I would first like to preface this blog post by saying I am a Criminology major, not a Political Science major which is the main focus of this trip. This is why I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip.
March 21, 2016 (Monday)
After getting up at 4:30 am to get to the airport, our group set off to Washington D.C. for our spring break. When we landed in D.C. we went to our airbnb house that we were going to call home for the week. I absolutely loved it and wish I could live there! After we got settled, we went to the NBC Universal news station and met Mark Murry who took us on the set of Meet the Press. This was very interesting because it was a historical spot for some political debates and where a lot of current news is talked about. After we talked about the presidential election and who was predicted to win (which we decided there was no way to say for sure), we went our separate ways and went to Georgetown to grab some cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes! This is one of my all time favorite bakeries, so it was a great treat to start off our week!
March 22, 2016 (Tuesday)
We started our early morning by waiting to be let into the Supreme Court for three hours. We all thought that it was going to be kind of a hot day… Well it was probably the coldest I have been in years. We could not go walk around and warm up. We had to stand in line so we would not lose our spot. Our goal was to be early enough in the line to get to sit in on the case for the full hour, but we only got a five minute time slot to sit in and watch a case in the Supreme Court. That was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. It really made me feel like I was apart of history. Then we went to the PEW Research Center and talked about the current presidential election and looked at statistics on who is in the lead. After that we went to the White House and it took me about twenty minutes just to find a trash can to throw away my food. They keep that block extremely clean and free of trash. We made a trip over to the National Museum of American History after the White House. The last thing that we did that day was go see all of the monuments at night. I had seen them before in daylight, but it is a completely different experience at night.
March 23, 2016 (Wednesday)
On Wednesday, we got to visit Capitol Hill and talk to a woman named Bethany Poulos who is apart of Marco Rubio’s team. She talked about the refugee crisis and about how Marco Rubio is trying to pass something called the Girls Count Act. This is an act that will help stop human slavery. Bethany used to work for the Israeli Embassy, which I found extremely interesting. After we had a great discussion with her, she got us a tour of the Capitol Building and we got to go there through the underground tunnel that employees go through.
March 24, 2016 (Thursday)
The main highlights of Thursday was going to the CATO Institute and attending the Pulitzer Center’s Environmental Film Festival. CATO Institute was very different from the other places we had visited because it is a libertarian research center, so they had a different view than most places we had been to. Then, that night we went to the environmental film festival and it was one of the most informative, enjoyable experiences of the trip. The films covered many different topics that most people don’t know about and go in depth about how these issues affect the world.
March 25, 2016 (Friday)
I was sick on Friday so I was not able to attend the meeting everyone had at the Pulitzer Center. I did make it to our meeting with the Education Advisory Board though. That was cool to be able to see how they work with Will and Flagler to track progress with the school. After that meeting, we went to the Newseum. I spent our short time there looking thoroughly through the FBI exhibit that had a lot of displays about 9/11 and other terrorist attacks. Then we went to Capitol Grill for a great meal before we went to go see the comedy group called the Capitol Steps. I loved that show! The comedians were very good at their impressions and were extremely funny!
March 26, 2016 (Saturday)
Saturday was our last day and we got to go finish looking at the Newseum until we had to go get our bags for our flight home. Another exhibit that I loved in the Newseum was the piece of the Berlin Wall. After the museum, we went back to our house to grab our bags and head home. The flight was probably the scariest flight I have ever been on… The turbulence scared everyone on that plane.
My favorite part of the trip was getting to sit down and talk to Bethany Poulos on Capitol Hill and hear about the current issues Rubio is working on. I loved everything that she had to say about helping to end human trafficking, helping the refugee crisis in the safest way possible, and her information about ISIS and their affect on our country. I liked this meeting because I am a Criminology major and she talked about fields of work that I want to go into like Homeland Security to help end human trafficking.
What I was surprised about in D.C. was how much I enjoyed learning about politics and the presidential election. I became way more informed on current politics on this trip than I was before.
I think that this is a trip that students should take in the future because it was a perfect mixture of business meetings/academic activities and fun! I did not feel like I was on a trip with the college because I enjoyed everything we did and got something meaningful out of everything to be able to apply to my life.
-Bailee BennettThis entry was posted in 2016, Washington D.C.