Written By Marissa Blockus
Dr. Howard Ward
I am elated to have Dani Guitelman as my SG Challenge partner. Dani is a SoFA major who will graduate in May 2012. She is a very dynamic young lady who is the Editor of Sportszone and VP of Alumnae and Heritage for Alpha Sigma Alpha to name a few. We have had a fantastic time and I look forward to a long term friendship especially after she does a film on my amazing life. By the way, I was Jewish for a day which I will share along with all of the other fun stuff that we did at the SG Shadow Day meeting tomorrow.
The Bookworm Rocks!
The Very Finest Tour Guide.
On my very day of meeting Howard Ward, he took me on a tour of Global Village. We had planned to meet in his office but when I got there I was informed by his wonderfully helpful secretary Karen (seriously, this woman is a gem) that Howard was down in Global Village and would meet me in the plaza. Thankfully, this was that beautiful Tuesday we had last week so I wasn’t worried about wandering the plaza looking for Howard in the rain or snow. I walk on down to Global Village and start to look around. I had seen a picture of Howard online but I had never actually meet Howard in person so I was a little nervous I wouldn’t be able to find him. But, Karen had given me a tip. “Look for the big teddy bear. “ Which is actually kind of funny, because that is exactly how Phil described him to me too.
So I look around and I spot him talking to a family in. I didn’t know it yet, but this was my second lesson about Howard. He talks to everyone. He is the nicest, friendliest, sweetest guy ever and he will say hi to everyone he sees and introduce himself to anyone he can.
After managing to tear Howard away from the family he was giving a tour to, he took me on a tour of Global Village. I have obviously been in Global Village before, I love the chips and queso at Salsaritas, but I had never really been given a real tour of it. First, Howard took me through Shop 12. I had never really gone in but I knew the stuff inside was pretty and expensive. Here is what I learnt though. All he art in it, from the gift cards to the paintings on the wall, to the beautiful sculptures on the shelves are made by students! Shop 12 functions as a gallery for students, past and present to display and showcase their work. And even better, students’ get 70% of the profit when their pieces are sold! Howard and I examined some beautiful watches he is thinking of getting for his wife, and some really gorgeous glass blown pens.
Next on the tour was Sheer Global. Did I mention how friendly Howard is? Not only did he know the very nice lady behind the counter at Shop 12, he is also very good friends with the people who work at Sheer Global. I got to talk to them for a few minuets and they showed me their list of services (which were very extensive and way cheaper then I originally thought) and was put completely at ease with them. Hmm, maybe I will go in for that haircut next week…
We then walked through the lobby of one of the dorm buildings and Howard gave me the run down on the apartments vs. suites, who has a kitchen, how big the rooms are, a quick peek in the common area, and a pop into the main floor kitchen area. When I admired the beautiful picture son the wall I learnt something else that I didn’t know. Students made all the art in Global Village! All the pictures are from students and RIT bought the photos from them. They also have their names in the corner of their pictures so everyone can admire their work. Very cool.
Our last stop on the tour was the market, another place I had only been in once or twice. Boy, do I regret it. I wash I wasn’t graduating in 4 weeks because that market is amazing. The different variety of foods that are there, stuff you can’t find anywhere else on campus! We looked over the selection for a while and were looking at the ingredients on a package when another family walked by and of course Howard made a new friend. We talked about special dietary needs for a while and then they had to go. Howard and I walked outside into the beautiful plaza and took a seat where we talked for over an hour.
You see, Howard and I were paired up because he is in charge of food and I’m kosher. For those of you who don’t know what that means, here is the basic definition I gave Howard. No milk and meat together, no pig (aka no pork or bacon, etc), no shrimp, lobster, shellfish, etc. and nothing I eat can have touched something not kosher. These are hard dietary restrictions to follow on a campus like ours. As Howard was about to find out.
