Tag Archives: Experience

Women, Wine, and Self Defense Class to Help Women’s Confidence

The 2016 Fall edition report by The American Association of University Women (AAUW),  shows us that in 2015, women working full time were paid 20% less than men. That equates to a woman making 80 cents for every dollar a man makes.

This ongoing issue of gender inequality is one of the reasons Angela Meyer started teaching the Women, Wine, and Self Defense class in Washington D.C.  Angela gathers anywhere between 10-30 women on the first Friday of the month at the 202strong gym in the Farragut West neighborhood of Washington D.C to teach them to be comfortable in their own skin and to be safer.

“My whole life I have worked for women’s rights and have a strong passion towards women and men working together to change current structures,” the 10 plus year yoga veteran said about why she teaches the class.

“We have come such a long way in our world towards women being treated as human beings, not objects, and yet we still have SO far to go.”

“I want to stand with and for women, not as competition, but as a movement to say NO to being treated as objects and YES to being our own heroes.  I am also a huge believer in community, so bringing together Women, Wine and Self Defense seemed like a no brainer,” says Angela who has been doing Krav Maga training for the past six years.

The class is $20.00, and includes wine after the lesson. Do your part to build the movement of strong women by taking the class, or encouraging women you know to sign up for a self-defense course in their area.

Street Performer Draws Crowd Outside of Gallery Place Metro Station

Street performers in Washington D.C. seem lucky to have a few people stopping to drop a dollar or two in, but to draw a crowd is a tremendous feat. For Vanny, the crowd and the attention is fairly normal.

“You’re so amazing,” was the common phrase of people complimenting the performer as she was unplugging her equipment. One woman standing next to Vanny couldn’t stop complimenting the artist on her talent and beauty.

Vanny, short for Vanessa, has been singing and playing music since she was 11-years old. Being homeschooled her Senior year of High School allowed her the time to practice online and further her musical talent.

“When I got to my Senior in High School, and I had all of that free time, I just encouraged my Dad to come with me out here and to just start playing guitar.” Said Vanny, who has been busking for two years now.

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Vanny playing outside of Gallery PL/Chinatown Station on Friday, November 4th, 2016.

In regards to her experience performing, she says, “for the most part, it’s a crazy experience, dealing with the public, anything can happen.”

Vanny says that every now and then someone will harass her and disrupt the scene, but for the most part it’s people who want to compliment her, book her, or just simply tip.

Vanny can be seen outside of the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station on the red line in Washington D.C. She says she performs mostly on the weekends because she’s in school and has homework.

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Vanny is available to play at restaurants, birthday parties, or any event that could be made better with Vanny’s amazing voice.

GM Opens REI’s Fifth Flagship for the Co-op in Washington D.C.

GM Opens REI’s Fifth Flagship for the Co-op in Washington D.C. from Jillian Knight on Vimeo.

 

REI, which stands for Recreational Equipment Inc., opened its 5th Flagship this weekend with a three-day block party celebration. The events were open to the public and included marching bands, outdoor classes, screen printings, live bands and DJs all weekend long, and of course, a webbing cutting by the store’s GM.

Becky Smith, the General Manager for the new Flagship was beyond excited to be opening this Flagship in the historical arena that it once was.

“This building is just a really incredible example of architecture that was back in the 40’s, and we’ve been able to really keep some of those original elements in the space,” says Becky Smith, who has been with REI for ten years as of August 21st.  “You see the arches from the outside of the it, and then when you come into our space, you still get a sense of some those old features that we have. We’re able to recover some of the old basketball flooring from where the Harlem Globetrotters played on this court, we’re able to keep some of the old stadium style seating, kind of up on a wall.”

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On the wall of the Co-op are all of the concerts the building hosted in the 60s and 70s.
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The original stadium seating from the arena was preserved on the wall of the store to show the history of the building. The people that sat in these seats saw the first concert The Beatles ever played in the U.S.

 

The building isn’t the only thing Becky is excited about sharing with the community. As far as the impact on the  DC community, she had this to say about how REI plans to leave its mark.

“REI gives back big time to the DC community, so this year alone, we’ll give over 1 million dollars to local and national non profits that are headquartered here in the DC area, so absolutely an amazing example of that. On a more local level, just a few weeks ago we took 84 of our new inspired guides out to Fort Dupont, worked side by side with members of the National Park to clean up some of trails.”

Each day started with hundreds of people lining up  early in the morning to get in as soon as the doors opened. The first 500 each day received water bottles with gift cards inside of them. The three day block party proved that people are excited to have an REI in their DC community.

