The Week with The Cherry Blossoms (3/23-3-29)

The Week with The Cherry Blossoms (3/23-3-29)

Ahh, springtime. In theory, this would be my favorite season - the flowers are blooming, the weather is getting nicer, etc. Of course, in recent events, only some of these things have actually happened, considering we've been bouncing back and forth between rain, heat, the threat of snow, and severe winds. Luckily, the plants are at least right on schedule. This is simultaneously both great and horrible. It's great because flowers are really pretty and everything smells good. This is also horrible because once the cherry blossoms are out, the Metro literally becomes three times as crowded. C'est la vie, I suppose. I should probably just look into Capitol Bike Share from now on.

The Internship


I'm really excited that we've started going to hearings again - they can get kind of dull when they go on for too long, but I really like the opportunity to get out of the office and walk up to the Hill. Today I went to a Senate Veterans' Affairs hearing on the Veterans' Choice Act. This hearing didn't necessarily pertain to suicide prevention, but since Veterans unfortunately have a very high suicide rate, we like the keep tabs on what Congress is doing to improve their access to healthcare. Luckily this hearing seemed to do just that, so as long as Congress keeps this up, we will hopefully see a reduction in the numbers.




We got to go to another hearing today (twice in one week, woo!), which was especially exciting because this one was with our favorite House Committee. That may seem like a joke/sarcastic, but Tracy and I actually love going to the House Energy and Commerce hearings because the committee members are really engaging. I mentioned them in a blog post a few weeks back - in an oversight hearing of SAMHSA, they got pretty sassy with the questioning. Unfortunately, this topic (Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse) was more of an information gathering hearing rather than an accusatory one, so everyone was pretty polite. Still, we enjoyed going - maybe we'll get to catch E&C in another exciting hearing later on.



Bonus adventure of the day: We headed over to Metro Center after the hearing to cash Tracy's check at PNC, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it was jam-packed with food trucks! I finally got to eat at CapMac, my favorite food truck in DC. It's exactly what it sounds like - a mac 'n cheese truck. If you love mac 'n cheese (and let's be real, who doesn't?) I encourage you to try it out!


In TWC News...

Friday was our second SMLS/Civic Engagement Day which I am pleased to say I enjoyed infinitely more than the last one. The morning's panel was with three Chiefs-of-Staff from the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush administrations. They each had a wide range of insight, experiences and humorous stories to share with us. The only disappointing part of the experience was the 20-minute discussion period that followed. I felt that the moderator could have found other ways to get students to participate, rather than calling on them at random. Many students asked questions during the panel discussion, so it might have been more beneficial to start with those students who had clearly expressed an interest in the programming. Although I enjoyed listening to the panel, I felt that the panelists' experiences didn't really reflect much on my own, so I was a little caught off-guard when I was put on the spot and asked to answer the moderator's questions. In the future, I think TWC should consider splitting us off into "break-out" groups so we can discuss what we learned in more intimate circles. I think some students would be more eager to share if they were talking to a group of 10-15 people rather than a whole auditorium.

Outside Academia

Tracy and I were finally able to get a much-needed ladies' weekend on Saturday when her friend Chloe came to visit. We headed out to Pentagon City Mall for what we called a "treat yourself day." For those of you who haven't gotten out to Pentagon City yet, I highly encourage it! The mall itself is huge (four floors!) with tons of stores and restaurants. The outside area is really nice as well - perfect for walking around to enjoy the weather, should it ever get nice. I bought tons of new clothes for the spring/summer - sometimes a wardrobe change is just what you need to feel re-vitalized. After a fun day out, I unfortunately spent Saturday night catching up on laundry, but I did find a bunch of cool new recipes online, so expect cooking pictures in the future.

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