Alexandria, soccer matches and political changes

Alexandria, soccer matches and political changes

“Doors opening, step back to allow customers to enter. When boarding, please move to the center of the car”. It seems such a natural tone now — that familiar voice of the robot lady indicating it was time to get off the metro.


This time, our stop was Alexandria, Virginia. It was the coldest day so far — one of those that call for hot cocoa, a warm blanket and a movie — but the limited time we have here insists we make the best out of every spare moment.


After walking for a little while we all agreed it was time to get our carb ration of the day in one of the many Italian restaurants around town. I mean, when cold and tired, lasagna fits in just right. Once fed and happy, we went to check out the look of the Potomac River from the docks — all sorts of boats floating around, dancing to the rhythm of the waves going through it; on the opposite side the trees swinging, revering the cold wind. Further away, the panoramic view of the Capitol. It is just astonishing.


After spending a few hours there, we went back. The robot lady gave us her traditional welcome phrase to take us back home — home. It just gives me the chills to call it that way.




Last week I also went to see a pre-season basketball game — Wizards against the Knicks. It’s always a great experience to see all those giant athletes bouncing the ball as if they were born that way. Those games are pretty dynamic, I mean, not only talking about the match itself but the involvement of all the fans, whether is it just by kissing each other on that big cam or competing for prizes. It is actually a lot of fun! By the way, I managed to be caught dancing on that screen myself!



Besides, last Sunday, many interns and also friends from The Washington Center got together to have a soccer match on the National Mall. That was such a fun time! Can you imagine? Not only were we watched by the shadow of the Washington Monument and the majestic Statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol Building, but we — people from all over the world — were having fun together in the most iconic place of the Capital of the United States! I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty incredible! Just imagine, from the Lincoln Memorial to The Smithsonian Institute and then east to the Capitol and, finally the White House to the north. That’s an audience every professional player would wish for.





Now, changing the subject to a more political and academic matters, as federal elections get closer, all the process gets more interesting and everything I have learned in my public policy class is starting to become relevant. I had the opportunity to watch two debates now — Presidential and Vice-presidential — and both represented the discovery of a whole new system of comparing and arguing different opinions.


The discussion the two Presidential candidates held last week left me with a few new lessons and a lot to think about. In one hand, Mr. Obama's strategy is about a paternalistic quest taken by the government that demands time and patience and, in the other, Mr. Romney's approach to public policy demands encouraging the growth of economy by letting it flow freely and giving everyone, rich or poor, the same treatment. In my opinion, compromising on these two groups of ideas would finally result in benefit for the most; sadly that’s not the case. It is either one or the other, no middle terms here!


Some friends and I watching the Presidential debate


In conclusion, I think that after the debate people need to think carefully about their choice. It is just very much like the game theory in economics, predicting what the next move would be and it’s following consequences. This election would surely represent the new identity of modern America.


I also had the opportunity to visit the Supreme Court and attend an argument that could result in significant changes to collegiate admissions.


Four years ago, Abigail Fisher, a white student whose application to attend the University of Texas was rejected, sued the school, based on the idea that there may likely have been minority students who were accepted with lower academic grades than hers in accordance to Affirmative Action policies.


By attending to that session I had the chance to get a glance of the justices in the Supreme Court, and the way the discussions are held in a system that's substantially different than the one I have in my country.


As I've learned in the past months, having a comparison point is always necessary to acquire the necessary skills to develop an informed critical capacity. I believe that every country has its own identity and that it's not correct to pretend that any system would work well for every nation. Having the opportunity to witness both the electoral and judicial process in Washington, D.C. has given me a wider perspective to ponder the American legal framework and its application, so I can measure it against the processes we have in my home country.

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