For more information, or to find an REI closest to you, visit their website.

Back to the Basics of Social Interaction with Board Games

Back to the Basics of Social Interaction with Board Games from Jillian Knight on Vimeo.

Board games are making a come back. So much so, that a local German Cultural Center is celebrating the popularity of German board games with board game evenings.

This past Friday, October 14th, 2016, the Goethe-Institut in Washington D.C. hosted an evening of board games, wine, snacks, and social interaction. Anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to join for a fee of $5.00. Over 40 people eventually showed up to enjoy the event.

Norma Broadwater is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Goethe-Institut, and she got the idea for a game evening after visiting a store that informed her that the most popular board games come from Germany.

“It was kind of a revelation to me, so I thought well, wouldn’t that be fun to present that to others,” says Norma, who has been with the Goethe-Institut for almost 15 years.

She says what she likes about the evening is it brings together people from both Germany and the U.S.

With the help of Ben and Evan, owners of the game store Labyrinth, Norma has been able to make the experience more enjoyable.

Ben and Evan have been hooked on board games for years, so their expertise allows them to teach the instructions of many complex games including Settlers of Catan, Carrassonne, The Downfall of Pompeii, Camels Up, Karuba, and Hanabi.

With the help of Ben and Evan, Norma and the staff at the Geothe-Institut have set up an experience that offers numerous health benefits from playing board games. The most important one being, it makes us happy.

“Between the game store folks being very good at explaining and people just being very welcoming,” says Norma, “there have been a lot of friendships formed and by the end of the evening people aren’t really wanting to leave, and there’s a very happy sound throughout the space.”

For more information on the Goethe-Institut’s events, visit their website.

For more information on Ben and Evan, visit their game store on Pennsylvania Ave. in  Washington D.C., or their website.

How to Survive Teaching English as a Second Language to Brutally Honest South Korean Kindergartners

As a former Instructor of English in South Korea for four years, it was a culture shock to hear how brutally honest and providentially, absolutely adorable honesty can sound coming out a child’s mouth. Hoping the vicious honesty would stop at first or second grade, it took some adjusting to get used to the fact that it was every age, and every grade.

So, in case it may be too much to handle, here are a few things you can do to abate the depression.

Step 1: Try to pin point your flaws on your own. At a certain age, we should all be aware of our short-comings, but if in fact you need help, there are a few things you can do. Hand out questionnaires to your friends, or look at yourself in the mirror for a few minutes every day. In the end however, be comfortable with who you are and understand that these are all just superficial blemishes that make everyone unique, so the best thing to do is embrace them. If you happen to have trouble accepting such individuality, you could also try……

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You can’t get angry at those who are so innocent. They have no idea what they’re giving. For the record, there is also a ‘pink’ day as well, they are both for Valentine’s day, one day is for the boys to give presents to the girls (white day, I believe), and the other day is for the girls to give presents to the boys.

Step 2: Come up with clever comebacks for when such honesty is presented to you. If you happen to be a few pounds overweight, it will definitely be brought to your attention on a daily, if not class to class basis, in case you hadn’t already known. So, to keep yourself calm and collected, you may want to form quips to reply to such remarks, such as “I ate the last class who didn’t finish their homework”, or “feeding me chocolate is the only way you’ll pass the class”. I personally struggled with adult acne while I was there. A lot of it had to do with the change in diet, the water, and of course the pollution blowing in from the rest of Asia, but telling that to a seven year old student doesn’t get you far. So, when they would put their finger on my face to touch a giant pimple and say “ewwwww, that one is big”, I simply responded with “thank you, his name is Herbert”.

Step 3: Write down all honesty, so that you have a list of what to self-reflect on over the weekend. Not really, but it gets a good laugh on a Friday night when a bunch of teachers get together to discuss what they were told about themselves that week.

Step 4: Have patience. Believe it or not, being told your exterior flaws by adorable children could prove beneficial as a way to embrace and deal with them. It didn’t matter how much make up I wore, the kids would still say something about my blemishes, so I eventually just stopped wearing make up. I went natural, and believe it or not, it helped. If this rationality doesn’t make much sense to you, you can also refer to wikiHow’s “How to embrace your flaws”, for extra pointers.

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If honest children are not the culture shock, maybe this will do the trick………
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or this…..

It is at first a culture shock to be told such honesty throughout the day, but at the end of the day it is fully appreciated. It makes you happy to see that the characteristics we all possess as children don’t fade with age in some cultures.