Experiencing history at work and at play!

Experiencing history at work and at play!

Hello again!

 

I feel like my time in D.C. is going by so quickly and I don’t know how to find time to do all the things I want to do! I’m constantly tired and go to sleep within a couple of minutes every night, but it’s worth it. Some days I’m dashing from event to event but other days I’m at my office all day, working on press releases, reports, and research.

 

Learning something new every day

On Wednesday night, I volunteered to stay late at my internship to help with a screening of Empty Boxcars, a documentary on Jews in Bulgaria and Bulgarian-occupied territories during World War II. In all my years of history classes and studying the Holocaust, I had never been taught this. 50,000 Jews in Bulgaria were going to be deported and murdered at Treblinka but were saved when the deportation order was rescinded by the same man who signed it in the first place. The Bulgarians were saved, but those from Bulgarian-occupied territories including Macedonia and Thrace were murdered at Treblinka. To this day, Macedonia and Bulgaria don’t have nearly the same numbers of Jewish people as before the Holocaust.

 

TWC hosted the first Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series on Friday morning. The panelists discussed the party and political systems in the United States and how the introduction of a third-party would change voter participation and possibly the structure of American politics. I was pleased to hear that my same opinions on the two-party system are echoed among leaders in D.C., which I hope means that change will happen!

 

Spending my time off

L and I got our well-deserved pampering at a nail salon near Dupont Circle on Friday afternoon. I nearly fell asleep getting my nails done. I think I've hit a wall because I felt like all my tiredness came to me on Friday night. I napped, ate dinner, and went back to bed to sleep at least 9 hours. I love to sleep in but I haven't had a chance to really do so in the last 3 weeks. I’m trying to take advantage of every hour in D.C. when I’m not at my internship to sightsee!

 

In front of the White House

 

Speaking of sightseeing, I’ve done a lot of it on these last couple of weekends. This weekend, I went to the National Archives, the Sculpture Garden, and the National Museum of Natural History. I was absolutely amazed to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution but I think I was even more impressed to see the 1297 Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is always mentioned in my International Relations textbooks, usually in its role as the first legal declaration of limits on a single sovereign’s (the king’s) power, so to see in person is incredible. Many people were passing by it as if it did not mean much, which left me a bit disappointed because the mere fact that it is over 700 years old should be impressive. Unfortunately, I can’t put in a photo because photography is not allowed. Instead, here I am at the Sculpture Garden:

 

Sculpture Garden

 

The weekend before, L and I took a short day trip out to Alexandria. It was so hot and humid out that we couldn’t really enjoy it, so we spent most of it inside a restaurant eating empanadas (nearly as good as my favorite empanadas from home or from Cali, Colombia) and watching the Colombia-Venezuela game. I can see why people seem to like Alexandria so much, but small towns don’t really win me over. I love big cities.

 

Washington is scandalous

I had my second class for Scandalous Washington, the course I’m taking at TWC, and I completely loved it! It’s basically a course that looks at the history of D.C. through scandals. My class is usually during the week but we headed into D.C. on Saturday morning to explore scandals. We started at the Octagon House, where I learned about Dolly Madison as the First Lady and the Taylor family, and walked through the Eisenhower Executive Building, the Blair House, the White House, Lafayette Square, the Willard Hotel, and the White House Visitor Center. It reminded me very much of my study abroad courses, which have been the best classes I have taken; we learned as we walked past the places where history took place. It’s absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait for my next class!

 

I’m looking forward to writing my next blog post because of something very special happening on Monday, so stay tuned for it! Until next time!

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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