By Katherine Fritcke
It’s an overwhelming feeling, walking into the West Wing. You expect to see madness and never ending problem solving after watching hours of “West Wing” (the television show) and seeing pictures of Obama in the Situation Room and Oval Office, but it is so much more than that.
Photographs fill the walls, all rotating documentations of Obama’s recent time in office. Walking around the West Wing these photos hang proudly reminding you of all the events that have taken place over the past couple of months. Our tour guide, Drake alum Zach Nunn, pointed out every picture with care and telling us the story behind each of them.
Just after visiting the Rose Garden we made our way inside to the most well know room. The Oval Office in all its glory is just as amazing as it seems. However, the room I had built up so much in my mind was also much smaller than I had imagined. Then, I remembered how much has gone on in that room, all of the history made, all the things those walls have seen, and just like that the room seemed to grow 200 times larger.
Once the grandeur of the office was taken in, and plots to secretly get a Michelle Obama endorsed apple from the Oval Office, we made our way to the White House Pressroom. Like any good press junkie, I was jumping up like a kid visiting Disneyland. Just like the Oval Office, from TV it looks larger than it actually was. However, just like with the Oval Office, the size of a room should never take away from its importance.
The walls of the West Wing are covered in beautiful artwork that would only be seen in the Smithsonian, that might be because those same pieces are moving from the West Wing to the Smithsonian on a regular basis. As you walk down that halls, the walls were intermittently broken-up by non-descript wooden doors with no names or titles. But behind those doors lie the offices of key political figures (even on a Sunday).
It was truly the experience of a lifetime, standing in a place where so many Presidents before had stood and worked and changed the face of America. Even though pictures were not allowed inside the tour, the vivid memories will stick with me forever.