Half Way There

Half Way There

Can you believe it’s March already? It seems as though this semester is flying by. If you ask me, I think it has to do with working all week. Somehow, it distorts the passage of time. By Friday, you’re so exhausted that you can’t help but ask yourself where the week went. Speaking of exhausted, I had the misfortune of falling asleep on the Metro last week while coming home. The swaying of the rail cars usually has one of two effects on me: either I become painfully nauseous, almost to the point of vertigo, or I approach the greatest depths of slumber strong enough to rival the best power nap you may lay claim to.  In this case, it was the latter. It was a bit embarrassing to be shaken awake by a Metro employee then having to head back in the opposite direction, tacking an additional 30 minutes onto my commute home. Almost literally, I traveled the Red Line from one end to the other in a single day.

 

Work continues to be much of the same. I spend my time working at a computer, researching information for projects or creating them, if time allows. My supervisor is unequivocally enthusiastic, and is constantly suggesting ideas for current and future programs. With all the ideas he manages to come up with, I find it impressive how he’s able to manage his own administrative duties and still have time to offer assistance on everyone else’s. Still, my favorite moments will always be the chance to interact with park guests – anything from indicating the direction of the restrooms (which is a frequent occurrence) to engaging in conversation or interpretive talks about the various park exhibits. The absolute best is seeing the look on people’s faces when they come face to face with a snake for the first time, such as what happened when my program advisor Tiffani paid a visit to the Nature Center last Thursday. For better or worse, (hopefully better) I know I’ve left that person with a memory that will last.

 

 

I recently got to redesign the habitat for our eastern box turtle as well. He was long overdue for some new furnishings, and this new design provides for a much more naturalistic feel, mimicking the view just outside the window.

 

 

 

The other thing that really makes my day is the chance to get outside, even if it’s only to go for a brief walk outside. Can you say that your job regularly encourages you to get fresh air? On Friday, I travelled to Fort DuPont with two rangers to continue their beekeeping training efforts. The Nature Center has its own indoor hive that they use not only for educational purposes, but also for the pollination of the various flowers, trees, and shrubs in the immediate vicinity. The hands on experience we got at Fort DuPont was invaluable and extremely thrilling, to say the least. There’s nothing quite like standing mere inches away from 50,000 bees (without any protective layering I might add) and their only reaction is to completely ignore you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class has finally resumed a normal schedule, and we’re busy playing catch up. (Not to be confused with ketchup.) Admittedly, the topic of the course, “diversity,” was not my first choice. At times, the content definitely feels recycled and repetitive. Yet for what it lacks in inherent interest, it makes up for in quality faculty. My professor knows the content thoroughly and genuinely enjoys teaching. Moreover, she encourages the class to actively participate. While reluctant at first, we are quickly becoming a unified colloquial group. She also employs a variety of teaching techniques and varied media approaches. Last class, we watched a film titled “White Man’s Burden” that presented the viewer with a world in which the racial roles between white and black Americans were reversed. It was an interesting look at racial relations, but I feel it didn’t approach the topic on a large enough scale. I could easily write another post analyzing the film, so I’ll simply end my discussion with the trailer for the film, and let you make up your own minds.

 

 

 

Aside from work and class, I’ve continued my exploration of the city on the weekends. I finally made time to take tours of the Capitol and the Library of Congress. Both were really informational, but also very brief. In addition, they were both extremely crowded and filled to the brim with security. I am the type of visitor who likes to take his time and carefully inspect all of the various paintings, sculptures, and architecture, but when you’re being rushed along as part of a 25+ person group, it becomes almost impossible. Still, I would recommend it to anyone looking for some weekend ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, I also returned to the National Zoo to see the parts I had missed the first time around. It was a bright, sunny day (albeit a chilly one), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Truthfully, I could spend every day there if given the opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That about sums things up for now. In 2 weeks, I will be visiting New York City for a day, so be sure to look for those pictures. I also have plans for a guest blogger and possibly an interview or two. In the meantime, if you know of a great bar, restaurant, or site to visit I haven’t mentioned here, leave me a comment below!

 

Until next time.

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