Visiting The White House

Visiting The White House

With only one week left in the semester, it appears as though my time in D.C. is going to end the same way it began - cold and rainy. Not too cold, but cold enough for this Southern California native.

 

Just two weeks ago, I was touring the White House Garden - when the temperature was in the mid-70s and beautiful. The weather here is extremely inconsistent, and I thought I hated the consistency of SoCal weather, but I'm reconsidering.

 

White House Gardens

By the way, the self-guided tour of the White House Gardens, which only happens once a year, is awesome. I thought I would see more flowers, but it was fun to read about the history of all the different gardens - and the presidents and first ladies who started them. Not to mention that you get to see a super up-close view of the White House. And no, there wasn't a Barack or Michelle sighting, to my dismay, but here are some pictures I took during the tour:

 

 

 

As you can see, the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. So, if you're in Washington, D.C. in the spring, check to see if the White House Garden Tour is going on and definitely plan on attending. You won't regret it!


Near the White House is the Renwick Gallery. I wasn't super interested in visiting this art gallery at first, but it's small, so it takes no more than 30-40 minutes to walk through. The exhibits are breathtaking! Here are a couple more pictures:

 

Thousands of individual strings of different colors.

 

Individual marbles glued to the surface.


These exhibits are even more stellar in person and admission is FREE, so go!

 

Since then, I've just been finishing up my internship at The Chwat Group. Most people's internships are finishing this coming Thursday, but our last day at The Chwat Group is Tuesday. On that day, we will be going out to lunch with the boss, Mr. Chwat. And while I'm a little sad to be leaving, it's nice to be finishing up early because it gives me plenty of time to pack and clean up before I leave.

 

Final Professional Track Session

This past Friday, we had our final LEAD Professional Track sessions. My LEAD Instructor wanted our final activity to be lighter, so we were scheduled to go on a guided tour of the Capitol.

 

He also provided an alternative to the Capitol tour - a discussion hosted by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank - titled "What Should Be Done About the Heroin Problem." I chose to attend this instead because I do not know much about the drug problem here in the United States, and I agree with many of Cato's policy positions, so I was interested in hearing what they had to say on the matter.

 

There were two panelists who spoke for about 20 minutes each and then took questions afterward. Both were very knowledgeable and well-versed, yet disagreed on several points. The first panelist grabbed my attention the most, ultimately transforming my viewpoint on the issue of legalizing or decriminalizing drugs.

 

Also, it turns out that the Capitol was on lockdown at the time of the tour as a result of a suspicious package. So, in the end, I'm very glad I chose to go to Cato!

 

Check-Out

The struggle that many TWC interns are feeling right now is getting rid of all the food and general belongings in our apartments. We have to finish as much food as we can, but also stretch out what we have to keep us from starving to death until next Saturday. This definitely qualifies as #firstworldproblems.


Luckily, TWC is going to have a donation box during Check-Out where we can donate things like non-perishable food items, toiletries, toilet paper and paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.


A donation box makes the whole process a lot easier, but still, nobody wants food that has already been opened to go to waste, which leads to a piece of advice: only buy the essentials about 3-4 weeks from check-out. As in, food items you're definitely going to eat and finish.

 

Parting Advice

More general advice for a semester in D.C. that I've gathered from my own experiences or witnessing others' experiences:

 

- Bring or buy a NICE umbrella. I bought 2 cheap umbrellas from Giant and they both broke.

- Keep the umbrella's wristlet on your wrist or in your bag AT ALL TIMES. I've left two on the Metro, and one was the high quality umbrella I bought on Amazon.

- Buy an inexpensive, collapsible grocery cart to use for things like cases of water or other drinks, or just lots of groceries. It's a painful walk from Giant to the RAF with a case of water.

- Download the DC Metro app, which is especially helpful on weekends when the red line runs every 100 years. If you check the arrival time of the next trains from your apartment, you'll never have to wait at the Metro stop until your hair turns grey.

- Pepper spray might not prove to be the most useful purchase, but it eases the nerves.

- Don't wait until the last minute to start your TWC assignments, particularly ones like Career Marketing and Informational Interview. It will make your life much easier.
- Harris Teeter is slightly more expensive than Giant, but the produce and customer service are better. Also, open a VIC card to save some money.

- Get a key ring/key chain and put your TWC ID on it in addition to your keys. Many people lost their IDs or forgot it in their apartment if it isn't all attached.

 

These are the biggest pieces of advice I could think of for those of you who will be spending a semester here in D.C. I hope it makes your experience a little more seamless, if you choose to follow it!


That's the end of this week's blog entry. Next week I will have one final entry, most likely as I am sitting in Reagan National Airport waiting for my flight. Thank you for reading and until then!


- K


Read Katie's previous blog posts here

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