Monday, September 30, 2002

I walked around the WB/IMF security perimeter on Saturday. Quite a few businesses were boarded up, including the Gap in 2000 Penn that wasn't taking any chances. I only saw one large group of protesters gathered across the street from the Treasury building. Based on the indiscriminant arrests that the police were making on Friday (a chunk of the GW Hatchet staff was arrested) I decided not to stick around when Treasury Police decided that it was time to move the crowd.

I talked to a lot of the law enforcement officers staffing the barriers. Most were in a good mood, probably because they were getting paid time and a half to sit in the sun and chat with passers-by.

There were a few incidents on campus, mostly with protesters forming human barriers to stop the shuttles from taking people to IMF and WB buildings. Usually the police would just move the entry point a few blocks down but then the protesters would realize this and block that one, too. They would string yarn around nearby light posts and street signs and sit in the street to keep any vehicles from going by. At one point, a few protesters blocked the street in front of the few fraternity house areas at GWU. Most of the fraternity residents came out and chanted 'Status quo forever!' at all of the protesters with mixed reactions from a growing gawking crowd.

Happily, there was only minimal damage to campus, other than extra bits of yarn lying around. By Sunday all of the protesters were gone and, other than the barricades, everything was back to normal.

posted by Alison 9/30/2002 09:08:00 AM : (0) comments : splink

Friday, September 27, 2002

The eastern side of campus is completely lined with barricades and bored looking police officers, but I haven't seen so much as a single protester in the area, not even someone with a poster. People keep on quoting the number of people arrested today: three hundred, six hundred, one million. Maybe everyone has decided to keep to the eastern side of the whole complex and off GW campus. This is completely unlike the protests two years ago where every sidewalk and every green space was covered with someone from out of town who (more often than not) hadn't bathed for a few days.

But this year even the ellipse is closed off and the only thing I can hear is the sirens of the police cars escorting delegates to and from the World Bank and IMF headquarters.

On the other hand, I did see a van in front of the Foggy Bottom Metro showing a video against meat consumption. It was just videos of chickens, before and after the slaughter, set to dramatic music. However, if you had any of the childhood experiences I did you'll know that chickens are mean, mean animals, even if you just want to pet them. So, like anyone who has spent any time with these animals, watching the video just made me remember their sharp little beaks. I like them much better as dinner.

posted by Alison 9/27/2002 10:47:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Sunday, September 22, 2002

I know this is supposed to be a joke, but I think it hits a nerve with a lot of the students around here. Our proximity means that we're usually caught in the middle during the WB/IMF protests. This is good and bad. It's a great alternative to the average college town, but at the same time we have to deal with some pretty inconsiderate behavior on the part of a small minority of protesters.

I'm not really sure what the thinking is behind smashing car windows or spray painting buildings. Maybe a few people are just talking 'smash the state' literally. But around here, it just makes some people cringe when protests roll around. Two years ago the anarchy symbols randomly sprayed on campus buildings were particularly annoying and took university money to clean up. I know some people think that they are promoting awareness, but really they're leaving a mess that other people are going to have to clean up.

Also, peeing on things is not cool. People live here.

But aside from that, the protests are pretty fascinating to watch. I'm going to go out and photograph the protests and police response. It'll make for an interesting weekend.

posted by Alison 9/22/2002 08:29:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

Saturday, September 07, 2002

I got almost a foot chopped off of my hair. It will be donated to make wigs for children with cancer through a program called locks of love. I'm basically copying my best friend Melanie, she got her hair cut before the summer started. My hair is shorter than it's been since elementary school and I'm still getting used to it. I felt that having long hair sort of set me apart, so now I have to cope with it being gone.

The stylist who always cuts my hair in DC noticed that I had a gray hair. I'm too young to have gray hairs, but I'm going to be one of those prematurely gray graduate students. I'm hoping this is just a one-time thing from the GRE, but I'm not really sure how the whole gray hair thing works.

posted by Alison 9/07/2002 10:58:00 AM : (0) comments : splink

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

I'm done with the GRE. Forever. Certainly, the GRE never really guarantees admission into gradschool, but they need to be high enough so that your application doesn't get tossed in the trash when your score is less than X. I'm not a big fan of standardized testing considering that it's not a very accurate measure of how well someone will do in grad school, but for schools with 1000 qualified applicants for 10 slots it's got to be tempting to filter according to numbers. Right now I have a list of about 5 places that I want to apply to, 3 of which I would probably sell my kidney just to attend. Now I need to figure out how much money I'm going to need just to apply. Application fees run at about $75 each, plus I have to pay to send transcripts. Putting off getting a job is expensive.

posted by Alison 9/03/2002 11:01:00 PM : (0) comments : splink

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