31 March 2010

Awesome Blossoms

The cherry blossoms are blooming!! It's definitely an exciting time to be in Washington, D.C. While I wasn't on the Hill to witness the passage of the health care bill, I did stay up well into the night to watch it on C-SPAN -- that's right, I watch C-SPAN now. D.C. will do that to you.

Saturday I went to do community service hours with Greater DC Cares at their Toolchest in Southeast. It was quite an experience! The Toolchest is in an old public school that could seriously be the set of a horror movie. It was awesome to help clean and organize their warehouse though. I spent my morning with 5 other volunteers sorting rakes, shovels, and paintbrushes and cleaning up from their last big service project.

Then it was off to the National Cherry Blossom Festival! Saturday was the Kite Festival on the Mall. There were so many people, but it was awesome to see the cherry trees there!

The rest of the week has been a whirlwind of academia as I've been trying to get all my papers completed so I can actually enjoy the weekend! Karen is coming to visit! She gets in tomorrow night. Friday I think we're going to hit up the National Zoo and some museums and then Saturday we are going to a Nats-Red Sox game. It's going to be great to see someone from home and the weather is supposed to be awesome!!

21 March 2010

A Local Tourist and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

March brought the long anticipated week of rest and relaxation otherwise known as Spring Break! And with Spring Break came a long weekend with a dear friend. Showing a friend around my newfound home of 3 months gave me the opportunity to be a local and a tourist. We walked down Wisconsin Avenue past the National Cathedral to Georgetown, stopping at a beautiful park on a hill. We went to the White House and the the monuments. Of course we had to go visit our good friend Abe! Then it was time to be a local and head to Busboys and Poets for some good food and an amazing atmosphere. We wandered around Eastern Market on Sunday and went shopping at Pentagon City before going to see Alice in Wonderland in Chinatown and to grab a bite at Ben's Chili Bowl. Monday was the long day of tourist activities. We visited the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta (among other amazing documents), the Supreme Court to sit in the actual court chamber, and the Library of Congress! Tuesday we visited the National Postal Museum.

And then I was on my own for the rest of the week. And when I say on my own...I mean it. It got pretty bad. I resorted to watching old episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman online. Pretty bad, but I miss that show. Why aren't there more historical dramas these days?

Then it was back to work...and school. 1 month left until it's home sweet Illinois! It's hard to believe that my time in DC is almost up! I have a feeling the rest of the semester is going to fly by!

03 March 2010

Fake school is actually real school...

Here I am 2 months in to my semester in Washington, D.C. Spring break is just two seemingly endless days away. Will Friday ever come? I'm not so sure. We could just be stuck on Wednesday forever. Wow, the more I think about it, the worse it gets. Wednesdays are probably my least favorite day of the week. I think I even like Mondays more. At least with Mondays you get the start of something new. Tuesdays are better than Monday, because hey, it's not the first day of the week anymore. But then Wednesday comes, and it's like another Monday for me. Here's the deal -- I go to work at the GFWC on Mondays and Tuesdays. It's a wonderful two day work week. Then I start my school week on Wednesdays and I go to my seminar class through Friday. It's kind of like having 3 weeks in 1 if you count the weekend.

And I'm learning that fake school is actually real school. At least on select days. And today has been one of those days. For the most part, I feel like I'm in some twisted summer camp experiment where we go on field trips everyday and try to change the world with our (semi) brilliant minds. Today however I was back to real school as I spent my evening trying to frantically write an abstract and outline for my semester paper. It's due on Friday and I completely forgotten about it in my I-would-rather-sleep-15 hours-a-day mood I was in yesterday when stayed home with the flu. Another thing I've learned -- being sick is much worse when you're this far away from home. And with no one to take care of you.

While I'm in this learning mood -- here are some other things I have learned in D.C.

1. Whole Foods is evil -- especially when you have no source of income. They lure you in with their hummus and then steal your money.

2. Snap peas really aren't so bad.

3. Mixing skim, 2%, whole, and soy milk can be done in a bowl of cereal.

4. I can go two months without going to the library (scary, I know).

5. I just might be a feminist after all.

6. Everyday should end with an episode of Gilmore Girls. It does the body good.

7. Dollywood is the greatest place ever created -- and every Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants/Spice Girls group of friends must make a pilgrimage there.

That is all...for now.