By Annie Hayes
Before participating in this J-Term trip, I have traveled to Washington D.C. a couple of times in the past, visiting the many different national monuments and memorials all around the city. Your typical tourist adventure one would embark on their first time in the city. I never would have dreamt of having these unique opportunities we will have on this trip.
Throughout the next two weeks, I am hoping to learn about the history of the inauguration ceremony, and how it highlights just how fortunate we are to live in a country that is able to peacefully transfer power from one administration to another. All while taking into consideration the hectic and divisive election cycle the country experienced last year. In Trump’s inauguration speech, I hope to hear him speak as someone who is ready and committed to upholding the oath he will be taking that day. A good portion of the country does not believe he has the temperament or qualifications needed for the presidency, so he needs to present a himself in a manner that speaks to those who may have doubts, and bridge the massive divide in the country between his supporters and those who are not. When speaking about the major issues facing the country, Trump needs to show more maturity and respect towards the office of the presidency, and what the role really entails especially when it comes to working with people from across the aisle. So what makes me want to attend the inauguration? The simple fact that the ceremony is acknowledging and celebrating the office of the President of the United States, not just the individual. I may not agree with Trump on many issues, but he is going to be the next President of the United States, and I believe the office should be respected as it has been for over 200 years, regardless of who the President-Elect is at the current time.
Professionally, I would like to learn more about the relationship between data analytics and the political world, and what job opportunities are available within this focus. After working with a campaign and examining the polling process throughout this past election cycle(both the good and bad), I realized how great of a role data plays in politics and became increasingly interested in the subject. In addition to this, I would like to improve on how to go about networking with people at different events, and being confident in engaging with others and asking thoughtful questions.
Finally, I am really looking forward to be living in D.C. for two weeks during this historic time, getting a better feel for the city, and understanding what day-to-day life in this city is like!