The next day Howard and I had lunch at Gracie’s. I haven’t eaten at Gracie’s since my freshmen year but I remember the drill. But, the catch for today was that Howard had to eat kosher food, or as he kept saying “I’m being Jewish today”. We walk in and Howard headed right for Mongos. Now the ravioli itself was kosher. But the grill they cook it on isn’t. You see, even though they had a vegetable only section of the grill to cook the ravioli for vegetarians, I didn’t know what else had been cooked on the grill previously that was meat so we couldn’t eat anything off the grill. We walked around a little and I had to tell Howard that he couldn’t eat the pepperoni pizza or the burgers or the chicken wings, etc. But he could have some of the vegetable soup. At first, he made a face. “Too many vegetables” he said. Then he tried it. He liked it (thank god, I was getting nervous he was going to be mad at me for the lack of food) and we meandered over to the Just Veggies section where he added a little plain rice to it. While we were there, Kory Samuels, the general manager for Gracie’s wandered over and Howard explained to him what we were today. Guess what? Gracie’s had Hebrew National hotdogs, which they cook on a grill used only for kosher meat! I had no idea. Howard decided he was going to have 2 kosher hotdogs and his cup of soup, I got a grilled cheese (made on a grill that they only make grilled cheese on), and we sat at a table to wait for his hotdogs. 2 things. One, Howard likes the kosher hotdogs more then regular hotdogs now. Score one for Dani! Two, Kory is the best. Really, if you ever run into him at Gracie’s or need something special, or have any sort of question, go to Kory. He was the nicest person ever and answered all y questions that I had always been too nervous to ask when I was a freshman. I also learnt some pretty cool things that Howard and Kory are thinking of doing. Gracie’s/RIT might have a kosher vendor next year! They aren’t sure how big or where or even what kind of food yet, but it’s in the works. Which is really cool if, like me, you are craving a burger and have nowhere to get a kosher burger on campus. Howard, Kory, and I talked for about 20 more minutes; Howard had a waffle for dessert (with margarine, not butter) and then I had to go to class. Just so you know, I was very proud of Howard. He only complained a little.
What A Good Student
Howard had agreed to come to one of my classes with me as our third scenario. I picked American Film Since the Sixties taught by Professor Tina Lent (who is one of the best teachers I’ve had here). On the day Howard came to my class we were talking about the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, I film I teased Howard about probably seeing when he was younger “all those many years ago”. Now, I was worried Howard would just sit there and not talk, just observe. I wanted him to participate so I told him what the class was going to be talking about before hand and he did his homework, reading up on the film to refresh his memory. However I didn’t tell him we had a quiz on it and I almost made him believe I was going to make him take the test too. However, he just looked over my shoulder as I wrote out my answers and afterwards told me he was proud that I did well. I then introduced him to the class and he smiled and said hi and then sat back down. As our discussion on the film and the topics in the film got more animated and heated, Howard couldn’t contain himself anymore. He jumped right in to the discussion, sharing his views and arguing his points. Here was my turn to be proud. He also was able to answer a question Professor Lent didn’t know about before and shared a personal story with the class as it compared to the film. I definitely enjoyed class with Howard there. Professor Lent said he’s welcome anytime. Also, Howard befriended the two kids I sit next to in class. Of course he did.
After class we hopped on the bus to Province so that Howard could see what a bus ride was like. I will say that Howard grumbled a little about having to get on the bus when his car was right there, but the bus wasn’t so bad. The night shuttle round trip was only 22 minutes for Howard and after I had complained myself about the bus taking so long, Howard was relieved it wasn’t as long as my grumbling had made it seem. Howard also saw the route and now knows that it’s easier to get of the bus at Perkins and walk to Province when it’s nice out. Just in case, for next time. And it wasn’t a wasted trip. Howard made a new friend on the bus.
So, lessons I learned. RIT does a lot for its art students whenever it can. Global Village is a beautiful place to hang out and had a lot of cool things to see, eat, and buy there. And the people who work there are super friendly. Kosher food is available on campus if you know where to look and aren’t afraid to ask. Plans for the future include more kosher and special needs options with Kory working on a really great plan to help students know what they are eating. Howard is a super person to invite to your class and makes friends with everyone. And the bus is faster then we all think it is. Good things to know. I’m really glad I participated in the RIT Challenge and am very jealous of who ever gets paired up with Howard next year.