The first week has gone by in a jiffy. The tension and excitement of adjusting in a new country, environment and people had made very few us feel the pang of the most predicted homesickness…
On July 1, our huge South Asian group paid a pleasure trip to Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania. It was a bright summer morning and the trip to the capital was an enjoyable one. As we crossed the Susquehanna River, its beauty left us spellbound. The bus filled with clicks of our cameras as we looked through the window to feel the American air and beauty. We took a quick tour around this historic capital by bus and after a lunch break, paid a visit to the Pennsylvania State Museum, the bearer of the state's rich and exciting past. The neat and spacious museum has a truly rich collection, which would give anyone an in-depth idea about the Pennsylvania state and its history, heritage, animal kingdom, flora and fauna. Besides, the museum's sincere effort and hard work to preserve and uphold the history of the native Indians is also admirable.
On July 2, we started our journey from Dickinson College at 8:00 am sharp. This trip to the USA has definitely taught us to become more time conscious. In this country, 8:00 am is in fact means 8:00 am…We headed towards Bucks County, which is known as the home of a number of foundations that portray important aspects of the American creativity. Our first visit was to the Brandywine Museum at Chadds Ford. This museum works towards preserving, interpreting and exhibiting American art. Their collection is characterised by a large number of remarkable paintings, which include American landscapes, still life, illustrations and a large collection of works by the Wyeth family. The souvenir store located downstairs also has a wide collection of books and reproductions of the arts displayed in the galleries.
After a quick lunch in the cafeteria of Brandywine Museum, we all boarded on to the coach to pay a visit to the Longwood Gardens, which is one of the finest landscape gardens in the USA. Located in Kennet Square, this garden is a celebration of architecture, music, horticulture and theatre. The garden covers an area of 1,050 acres of land and one will require an entire day to explore the beauty of its lush gardens, parks, woods and fountains. The fountain shows of this picturesque garden would leave anyone gaping in awe. It was astounding to watch the water synchronising with the sound of music; it looked as if the fountains themselves are a living entity.
Our trip to the metropolitan Philadelphia was on 3rd July. Philadelphia, once known as the capital of the USA is well known for the pursuits of Benjamin Franklin. This city lies inside the Delaware valley. The founder fathers of the USA singed both the Declaration on Independence and the Constitution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The National Constitution Centre situated in Philadelphia is an independent, non-partisan organisation that works towards increasing public understanding of the Constitution, American history and its contemporary relevance through an interactive facility. The multimedia show that we thoroughly enjoyed at the Centre was in short, mind-blowing. The show is a summary of the US history, which highlighted the beliefs based on which the United States was founded.
The show would give one an opportunity to compare and contrast the US policies in the current world and the guidelines on which USA was actually founded in 1776. Towards the end of the day, we visited the Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute of Science to further explore the arts, science and technology of the USA. Our whole day trip to Philadelphia ended with a scrumptious dinner at a local Italian restaurant named Buca Di Beppo…
By Wara Karim
The Last Juror Grisham at his best!
The story is set in 1970, and is based upon a newspaper called The Ford County Times, one of Mississippi's most colorful newspapers, which is forced into bankruptcy because of a boycott caused by the publication of an obituary of a black person. Willie Traynor, a former cub reporter, takes over the newspaper much to the dismay of the white population of Ford County, all of whom are averse to welcoming the new comer.
Shortly after Willie takes over the newspaper, a young mother is brutally raped and murdered. Before she dies, she identifies her killer as Danny Padget, a member of the notorious Padget family. Danny is arrested. When Danny goes to trial, he threatens revenge on the jurors if he is convicted. Because of the overwhelming evidence in the case, as well as the victim's deathbed identification, the jury ignores his warning and he is found guilty. Danny's sentence is life in prison.
Ten years later, Danny is released. One by one, the jurors are being killed off. Willie, who has come to love Callie Ruffin, the first black juror in Ford County's history, and on a juror at the trail, vows to keep the elderly woman safe. At the risk of his own life, he sets out to keep that vow.
This book should definitely be classed as a bestseller. Master storyteller, John Grisham, has woven a tale of mystery and intrigue. Grisham's talent for imaging and emotionally drawing his reader into the story is vividly prominent in The Last Juror. This is Grisham at his best. The book inspires his readers to delve deeper into the world of black history.
In The Last Juror John Grisham is very adept at supplying his readers with an insightful look at little things that add up to major social relationships in 1970s Mississippi during a time of revolutionary change. Minor items like an obituary for a deceased black person or the first black juror brings the era into stark reality. However, when the tale twists into a serial killer storyline, that subplot is very exciting, but also takes the focus away from the social lens of change and upheaval. Still John Grisham entertains his fans with a terse suspense tale that is quite superb! As the New York Times aptly put it, "The Last Juror does not need to coast on its author's mega popularity. It's a reminder of how the Grisham juggernaut began!" In other words, this book is a must read for all!
By Rohini Alamgir
The statue girl
One upon a time in America there lived a little girl named Masina, she lived with her parents in a wood. Her parents were not rich. Her father was a wood cutter and her mother stays at home. Masina always her father to cut woods, Masina longed to learn, magics, but no one in the wood knows magic.
So, one day she was getting some woods for her father, on the way she met a old woman. The old woman asked her name and gave her a book. She thanked the women and on to her house and kept the took in her room on her table. Then she went to her father again. Her father asked Masina why did she take so much time to come, but because she wasted to keep it secret she didn't tell nothing about the books. Then she finished her work and same to her home and opened the book and saw there was lots of magics to learn. Masina was very very happy to see that. She read all the magic, but learnt only one, the magic's name was how to made something statue. It was very simple she only have to say the word 'statue'. One she saw a snake coming to her mother, she said statue and the snake stopped, her mother also but when she said 'over' her mother came back to normal stopped. Then Masina threw the snake outside with a stick. Many days passed like that and she solved money problems. One day her mother was learning all her old books while she was helping her father. Her mother looked to her room and found her magic book, her mother thought it was old so she burnt that book too. Masina came back to her home and went to her room, she searched for the book everywhere. Then she asked her mother have she that book. Her mother said that she burnt some of her old books. When she heard that, tears filled her eyes but she tried hard to fight back her tears. One day she saw a mouse walking on her mirror, she was afraid of mouse so she said 'statue', the mouse stopped, Masina even stopped because she pointed her finger on the mirror. Her mother called her but she didn't come, then her mother came to her room and saw her still. Her mother shaked her but she didn't move. Her mother was very worried about that. One day passed, her mother took her to the doctor, but the doctor could do nothing. Many days passed like that, one day that old woman was walking across her room's window, she saw her standing still, after a while she could understand what happened. Then she put a drop of water on her head, then she came back to normal, she thanked the woman and to her parents and hugged her parents and told her parents about the whole story. Then her mother told her not to make these kind of mistakes. Then the family lived happily ever after.
By Lamia Maisha
I sat under a tree,
And saw the birds singing merrily;
I thought of peaceful nature,
Which is full of pleasure.
The primrose and rose, bloomed their buds,
To catch the breezy air,
And the branches spread out their green leaves
To enjoy the mild air.
The river rustled as it passed
And whispered to their ears,
And the small fishes in the creeks
Wandered about here and there.
The merry, colorful butterflies
Danced about in the flowers,
And the busy hard working bees
Worked for endless hours.
The sun set about in the red sky
And everything became silent
And all the elements of nature
Waited eagerly for the next day in silence.
By Fatah Alam Khan