As part of my syllabus I require students to engage with both the material and the community. In most of my classes students are required to attend two campus or community events. Most of the students choose to go to an African restaurant and write about their experience. Students choosing to go to African restaurants often select one of the many close to campus. The following are excerpts from the experience of a student, who together with several classmates, visited a local Ethiopian restaurant.
This past Sunday I dined at the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian restaurant with some fellow classmates… I ordered a sweet iced tea to drink and Zilzil tibs as my entrée… My first bite alone convinced me that Ethiopian food was some of the most tasteful cuisine that has ever landed upon my taste buds. The beef tips were tender and succulent and had their flavors delightfully contrasted by the spiciness of the dipping sauce. The bread that I had to use to pick up the food also supplemented the meal pleasantly; however, I did not like the taste of the bread by itself for it seemed a little sour. My meal was so visually enticing that several of my fellow classmates asked to sample my dish. I finished my entire meal very expeditiously… Overall, I was very pleased with my experience. Coming into Queen of Sheba, I had very low expectations. I had a strong feeling that I would hate the food since it was so unorthodox to me and that I would never want to step foot into any African dining place ever again. However, I was completely mistaken. I loved every aspect of the restaurant…
Other examples of my students engaging with the community include the following. Click on the images for more information.
The embedded video is of students in my Spring 2017 Hip Hop and Popular Culture in Africa course participating in a drum lesson at Hands on Drum on Rhode Island Avenue