By Grace Dunn
Junior year of high school, I took AP United States Government and Politics. I thought the class was going to be a little interesting at best, but nothing special. I had already taken U.S. History where we studied the presidents and what each accomplished; how much more was there to know? Boy was I wrong. Throughout the class, we enjoyed many activities ranging from taking the I Side With Quiz to participating in a mock Supreme Court case. My teacher’s enthusiasm for government was contagious, because I left the class with a newfound love of politics and a crazy obsession with the TV show The West Wing.
The West Wing gives viewers a backstage pass to a fictional White House. Today’s media allow us to peek behind the curtain that seems to surround parts of Washington D.C., but they only give us glimpses. I hope through our conversations with Drake alum, the Washington Center’s speakers, and other professionals we meet, we will get our own behind the scenes look at the inner workings of government. My most important questions: is the Walk and Talk from The West Wing something that actually happens?
I have been to Washington D.C. twice before, however the last time I was only 10 years old. Therefore, I did not appreciate Washington in the way I will this time. I am looking forward to seeing D.C. through a different lens. Additionally, from my previous vacations I only have photos that my mom took, and the classic photos taken by a 10 year old, blurry and with my finger in the upper corner. For this trip, I will be arriving fully prepared to take quality photographs and blog our experience. I am certain when I arrive back at Drake and am missing D.C., I will be grateful that I can look back at the blog and relive our adventures. Also, I have not written as many papers as I thought I would in college. I feel my writing has not advanced significantly since high school, therefore, I hope writing in the blog and writing papers for the Washington Center will help remedy that.
As for the inauguration itself? I have heard a lot of rumors about the event and I’m not sure what to believe. If I go with my gut, I think Trump is going to try and pull out all the bells and whistles to make the inauguration a big production. If he pulls the “production” off, I am worried it will take away from the event. It might feel like we are watching a Super Bowl halftime show instead of a historical event in politics. But, we will have to wait until January 20th to see what Donald J. Trump has in store.