By JWV and RPC
For the uninitiated, we are the faculty leaders of the Washington, D.C. J-term seminar. Two years ago, we had a fabulous crew who joined us for the 2013 inauguration. At the time, we were so impressed that we both said we would never do it again for fear that we would not have such a great group of students. But we lied – and we did it again.
And now we have 13 students with us in DC for the new Congress. And they are equally happy, cohesive, and great.
Today was our first “free day” – the students have been working hard, and we have hardly given them a moment to spare. Yet, at 7:15 a.m., they met us in the lobby and set out on a very cold Saturday morning with unflagging good humor and enthusiasm. They were going to the White House, so that might explain it.
Along the way, we realized that this group, like the last, has a distinct personality. Here are some glimpses into the collective psyche of #DrakeinDC.
1. They do a penguin huddle when they’re cold. Really, this just means they circle around each other with limbs clenched tightly to their bodies. It’s a sight to behold.
2. Austin’s pedometer gets a workout.
3. They show bulldog pride wherever they go – even in the form of cold weather accessories.
4. They are amazing metro riders (Kati has learned to remain upright).
5. Remarkably, this group of college students could probably have spent all day in Ford’s Theatre museum (documenting Lincoln’s presidency). We had to hurry them along to see the actual box where the president was assassinated. We also found Big Green Lincoln.
6. When they need a light, they simply turn one on – even in the White House.
7. They get misty-eyed at the view out the Blue Room across the ellipse to the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial.
8. They particularly enjoy donuts decorated with stars and stripes.
9. They are so unfailingly gracious and polite and well-mannered that they thank every single security guard, clerk, ticket-taker, Secret Service agent, and restaurant server whom they encounter.
10. They will gather for group pictures at any opportunity and make sure that the job gets done.
BONUS: They love the company of fellow students (and faculty) who geek out about history, government, politics – and democracy. When you ask who wants to go to the Supreme Court, every single hand goes up. Sounds cheesy, perhaps, but it’s really fun.