Mid-Term DC Evaluation

Mid-Term DC Evaluation

We did our mid-term evaluations for our internship site and our academic course this week, so I figured, why not do one for my semester as a whole? Typically mid-terms sneak up on me; it is around this time of the semester that I realize I need to get it together and buckle down because there is half a semester worth of information I need to catch up on. Regardless of the panic-induced cramming that happens around this time of the semester, it is usually a relief to know I am half a semester closer to winter or summer vacation; however, this is hardly the case this semester. When I realized  we were 7 weeks into the semester already, I was disappointed because I don’t want this semester to end. It’s crazy because you would think that after working full-time and attending classes and programming twice a week, I would be exhausted and want nothing but to go home, but that is definitely not it. For the first time ever, I do not lay in bed in the morning fantasizing about what it would be like to skip the day of work and stay home instead. I mean, with everything that happens in DC on a daily basis, why would I want to miss a day?

 

How could you not love this city?

 

Keep Up with Congress

I  don't know if I could have picked a better semester to spend in DC. With the primaries for the presidential elections at full-force and Congress’ daily mini disasters, I am far from not being entertained. I watch political updates on the news all the time while I am back at home, but being in the middle of it all gives you a whole new perspective.

 

Congress returned from recess our second week here and upon their return, they had a lot to accomplish. The city was buzzing with rumors of an unresolved budget deal leading to a government shutdown, but there was still some hope that Congress would pull through. The number of days that they had to submit a decision was in the single digits, and we were all still clueless on what was going to happen (and how they were going to focus on such things with the Pope's visit approaching).

 

After Pope Francis addressed Congress on September 24th, John Boehner decided to resign as Speaker of the House on September 25th. Considering we were still dancing around the possibility of a government shutdown, the news of Boehner’s resignation was unexpected to say the least. Thankfully, Congress passed a continuing resolution or a CR and the government shutdown was postponed until December 11th. Honestly, some of the interns were a little bummed because we kind of wanted to see what the city was like during a government shutdown and half of them wouldn’t have to go to work, but essentially no shutdown is GREAT! The vote for a new speaker was set for Thursday, October 8th and Kevin McCarthy, majority leader, was expected to take the position. Of course, since nothing happens as expected here in DC, McCarthy dropped out of the Speaker race that same day. It is October 20th, and I have learned that there is no certainty behind anything. I mean, if Politico got it all wrong the first time around, who am I suppose to believe? Currently, there is no new Speaker of the House and Joe Biden is still deciding whether or not he wants to run for president. Hopefully by the time I do my end of the semester evaluation, we’ll have answers for all of these.

 

Keep Up with Life

I am taking the "How Washington Really Works" course with TWC, and I truly love it. If you want to get a feel for all of the components that go into making the central government work, this is the class for you. We have an open-floor guided discussion every week, and I can honestly say I learn so much, not only from my instructor—who is awesome, don’t get me wrong—but from my classmates who have been exposed to different cultures and environments. We have done group presentations where we have been able to focus on issues and topics that most interest us, as well as written assignments on our views and suggested solution policies and power execution. So far, this course has been awesome. I have learned a great deal and am looking forward to a continuing positive experience with my peers.

 

All Work and All Play

The weeks have been a little crazy here, and I don’t ever feel like there is enough time in the day, but what’s new? I have been here for nearly 2 months and still feel like I want to see so much more; I want to visit more of the monuments, I want to go to all of the museums at least twice, I want to see all the historic and cute places in town that everyone talks about. If there is anything that I realized about being halfway through my stay here, it is that I have no time to take a weekend off!

 

This weekend I did another round of monument and memorial visits; I swear I don’t think those could ever get old. My friend Caitlyn had her friend Abby here visiting from Ohio, so we obviously had to show our fellow Buckeye how to be a tourist in DC. We had a blast, walked forever, but surely DC never disappoints.

 

 

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fall

 

YESSSS! It’s my favorite season of all time, as I am sure I have already mentioned. My friend Kari and I took advantage of the awesome weather and made it out to Alexandria, Virginia. We have been wanting to go, and actually tried to make it the weekend prior, but we took the wrong Metro at some point and ended up going to Pentagon City Mall instead. Anywho, despite the windy weather and long Metro waits, we made it to Alexandria this weekend and it was oh-so worth the wait! If you ever come to DC, make sure this cute little town is on your list of places to visit.


 

The view from the waterfront is beautiful and the whole area is surely the best colonial town I have ever seen. There is so much history to learn about and so many places to shop, it literally is my ideal way to spend my day. We definitely plan on visiting again and perhaps spending more time there; we hear that Saturdays are fun and around Halloween time they get a little spooky once the sun sets, so we will definitely have to pay it another visit!

 

Food Update:

I tried the best ice cream at Union Market today, so again this is a MUST if you ever visit. I had mint chocolate chip and butter pecan, so delicious.


It tastes even better than it looks!

 

Stay Warm Peeps,

GB

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