoln’s Memorial who led the free states in the Civil War.

Through this field trip I learned that many people sacrificed their lives and freedom in order to build a better future for their children.

In short, Washington, D.C., is a very rich place with all the history the city hides between its corners, yet the cherry blossom is another story you should see for yourself.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Photo essays from D.C.

Students in the National Capital Region took a field trip recently to Washington, D.C. They saw the cherry blossoms and visited three memorials -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. Below are the winning photo essays from that trip.

Abdulelh Aloubal
He is like a king sitting in his throne, and just has won a battle. His face is telling me everything, and left nothing to ask about. If he could speak he would say, ooh, little lawyer, stay away from law and politics or fight till you win!

He is listening to you now, and you can ask him any question! Really, he folds his arms across his chest listening. He became a statue so no one can assassinate him again! He told you about his dream, and your job to achieve it.

A little star inside a white cherry blossom talked to me about its original home. I told it that we are both far away from home, and the success that we have made was our main goal. Your value may be more when you are away from home.

The big battle took place over the Atlantic Ocean. It is true that the soldiers defended their homeland, but their country and families are missing them. Each engraved letter of the "Atlantic" has a lot of events, death, and drowning. Sacrificing for the homeland is a national duty and honor.

God's creations are beautiful, and he gave us the opportunity for creativity. You can see one side of the life, and you can create the other one by drawing. Drawing is beautiful, and I wish I could draw.

Nawal Alakeel
Washington Monument was the first thing caught my eyes in the field trip last Wednesday. It is a prominent Obelisk-shape building in the National Mall area. I was told that it was built to honor the first American president, George Washington. The monument was under restoration more than a year now, but we were Fortunate that most of external restoration works had finished before our field trip day.

Cherry blossom trees filled the area with different shades of pastel rosy color. The trees surrounded the Potomac River and made a totally new scenery that last for no more that nine days a year. The weather was pleasant with a gentle spring breeze. Everyone was enjoying the scene and the weather. Two ladies were drawing a water color pictures. Photographers were busy trying to find the perfect angels to capture unique photos. Others were sating on benches chatting with their friends.

Apparently, we were not the only ones enjoying the spring weather. This cute duck was enjoying its time summing in the river with many other ducks and ducklings. Many other birds were flaying aorund glad to see the sun a after a very long winter.

Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial building was one of the areas that we visited. This huge statue was built in 1919 with very smile tools. The artists engraved the smallest details in this piece of art to be a monument to remember a man with great achievements.

We gathered in front of a large sets of  golden stars to listen to the guide who started explaining historical events America went through during World War 2. These golden stars were displayed in a rectangular wall to honor the 4,048.00 American soldiers who died during the World War 2. Each star represent 100 soldiers who sacrificed their lives to serve their country.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pamela Smart-Smith named assistant director for academics

Pamela Smart-Smith has been named the assistant director for academics at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute.

Smart-Smith, who has been involved with the institute since 2012, brings more than 20 years’ experience as an administrator and instructor of English as a second language. She has taught in Virginia and Georgia as well as in Spain, Poland, and England.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dinner serves up a mix of languages and cultures

Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute student Sultan Alamri, right, talks with University Honors Program student Larissa Perara during the dinner at Hillcrest Hall.

A group of Language and Culture Institute students and faculty members recently shared a meal, and some lively discussion, with members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and the University Honors Program.

Seven people at one table in the Hillcrest Hall dining room collectively spoke eight different languages. Another table boasted 11.

The dinner, hosted by the LCI, the honors program, and the Corps of Cadets, brought together more than 100 students and faculty members. It was designed to encourage networking, foster diversity and inclusion, and promote greater understanding of the campus programs.

Click here to read more about the dinner and some of our students' reactions.