The Reckoning

The Reckoning

I was going to write a blog post on Sunday night, as I try to consistently do, but something quaint happened. The "p," "?/," and carrier return on my Macbook's keyboard wouldn't work. I wasn't about to write The Washington Center blog equivalent to Gadsby, so I called it a night and looked at lolcats and watched a Deep Space Nine episode before going to bed.

It stunk too. I took this picture of the Beltway right before sunset and had every intention of posting it last night.

I figured out why I like this view so much from the penthouse in the other building at Braddock Station: it reminds me of home. I know you say, "Who is he kidding? What, you have national icons in your hometown?" No, what I mean by that is there's a certain hill in my -- here, let me show you:

That dentistry is located on a hill, and from it's parking lot, you can basically see all of this:

See? Now you understand why I think it looks like home. You get some trees, you get the river, and then you get the city. Admittedly, Fort Smith isn't as exciting or monumental as Washington, D.C., but it's still pretty special to me.


Anyway, whatever. Do you want to hear me talk about that and get homesick? Or would you rather know what happened last week.

Oh, last week was a doozy, let me tell you. First off, we had civic engagement presentations at the RAF for my Media and Communications program. And our group leader was overreacting -- at least, that was my impression. I couldn't understand why she was so adamant about our entire presentation being 5 minutes total, including the 1-minute PSA video that we created. I couldn't understand why we couldn't read what was on the Powerpoint. I couldn't understand why she was so anal about whether the computers could accept her flash drive instead of just emailing it herself and using the Youtube link for our video.

Well, I understood after the group presentations were over, after the other 6 groups went. My gosh, I think my group might have been the only one to do their presentation at exactly five minutes. All of the other groups seemed to double or even triple that. It was grueling to have to sit there and watch the other groups take forever. The only thing that could have made it worse would have been if they had a microphone for students to ask questions. That's the only thing that could have made it worse.

So, for having us stay within the regulations and do everything exactly as codified, Annie, you're the best. Thanks for making our group look as smooth as George Gervin finger roll.

The rest of the week was spent agonizing over my capstone project that I was telling you about, the 30-minute panel discussion on health care reform. It was agonizing because A) it was late and B) it was making my professor nervous because it was late. She had thought maybe I had overextended my empire and would soon fail.

So Thursday, April 14th at 10:15 AM had finally arrived. I made a big deal about it too. I posted status updates four days in advance on my Facebook announcing how many hours remained until "The Reckoning." In my opinion, what I was about to do was put down one of the best capstone projects in the last three years. That's how I saw it; no disrespect to my predecessors, many of whom I admire.

Click here to listen to "Realpolitik," the capstone project. After laughing at my portfolio entries and maybe posting one of the written samples as a comment on a site, go to the middle right portion of the page. Click on the link that says "Realpolitik," or the picture of the panelists and me behind the desk.

Now, we'll speed up the tape. After getting that thing edited and creating an intro for it and posting it to my online portfolio, I received tremendously positive feedback on the show. My mentor glowed. The nervous professor realized I pulled a Woody Dantzler and turned a hopeless situation into an incredible feat.

At one point, the professor said she forgot she was listening to a student project -- that's how professional it was.

Anyway, enjoy these pictures from "Realpolitik" as I pat myself on the back:

I'm glad I stole my hairstyle from Happy Days here.

My gosh -- another picture where I look like a moron. Is there not a picture I can look decent in? Let's go down the recap together:

Oh, that's really fantastic there. No wonder some people act like you collect your own expectoration when you ask them if they want to hang out on the weekends.

You know, I actually think it's the tie. My ties keep getting crooked. I'm having a problem tying a tie that doesn't get crooked at the end of the night. That's really my only problem. And it's the shirt too. I don't think that white shirt I've ridden from Claremore to Washington is really the kind that can support a tie. In another words, I don't think it's a dress shirt.

Anyway, I knew the celebration had to be short-lived because the work was not finished. Although it is like Star Wars and The Godfather in that it was a ground-shaking project that made the executives nervous during its production, the paperwork isn't complete. The paperwork could still kill me, even though it won't. I'm just saying I'm done enjoying this one because it's time to get back to work. It's all about having a good day and stacking those good days on top of each other and doing things the right way moving forward.

What is today? Monday? I normally don't talk about Monday until Sunday, but since this blog is delayed, I'll go ahead and talk about Monday now. Today was programming, so I had to go to The Washington Center at 1:00 PM and listen to a lecture on the media and journalism's future put on by Kevin Klose, the former president of NPR before Vivian Schiller took over.

Since I had time and wanted to save a Metro faire, I walked through the Capitol since it's a hop, skip, and a jump from Voice of America to the RAF. My path takes me by the Botanical Gardens:

After I took those pictures, I noticed some commotion on Capitol Hill:

They were project and they were there to protest against the United States' climate change policies. I have no idea. Whatever. Here's their website; go see for yourself:

They could have been protesting people who grab your seat from behind to adjust themselves on an airplane for all I care. I took the pictures because this was news. Although some of us may not agree with the speech this group was saying, the First Amendment guarantees their right to say it and they were saying it at a venue all about freedom of speech. Do you see the connection or not?

So don't take my reporting on that occurrence as an endorsement of any kind. I'm displaying what happened today. That's a crime? Now I'm Saul Alinsky's grandson and I'll end up on a blackboard as part of a conspiracy because I talked about this in my blog.

Anyway, you know how some folks say they don't like organized religion? I don't like organized environmental groups. I take care of the Earth in my own way, and I don't feel like I need to raise a fist or wear a T-shirt to do it. I've stopped on the side of the road and helped turtles cross highways. I've put worms back into the dirt after being washed out from the rain on the sidewalks. I keep the TV off when I'm not watching it. What would you bet the over-under is on these kids leaving the TV on as they go to the other room?

The kids said they were college students from all over the country. I should have asked them if they got out of class for that. Can you imagine? I would probably go march on the National Mall too if A) I got out of class for it and B) there were some cute chicks to hit on while on the bus.

That reminds me of what my dad used to tell me about the Vietnam protests. He's 66 years old -- pushing 80 -- and he was a young man during those times. He opines some of the guys did protested for that reason: they got to cut class and they got to socialize with young women.

If that's the reason, then why not protest?

I don't have one of my dad's famous sayings this week, but one of his wise sayings is, "Endeavor to persevere," and that's what I have to do from now until May. Amen.

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