By Zachary Keller
I have never been to Washington D.C., but my feelings towards my upcoming 11 days there can be summarized in three words:
“I’m, very, excited.”
I couldn’t imagine a better time to visit our nation’s capital than the week leading up to a presidential inauguration. There will be so much going on that it will be hard to take it all in. Additionally, the Drake itinerary is filled with unique experiences that will make this trip truly once-in-a-lifetime. It includes tours of the White House and U.S. Capitol, a visit to the Supreme Court and National Archives, a Drake alumni networking reception, meetings with Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, and countless other monument and site visits. I am also excited to volunteer at Bread for the City because I feel will be a great way to give back to the community. Finally, I should mention that we will even get to go bowling in the White House!
While I know this trip will provide me with some unique experiences, I also know that it is academic in nature. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to go to the inauguration and Washington D.C. as part of the J-Term course. I want to stretch my knowledge and understanding of our nation’s political system and the issues we face. I expect to learn a lot about the city of Washington D.C., the people who live there, and the career opportunities available. I hope to expand my own perspectives by hearing different points of view and I look forward to talking about the issues our nation faces with people who are trying to solve them.
Witnessing the Presidential Inauguration firsthand is another reason I wanted to go on this trip. It is not something you get to do every day. During his speech, I hope to hear President Obama talk about his plans to continue to improve our economy as we still have a long way to go. I hope to hear a message of “doing what is best for America” in regards to the debt ceiling, health care reform, social security, and education. Above all, I hope he makes it a point to say that we need to work across party lines in order to truly do what is best for our country.
Even if all of this isn’t addressed, I am still grateful to be able to witness the event and I am very excited that Drake University has given me this opportunity. It is going to be an amazing trip and I am looking forward to making the most of it.