WCSC Student Blog

category: City Life

Excerpts of a WCSC life

July 29th, 2010 – by wssms663

This video includes some tidbits of our summer experience with the WCSC program.  This is by no means a comprehensive display of the summer – missing are some valuable experiences like visiting Ben’s Chili Bowl, numerous museums, our seminar classes, ascending the Washington Monument, and much more.

Despite not being a cumulative representation of the summer, we hope you enjoy the moments we did capture!


July 6th, 2010 – by wssms663


5 WCSC students + 2 Mennonite hymnals + the Chinatown Metro stop at rush hour = $28 and a great time!

This week after seminar on Wednesday afternoon, several of us (Kelly, Sarah, Mike Bruner, Steven and I) decided to go busking — making music on the streets for money.  We had sung a few hymns together over the weekend, and thought it would be fun to see if we could get paid for it!

So we staked out the perfect spot, under an awning over the entrance to the Chinatown Metro, a popular stop at rush hour.  The five of us stood in an arc next to the escalators, hesitating and nervous at first, but eventually we all got into the music.  After a song or two we put out a hat and slowly started getting dollars and change from passersby.  We sang popular hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “Be Thou My Vision” as well as more upbeat songs like “Hamba Nathi” and “Over My Head” from Sing the Journey.  The most popular ones were those we knew by memory, as we were able to engage better with our passing audience.

A number of people said things like, “God bless you,” as they passed, and many smiled and thanked us as well.  After an hour and a half of singing, we collected our $28.23 and treated ourselves to frozen yogurt from Tangysweet!  It was a successful and fun experience overall, and we hope to do it again sometime!

-Elizabeth Speigle

Mt. Vernon

June 25th, 2010 – by wssms663

One fine weekend a little earlier this summer, those of us hanging around the WCSC house decided to take a trip to Mt. Vernon, the home of our first President.  After watching a short film on Washington’s life, we wandered the expansive grounds, which included everything from gardens to a wharf to a dung repository.

The greatly esteemed Dung Repositorypart of the group with the greatly esteemed Dung Repository (click for more photos)

The afternoon visit proved a pleasant (albeit warm) historical experience, and a good way to get out of the house.

Jake King: City Living

September 23rd, 2008 – by Emily Benner

Jake King at the Zoo

I’m up at 8:00 nearly every morning and don’t get home until 6:30. I share a house with 13 other people (and only 2 other guys.) I bike ten miles to and from work every day. I babysit a three year old and a six year old three afternoons a week. I dodge traffic, dodge metro fairs and dodge homework until the last minute.I’m exhausted and exhilarated.

I didn’t have a wash cloth or soap for the first two weeks I was here. I can’t see the floor in my room because my unnamed roommate doesn’t use drawers or a laundry basket. There are two liquor stores within a block of each other near our house. I’m working at an organization trying to clean the 2nd trashiest river in the U.S…and it only has 14 full time employees. We walk under the single, creepiest overpass in the world to get to the metro station.

And it’s sweet.

We never know what time dinner will be in our enormous house: sometimes 6:30, sometimes 9:00. There are five tubs of sour cream in our fridge and seven gallons of milk hardly get us through half a week. Our compost pile almost overflowed the week after we arrived. There were 8 dirty cups perched around my room for more than a week. The kitchen trash goes out almost daily. I never thought I’d live in a house with a complaint box.

But it’s a necessity.

One of my housemates weeds forests and gets school credit for it. Another one saw a clerk fudge the numbers to allow a Spanish-speaking immigrant her citizenship. My roommate worked 15 hours straight and met the archbishop of the Washington, DC diocese. He also got punched in the head on his way home the other day and he never swung back. Even though there are three guys sharing a bathroom with one girl, she hasn’t found the toilet seat up once.

Everyone’s still civil.

It’s 60 degrees out and we still have our air conditioning on. One of my housemates sits on the back porch reading a book, even though I wouldn’t go out without a coat on. There’s a Guitar Hero marathon going on outside my bedroom and four participants are not participating, just watching. We don’t have grass in our back yard, just mulch, the biggest rosemary plant ever, and a tiny fishpond. All nine of our fish have names. There are eight bikes in our back room and only half of them are worth riding.

No one gives a rip.

During rush hour I make it home far faster than any car. It’s fun to give up your seat on the metro. The Barra Brava and their cheers/facepaints/flags are absolutely fantastic. There’s way more free stuff to do here than you ever imagined. 61% of campaign donations in our neighborhood went to Barack Obama. The streets are terrible in D.C. Our neighborhood has a fitness facility free to any DC residents. Even in American’s capital, you don’t have to talk politics.

We’re not in Harrisonburg anymore—and I love it.

-Jake King