As someone that has never been to Washington DC before this experience is expected to be one that will last for a lifetime. In less than one day I will be walking into this city without a clue as to what to expect but adding to that is the fact, we are in the midst of a government shutdown just adds a more unique setting to this adventure. As I can imagine, the sense of polarization is probably prominent on the streets of the Nation’s Capital as well as all over the nation as federal employees are not receiving their paychecks, they so desperately need especially during the holiday season. One can expect to first-hand experience these issues as they land, travel to, and walk the streets of DC.
I imagine my tourist side will come out as I step foot in a city with such a rich history. My expectations include site seeing at some of the most prominent sites in the city which include Arlington Cemetery, Williams & Connolly, the United States Supreme Court, and the Pentagon. These are just a few of the places that are read about in textbooks or talked about on social media, and it is something I’d like to be able to see with my own eyes. This trip is not just about learning the ins and outs of Washington but also understanding and experiencing the history this city holds. One of the things I am most interested in is learning about is the impact presidents have had on this city when they lived their term here as President of the United States. With that being said, and the 2020 election right around the corner, I am also interested in seeing how the city responds to this. My freshmen year at Drake I got a small taste of what an upcoming presidential election is like but seeing it on a larger scale is something I am looking forward too. Lastly, some issues that are important to me that I will keep in mind on this trip deal with criminal justice reform and the continued growth in party polarization in Congress.
In a few short years, I plan to have graduated from law school somewhere on the east coast and hopefully land a job somewhere in a highly political city like DC. Therefore, during this trip, I would like to meet and develop connections with some of the Drake alumni and others in the area I could reach out to. This would include learning how to reach out to these connections I have made and how often to keep in contact with them, so they do not forget who I am. Therefore, I would not only like to use this trip as a learning experience but also a networking one I may potentially use in the future.
Some questions I will have in the back of my mind during the trip include;
How has the city responded to the shutdown?
What kind of impacts have certain presidents made on this city during their term?