Hello again! We had another amazingly busy day running all across DC. Today was another busy day, but the weekend is in sight and I can’t wait for the free time that it will bring with it. Our professors have warned us to rest up because it’s going to be another busy week next week!
Today we started our day with a lecture and Q&A from Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary for President Trump. It felt like I was meeting a celebrity and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that he probably had multiple conversations a day with the President during his time there. He was a tough act to follow, but Michael Steele did a great job at grabbing our attention just as much as Mr. Spicer did. Michael Steele is the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and is an MSNBC Political Analyst. He talked about where people’s ‘truths’ come from, saying that “your truth comes from your experiences and background, and then your truth becomes your personal philosophy.” He also spoke about how followers will occasionally repress their own personal interests in favor of their leader’s interests. He also said some pretty inspirational things about human dignity too, saying that if we as a society believe in human dignity for all, then come 2020 we must vote for a candidate who believes that too if we hope to create change in our country. After Mr. Steele we heard from a panel that consisted of Jen Psaki, former White House Communications Director for the Barack Obama Administration, Tony Fratto, former White House Deputy Press Secretary for the George W. Bush Administration, and Kate Andersen Brower, Author of “The Residence,” “First Women,” and “First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power.” They each talked about the time they spent working in the White House and interacting with former Presidents. It was pretty cool to hear about the time Fratto watched Juno with President Bush and the former First Lady.
After our morning sessions, we went to the Newseum and spent some time wandering around absorbing as much information as we could while there. My favorite exhibits were the FBI exhibit and the Pulitzer prize-winning photo exhibit. The hair on the back of my neck stood up when looking at some of the artifacts taken from the 9/11 crash site in NYC and looking at some of the award-winning photos. It was definitely an emotional day, looking at things like the shorts a runner was wearing the day the Boston Marathon Bombing happened or the bank card from a woman who died in a plane crash on 9/11.
After the Newseum, we walked the National Mall and headed to the Kennedy Center to watch a Zimbabwean Hip-Hop artist. It was pretty awesome to walk The Mall as the sun was setting and to have access to a free Kennedy Center show, which they have every day at 6pm, 365 days a year.
My photo of the day is actually going to be three photos; because we did so much today I couldn’t pick just one! The National Mall is my favorite place to visit while in DC, so naturally, all of the photos I choose as my ‘photo(s) of the day’ were taken at various spots along The Mall.
My fun fact of the day is that President Jimmy Carter loved movies! He has the highest record for the number of movies watched in the White House movie theater…480! Consider that challenge accepted!
We walked a lot today since we were walking all throughout the Newseum and walked along the National Mall to get to the Kennedy Center. I took 16,415 steps, walked 7.80 miles, and climbed 11 flights of stairs! That puts me at 89,937 steps and 43.84 miles since Saturday, January 5th, the day we arrived. It looks like we’ll be hitting the 50-mile mark a heck of a lot sooner than expected! My new prediction for miles walked by the end of the trip, which is on Saturday, January 19th, is around 95 miles! WOW!
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring! (It looks like it might bring snow so wish us luck and keep an eye out for some snowy pictures on the blog tomorrow!)
Follow #DrakeinDC on social media to see what my peers and I have been doing/learning during our time in our nation’s capital, Washington DC!