Politics and history are two of my passions. In some ways, they come hand in hand as history shapes the world of politics. Nowhere else in the United States are politics and history so apparent as in Washington D.C. The city is literally the center of politics and history for the United States of America. Upon learning of the J. Term trip, it seemed like it was only natural to sign up and go. I go into this trip with very ‘open’ expectations. Am I excited to go on this trip? Most certainly. Do I really know what all I am actually going to see and experience on this trip? Certainly not.
I have previously been to our nation’s capital over spring break of 2011. I did the typical obligatory “touristy” visits: the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, etc. I had a wonderful time on the trip, I instantly fell in love with D.C. However, in a way, I only experienced the superficial tour of the city; I didn’t feel like I truly experienced it for what it was. I never saw the “real” side of the city away from the tourist traps and I never saw the politics in action at a session of Congress or a convening of the Supreme Court; in short I was never truly engaged with the city itself.
On this trip I hope to ‘engage’ or immerse myself in the city of Washington D.C.; I want to experience and see a side of the city you can’t see (and I didn’t see) on a normal tourist vacation to D.C. The academic Washington Center portion, the National Service Day, the alumni networking reception, bowling in the White House basement, and the Presidential Inauguration itself are some of the things I am most excited for on this trip; these events along with anything else that you can’t experience on a normal “touristy” vacation will make this trip to D.C., I hope, to be a worthwhile and fulfilling experience.