Just Over Halfway

Just Over Halfway

Last week marks the middle of my summer term with The Washington Center. It's right about now that I've started wondering why it seems like only yesterday that I was filling out the application and awaiting acceptance. Heck, it seems like only a few hours ago that I was sitting in orientation with all my fellow Political Leadership comrades. We were all just starting out! And now, we are less than a month from being alumni. With that said, I think I want to take a minute to reflect on a couple highlights of the summer thus far.

First, I think one of the coolest parts of TWC programming thus far was meeting with my Congressman, John Olver (D-MA). The man has been in office for pretty much as long as I've been alive, so his knowledge of and seniority in the House of Representatives was pretty extensive. It wasn't all business talk though! I also learned that Olver has lived down the road from me in Amherst all this time! What are the chances? To top it all off, he was nice enough to grab a photo with us before he ran back off to the floor. This is one for the future political campaign!

Now, like I've said before, there's a good amount of play meshed in with the work here in DC. I have been a bit lazy about getting out and enjoying this city to the fullest on the weekends. Those late nights at the clubs really can do a number on your sleep schedule. But I digress! I think among my favorite things to do here in DC, as cliche as it sounds, is to hit up the absolutely free Smithsonian Museums. You can spend days in any one of them! I've been to three out of six and enjoyed every minute. I will have to say, the American History and Native American History museums are among my favorites. Sorry, Air and Space Museum, it's just not going to work out between us.

The one thing to absolutely not miss while in the American History Museum, in my opinion, is the re-creation of Julia Child's Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen. I am absolutely in love with this woman and the recent movie about her life, Julie & Julia. How could you not be in love with a sassy woman living in France and cooking everything in sight? She also loved wine, which is always a huge plus. So check it out!

As for the American Indian museum, I think I could go on for three entries about it. The building is absolutely gorgeous and the surrounding gardens are a rare find in a city usually associated with marble and granite wonders. Did you know they actually grow tobacco, corn, and beans in the garden just near the National Mall? It's just amazing. Inside the museum there are hands-on activities, free movies, and a wonderful cafe where I had a "traditional Native American grilled cheese". Yes, their grilled cheeses are totally different than ours, so try it out. I think the picture below of the remaining Native American tribes really sums it up for me. Native Americans are not gone and they are not going away. We ought to be mindful and learn what we can from this precious culture.

At the end of the day, it's always fun to just relax on the National Mall or up near the Congressional gardens. There is so much to muse about in DC. As I reflect on half a summer already spent, I find that I have enjoyed my time here more than most things in my life. It is a unique opportunity, which mixes work and play into this experience that really can't be adequately described until you come here for yourself. Until then, I hope the picture below and these entries give you some idea.

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