A Note to Parents

A Note to Parents

Dear Moms and Dads: If you’re like my father, then continue reading. What’s he like? Worried. Anxious. Sad. Worried. Excited. Nervous. Thankful. Proud. And lastly, worried. Dad, I promise you your little boy will be just fine in the “big city.”


In my first blog post I explained that I am from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Many may be familiar with this southwest Michigan city as the home to Western Michigan University or Bell’s Brewery. However, I am not from the actual city, rather the country side on the edge of the county border. Alamo, MI. Were the cows come up to the fence and the rooster (if not the dog) still wakes you up in the morning. Population: about 1,000. Population of DC:  601,000 (according to the 2010 census) and those are actual residents. Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday I can only imagine that number climbs like crazy.


What’s your point Michael (as my friends are saying right now)? Dad is WORRIED about me. We don’t have crime back home. We don’t have dark alleys at home. My dad loves me tremendously but my moving here was, I think, one of the hardest things for him to wrap his mind around.


There’s a huge black line separating street smarts and book smarts. I'm book smart (most of the time). Street smart? Not always. I could tell you some examples but we don’t have time. All I can do is reassure my dad that I'm going to be just fine. You really have to keep the following in mind all the time, regardless of the time of day:


Go ANYWERE in pairs or, better yet, groups;

Always tell someone where you’re going or tell them how you’re getting there;

Stay on the main roads;

At night, put the cell phone away and take off the head phones.


Now, the day we moved in the Metropolitan Police drilled these main tips and many (MANY) others into our head. Ask anyone. But it was honestly a huge learning opportunity for us all. Many of my fellow classmates probably wanted to go out that night and who knows what may have happened to them had the Metro PD not have been at our opening meeting.


Is all of this specific to DC? Absolutely not. Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, New York. What’s the common denominator? Big cities! It’s inevitable. Dad (and everyone else’s mom or dad), don’t worry about me. The resources made available to us, as interns, through both The Washington Center and local law enforcement agencies, really should keep you resting comfortably. They have definitely reassured me.


Until next time!

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