The first full week (kind of) of the spring semester has ended! The school was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day) on Monday but IEDPers were busy contributing to various community services that took place across the campus. It was only the first week but as you can see from the title, a lot happened. It might seem loaded but when I came to think about it, I actually realized it was a pretty regular week in IEDP standards. With endless array of campus events, lectures and workshops along with various socials, it is not hard to spend a week at IEDP doing all of those in the title. So here we go – more details about all the exciting things that happened at IEDP this week.

I fell really ill this week so I myself couldn’t participate but many of my cohort mates went to the community services event held on MLK Day this Monday. In the morning, some of the IEDPers contributed to the effort with their artistic skills. Some others participated in the evening event in which they went to Lancaster Ave. to help those experiencing homelessness.

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The morning crew was at Houston Hall, boasting their artistic finness
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And the evening crew at Lancaster Ave!

On Tuesday, I was able to see a lot of IEDPers hanging out on the fourth floor getting prepared for their classes. It seems liked a lot of us had classes on Tuesday. Some of us reviewed the readings and notes, and went over the syllabi before classes began. Fortunately not too too busy yet. Everything manageable to the point you could chitchat with buddies from time to time while doing your readings on the fourth floor!

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The fourth floor was a full house

Then Thursday, we had a guest speaker, Joshua Muskin of Geneva Global Incorporated, for our Proseminar. Thus the IEDP speaker series resumed for the spring semester! Some of us went to have a luncheon with Dr. Muskin at the University Club (fancy meal, all covered by the program while being able to have a more personal conversation with the guest speaker!) where we were able to hear about his background and advices for young professionals in the international development field.

Following the luncheon, Dr. Muskin gave a lecture on Speed School, a project Geneva Global Inc. implemented in multiple sites in Africa including Ethiopia and Uganda. IEDPers had an opportunity to learn about the project beyond what is available on website and written on reports with Dr. Muskin’s tips and advice from his multiple years of experience in the field.

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It was one rainy day. So thankful to Dr. Muskin for still making his way here!

And finally, Friday came! Many things happened on campus that night! Most of the IEDPers were at the 90’s theme night party at Graduate Student Center. One of our very own, Magali, was in charge of planning this event and it was very successful! Lots of people, Mario Kart, 90’s music, cereals and pizza… it was a lot of fun!

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A little bit shaky but that more accurately shows the energy level at the party!

IEDPers never cease to bond with their cohort mates! Tonight was the official semester kick-off party at Yingxue’s beautiful studio.

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IEDPers take their card game seriously

What I found the most intriguing about this party was that it was a true, cultural conversion experience. On the counters, we had East Asian dishes and desserts while we played Latin music in the living room. How well-rounded the party was!

Looking back, I realize I had a really solid week despite my illness. This week really felt like I was getting back to my regular routine at IEDP. Thinking that my IEDP journey is almost reaching its midpoint is kind of sad but at the same time, it motivates me to make most out of the opportunities, interactions and resources available at Penn.