Feel So Close

Feel So Close

 

There is exactly one month left until this journey officially ends. This week was extremely stressful for me, causing it to pass by so quickly I barely remember the start of it. There was so much work to be done, both at work and for the program. Things are starting to wrap up in every direction. Term assignments for my academic course, and other projects and assignments for the program have been piling up.

 

I guess the highlight of my week would have to be attending a reception for Senator Burr at my VP's lovely townhouse in the Capitol, where I had the opportunity to meet the Speaker of the House John Boehner. It was a rather short acquaintance but still an exciting experience. I guess next on my list of 'hand-shaking' would have to be President Obama!

 

Public Policy Meeting on Capitol Hil

The last couple of weeks have been the start of the public policy meetings for all the students. During these meetings, the American students would meet with their Senator or Representative from their state or congressional district to discuss a public policy issue of their interest.

 

Since international students aren't constituents, we don't have a representative in Congress or a state we belong to. However, for all students from Canada, TWC organized a panel meeting with foreign service officers from the Canadian Embassy that we were able to participate in to fulfill the public policy meeting component of our portfolios. We had a very interesting and informative meeting at the Canadian Embassy. It was especially insightful for students who want to take that career path. All the other international groups had similar meetings.

 

The purpose of the public policy meetings is to give students a better understanding of 'citizen advocacy and representative democracy'. This becomes part of our portfolio via a thank you letter we are required to write afterwards. So that was one part of my week. The letter I've still been procrastinating on but will come along shortly.

 

Aside from the work events I attended this week and the public policy meeting, I also had to finish off the civic engagement project by lobbying on the Hill with a couple others. This I will explain in more detail next time as I finish up the last bits of everything.

 

Back to the National Mall

There was never a good time when I was at the National Mall where I was able to go to all the memorials in one visit. One of my favorite memorials thus far is the Korean War Memorial. There is reason behind the design of the memorial. The structures and positioning of all the figures have a purpose and is an interesting read (thus I left a link).

To be honest, one of the only reasons that motivated me to come back to the National Mall for the fourth time is because my boyfriend came to visit me from Calgary :) It's typically one of the first places you take friends and family to when they come here.

 

The White House

Actually, one of the first places you will want to visit, or take your loved ones to, is the White House. Unfortunately, visiting the interior of the White House is not so simple. It takes months in advance to book a tour. And I advise those eager ones who are able to: remember to leave your purse/bags at home! I've heard many stories of friends having to throw out their bags upon entering :( I took my boyfriend here on his visit but to be honest, although my office is two blocks away, I've only ever been to it once or twice. I guess there are just much greater things in DC to see. I realize that the White House should have been one of the first things I shared on my blogs but it never struck me as so important that I had made it my first priority to do so. Most people when thinking about Washington DC will typically think 'The White House'. It's everyone's first impression of the place but just so you know, expect greater things here! While we are on the topic, last week, there was an 'attempted assasination' of the President through a shooting at the White House. This was pretty shocking but at least it wasn't related to terrorism (I hope). I believe they are still investigating the situation and the individual. I've always wondered if Presidents truly lived inside there with their families. It seems odd to me to have the entire world know exactly where you live, as President of a country, and even have people constantly surrounding your home.

 

 

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