November 15, 2011

I have had a very exciting week! I can’t believe that I only have 5 weeks (1 of those being spent at home for Thanksgiving) left. I have very mixed feelings about the fact that this semester is almost over. On one hand I am happy that I will get to spend some time at home for Thanksgiving and over Christmas Break. But, on the other hand I don’t want to leave D.C. There is so much to do here. No offense to the Adirondacks, but it can get a little boring. Also, I am dreading the inevitable snow. If I could have the fall weather of D.C. I would be very happy.

 

This past Wednesday I was invited to attend the National Women’s Law Center Annual Awards Dinner. This year they were honoring the Women Freedom Riders of 1961. It was amazing to listen to them talk about their experience. They still have a passion for what they fought for. I was inspired by them. They said to take one thing that really ticks you off (not their exact choice of word, but you get the point) and do something to change it. There are so many things in this world that need to change. The world needs better education for everyone, racial and gender equality, etc… The list goes on. My goal is find something that frustrates me the most, and do something to change it. What is the point of complaining about the problem if you don’t try to fix it?

 

Oh yea, I almost forgot, President Obama was the keynote speaker. No matter what you think about him, he is an excellent speaker. He sure knows how to inspire his audience. It was an amazing experience! I had a goofy grin on my face for the first 10 minutes of his speech. I was so happy to be in the same room as him. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to attend and it is something that I will always remember.

 

Friday was Veteran’s Day. I went to Arlington National Cemetery and saw the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was such a moving experience. My Grandpa Art was in the Navy during WWII and my Grandma Mary was in the Army. Every Veteran’s Day I call them to thank them for their service. I have always felt like that wasn’t enough. I am glad that I got the opportunity to be at the cemetery on Veteran’s Day. I wanted to pay my respects to all of those who fought for our country and our freedom. Putting our political, social, and economic problems aside, I am still very proud to be an American. Being there put everything into perspective for me.

 

Also on Friday I went to see the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Albert Einstein Memorial. I was eager to see them before I left D.C. They were all amazing! WWII is my favorite.

 

On Saturday I tried to look around the National Museum of American History. It was crazy. With my luck I was probably there on their busiest day of the year. I tried to enjoy myself, but I don’t think that I will ever be able to look through a museum with other people ever again. Being able to look around my museum alone has ruined it for me. I will need to go back to try it again. The NMAH deserves a second chance.

 

I went on a Ghost Tour of Old Town Alexandria on Sunday. I want to buy a home there so bad. I love that city. All the stories were interesting. Some helpful advice: Do not murder your brother because you want to marry his wife. You will choke on his wedding ring and die. True story! If you are into ghost stories and the paranormal, go on these tours. I thought that they were a ton of fun. You get to hear about some interesting history as well.

 

So that is a play by play of my past week. It was a busy, but amazing week. This Saturday I am flying for home for a week. I am excited to go home. It will be my first time going home since the end of August. I will update sometime after I return to D.C.

Some Pictures…

November 6, 2011

My decision to spend the fall semester here in Washington, D.C. was a smart one. If you are considering applying for WII, just do it. My experience has been absolutely amazing so far. I am a Junior at Daemen College in Buffalo, NY. I love my school, but I was in need of something different. WII was the answer. I can’t even comprehend the fact that I only have a month and a half left! These past two months have flown by. It’s pure madness…

I am interning at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I still can’t believe that I am there. It is a history nerds dream! If you are interested in history and/or museum work, come to D.C. There is no better place to get experience in those fields. I am working on the World of Maps project. For seven years my Supervisor has lead the effort to organize the various map collections in the museum. My job consists of numbering, cataloging, scanning, and photoshopping maps. I am in love with my internship. I am never bored and there is ALWAYS something to do. I have an awesome supervisor and my fellow interns are great to work with. As an intern I am able to get a free IMAX movie ticket each week, including tickets for the IMAX movies at the Air and Space Museum. I am able to attend talks and lectures. My favorite perk about being an intern is that I am able to get into the museum early and look around without the crowds. Getting a good look at the Hope Diamond is near impossible during the museums normal hours. AND it’s the Smithsonian. You don’t get much better than that.

My internship is wonderful, but what about actually living in D.C.? I could definitely see myself coming back to live in this city (or at least a nice suburb in either Virginia or Maryland). The energy here is infectious. It is impossible to be bored here. There are too many things to see. Getting around is a piece of cake and the Metro is super easy to understand, just make sure you have a map or a smart phone. My iPhone was a great investment. I have been lost on the metro only once…after two months of living here…which is very embarrassing. I will never board a train without looking to see where it is headed again. One very important piece of advice about the Metro escalators, STAND ON THE RIGHT, WALK ON THE LEFT. The people here get very serious about it!

Before coming here I made a list of all the things that I wanted to do and see. I had to prioritize my list. There is simply not enough time to do everything.

These are some of the things I have done so far:

-Newseum

-Crime and Punishment Museum

-Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

-Two Nationals games

-The National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert

-A concert at the 9:30 Club (Taking Back Sunday and The Maine)

-Georgetown Cupcakes

-National Museum of The United States Navy

-Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication

-Haunted Ghost Tour near the White House

And the list goes on…

I am not looking forward to leaving D.C. I have so much more I want to do!

I will update soon. I have an exciting week coming up!

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