I don't want to do homework!!!

I don't want to do homework!!!

I have mixed feelings about the weekends here in D.C.  When Friday comes around, the intern section at my work gets a little loopy.  After a long week of working, class, studying, socializing, and cooking (or not cooking in my case),a switch just goes off on Fridays and we all can't wait to get off of work.  We truly understand now what it means to live for the weekends!  Though this switch goes off in me, I sometimes have a sense of dread that enters my soul.  Why, you may ask?  Well because the classes through The Washington Center do actually require some work outside of class, and if I have no energy to get to it during the week, I do it all on the weekends.  This is a simple disclaimer: Be prepared to do some homework on the weekends. There are other classes on other nights of the week, so I am just thankful my class is not on Mondays.  This particular weekend, I needed to prepare a presentation, continue research for my policy paper, and read in order to complete a worksheet for my class on Tuesday, in addition to tons of other non-TWC related duties.  Now in a college setting, I have no problem finding the balance between homework and my social life.  When you add the dimension of work with these other two, you get thrown off balance and scramble to find your bearings.  It has been a fascinating balance to try to maintain a full time job, a course, a social life, and your personal well being.  The only advice I have to give you is that it will only just come down to whatever you decide to choose.  There is no right order, and you have to decide what is more important for you at that present moment, and work not to regret it in the future!

That being said, Friday after work, I chose my social life over the fact I was still running behind on a lost full night's sleep from earlier that week.  A few interns and I went to the free jazz concert again.  Only this time, a few of us danced to the Cuban beat.  Cuban salsa gives a little twist to the traditional salsa step.  A new friend, Kamille, who was dancing with me, taught me this new little twist.  When we weren't Cuban salsa dancing, we were people watching.  Now this may be a creepy term to you, but it is perfectly normal!  There is such a diversity of the kinds of people that come to events like this jazz concert, and you can't help but watch and learn!  One man really loved Cuban jazz, so not once did he stop dancing with himself alone.  His dance moves were rather ridiculous but fun nevertheless.  A few times he would take a break from dancing only to bongo on his son's head.  That was very precious.  We saw another man who was rushing through the crowd.  At first you would have thought he was just on a mission, but I propose he didn't want too many people to see his aluminum foil pants he was sporting because they would hurt your eyes if you stared at them for too long.  I personally appreciated his style because it was unique and awesome.  These are the things that you miss if you don't people watch when you are in large crowds.  But there is always a risk that a people-watcher takes, which is that eventually something you do or say will become the object of someone else's attention.  Just be mindful of that.  After our time of people-watching and salsa-dancing, we went to have dinner at this superb pizza and salad place called Aria's.  It is a hidden jewel in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza.  It is one of the very few quality restaurants with reasonable prices.  Individual-sized pizzas and dinner-size salads were only $8!  I split the white pizza and fresca salad with my friend, Rebekah, and it was perfectly sufficient.  After great conversation, Rebekah and Briana went to catch their buses, and I went to meet up with some other friends for some night exploration of the memorials.  We only went to view the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and Lincoln memorial at night, but that is all we needed.  There is something magical about visiting the memorials at night when they are just glowing, the air is warm, and you feel so at peace. . .

Since I stayed out Friday night, I purposed in my head (not my heart) that I would get up early Saturday morning and get as much work done as I possibly could so that I could go into town in the late afternoon.  But as I sat in my sunroom, typing away at my presentation, stealing every moment I could to stare out at the beautiful blue sky, I was smacked back into reality.  Why the heck was I not outside enjoying the wonders of D.C. on the first of few days when it is not scorching hot and there is a breeze?  My homework would always be here, even when I leave D.C.  But D.C. won't always be with me.  And that is when I decided there will always be tomorrow to finish my homework.  I decided to hit the town!

My roommate, Andrea, had her family visiting her this great city so I joined them in exploring the Air and Space Museum.  What a phenomenal experience!  Yeah, so I am no longer in middle school, but I totally did the ride simulator with other middle schoolers and it was great.  It was a cool experience to walk through the history of our space program development, even though part of that history is ending within our lifetime.  Now since this is really the first time I had gone out to explore the museums, I decided to do some exploring on my own after Andrea and her family went back to the apartment to relax.  My goal was to look at a few more memorials and maybe one other museum.  After being kicked out of the Holocaust museum when only being inside for an hour, I set out to revere the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  The way the sunlight hit the building was so astonishing and peaceful that almost laid out on the marble and took a nap.  Instead of napping, I met five new friends and joined their adventuresfor the rest of the day.  I happened to sit beside Lindsey, Rob, Jimmy, Rachel and Fabian (who was from Brazil).  We all were exhausted because of the intense hours of walking we had just did.  Since Lindsey's feet were sore, and my hips were aching, we were able to hit off a nice conversation.  Once we felt like our energy had been restored, I joined them on their excursion to the FDR memorial.  If I had not met these lovely people and joined their group, I probably would not have visited the FDR memorial.  The quotes and history of one of my favorite presidents carved into the mauve stone walls was so moving and powerful.  I doubt FDR knew that he would be the author of so many wise sayings that still ring true today.  One quote stated, "We have faith that future generations will know that here in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war."  Here in the twenty-first century, the organization I work for, International Justice Mission, is doing just that.  IJM has found a way to unite lawyers, social workers, and investigators to fight the forces of injustice among the world's poorest.  But not only to rescue the oppressed and prosecute the oppressors, but also to bring change into the structure of the justice system so that these efforts are sustainable and the poor can trust their justice systems again.  As I walked through the memorial with my new friends, and read the quotes, I felt honored to be participating in this mission here in the twenty-first century.

Now if I had chosen to continue working alone inside my stuffy apartment, dreaming and wishing I could go outside, I would not have made a few new friends from North Carolina, Michigan, D.C., and Brazil!  My advice to you is be wise with your time, but also never ever make a choice that you might regret.  The balance you must learn between responsibility and fun will be one that you will always have to figure out throughout life.  The great thing about D.C. is that it helps you figure it out as you go!  I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what you have been learning and how you have been developing by just taking a day for yourself.  Homework, friends, and everything else will still be there.  You will never know who you will meet, or what you will experience.

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