It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Snow in Washington, D.C. isn’t as common as snow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In fact, some people don’t even know how to react to the mysterious white flakes, locking themselves indoors as long as they need. Okay, I’m probably overreacting, but that’s kind of what it seems like! We woke up this morning to snow and as the day went on, it turned to a wet wintery mix. This snow and sleet is supposed to continue through Tuesday, but thankfully will be long gone before I depart on Saturday morning.

You read correctly. I AM HEADING HOME IN SIX DAYS! I have learned so much this semester, it’s incredible. Sure there were rough times, but there were also some really great times. It’s kind of sad that just as I get really comfortable in this new environment, it’s about time to head home. I suppose that’s how life goes in general. The second things seems to be sailing smoothly, another obstacle arises. I don’t mind, though. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life. There are so many exciting things to come along with next semester!

I must remind myself, I still have this week and the entire winter break before that even begins. I need to remain focused on here and now. This week is packed full of so many different activities, there’s no avoiding the moment. Along with the four days of work I have left, there are other events that are filling up my schedule outside of the office. Tuesday night is our farewell reception at the restaurant Filomena. Typically our director, Doug, takes the students to his favorite restaurant (Carmines) but we decided to try something new this semester. Filomena is an italian restaurant that features different meats in it’s dishes served family style. Needless to say, I already know what I’m ordering. Wednesday evening, all of us students in the program are having a late night breakfast. This is something our school (and I’m sure other schools) have during finals week. After the middle eastern politics class is finished at nine, we feast! Every apartment is in charge of a different dish. My apartment is bringing pancakes and fruit while others are bringing sausage, bacon, eggs, tator tots, cinnamon rolls, and juice. We will probably end up rolling back to our apartment instead of walking. Some students are heading home Thursday evening, but many head out Friday and Saturday. We are taking another opportunity to spend quality time together and are ice-skating in Georgetown on Thursday night. It will be our last hoo-rah before we all go back home.

I don’t head back until Saturday, so I have some exploring plans for Friday. The one place I have yet to see is the National Museum of Natural History. I planned on going this morning, but snow and sleet got in my way. So Friday morning, rain or shine, that is my final destination. It will be an exciting and fun experience because the museum is opening a new exhibit on Thursday. Smithsonian is a client of Sage marketing so we have been promoting this opening for a couple weeks now. I am interested to see how it is, because so far it sounds absolutely incredible. 

I plan to continue blogging as long as I can, so I hope you continue reading. I have a big semester ahead of me and you’ll find out why as the blogs roll through. Thank you for sharing this amazing and life-changing experience with me. I really appreciate you taking the time to read through all of my posts. When I post again, I’ll be back in good ol’ Iowa. 

Until next time,

Brianna

It’s the Final Countdown

Although my time here in Washington, D.C. has been absolutely amazing, time is dwindling down and I will return home in a mere 13 days. There is still a lot to get done between then and now, but I am looking forward to the last minute exciting adventures. But enough about the future, let’s talk about this past week. Holy guacamole it was perfect as could be. My boyfriend, Max, made a trip to D.C. on Tuesday morning and he got to stay until Saturday afternoon. You can guarantee that we packed our week full of exciting things to do.

Tuesday when he arrived we grabbed a quick lunch and headed straight for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Unfortunately, it was raining pretty heavily so we got back to my apartment to change just before we had to take off again. This time we were heading to Baltimore, Maryland via MARC train. This train is a commuter train between Baltimore and the nation’s capital, packed with business men and women trying to get home on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It was a very easy trip, though. Only about an hour until we arrived at Penn station. But the trip didn’t stop there! We had to hop on an even smaller commuter train heading toward Pennsylvania, because we planned on spending the week in Harrisburg (or near Harrisburg) with his family! That train took about another 45 where his uncle picked us up and we drove off to their home. Max and I got to spend the week with his aunt, uncle, two cousins and grandparents. It was so much fun and so nice of them to have us both!! Of course, Max and I didn’t want to miss out on all the home cooked meals. 

Wednesday we got up and after some breakfast headed to the farmer’s market with his grandparents to get some fresh ingredients for Thursday’s festivities. We also made sure we got some homemade pretzels to enjoy along the way. Max and I split a glazed raisin pretzel hot off the press! His grandparents urged us to try some miniature homemade tacos while we were there as well, all before lunch back at home! It was a week full of eating!

That evening we spent hanging out with the family and cooking the side dishes for Thursday, all the while preparing dinner for that night. When Max’s aunt Cheryl asked if we would like to go workout at the Y with her, we had to say yes just so we didn’t feel as bad about all of the pie and mashed potatoes we would be eating the next couple of days!

The morning of Thanksgiving, Max, his cousin Logan, his uncle Mike and I all ran a Turkey Trot 5k along with 2,600 other people! It was chilly and a little windy at first, but it was a lot of fun to take the roads for a good cause. Everyone seemed so happy because of the holiday, which made it even better. It also got our day going early! The rest of the morning we helped his grandmother and aunt prepare for Thanksgiving lunch and around 1:30, we ate! So much amazing food surrounded by such a warm and welcoming family. I was very lucky to spend Thanksgiving with them, instead of in my apartment all alone! That was just the beginning, though. That evening Max’s uncle Mike’s family came over for a leftover feast, where we all hung out, watched football, and grazed over the food that everyone brought. Between the turkey and the talking, everyone was worn out. But at about 10:30 pm we took the shopping malls with all the crazy Black Friday (even though it was Thursday) people to see what kind of deals we could get. Max and I were there more for moral support while his aunt searched for steals, but we found a couple things for ourselves along the way. After one last pit stop at Victoria’s Secret to see Logan, we headed home at about 1:30 am. We were definitely ready for bed then!

Friday we had planned to head back to Washington, D.C., we just didn’t know when. So instead of rushing to get out the door, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast with his grandparents while we packed away all of our things. We headed out the door about 12:30, grabbed some lunch and off we went. The trains we commuted by on Tuesday weren’t running for the day, so his aunt and grandparents dropped us off at the very end of the D.C. metro red line. Max and I arrived back at my apartment around 5:30 and weren’t sure what we wanted to do next. His grandparents recommended a restaurant, but we weren’t exactly hungry, and the museums didn’t sound very appealing at that time of night. After talking to my roommate Hannah and her boyfriend Josh, we got the idea to go ice skating. A co-worker of mine had mentioned it, but I completely forgot. So we bundled up and headed down Constitution Avenue to the sculpture garden rink. 

I had the most amazing time ice skating. It was so pretty and lit up with a variety of music playing, and enough people to make it interesting but not too crowded. I don’t even remember the last time I had been ice skating, so it was extra exciting. We skated for almost an hour and a half before we realized we were hungry and decided to take off on another adventure, trying to figure out exactly where to eat! Ending up in Chinatown, we had a simple 5 Guys Burgers & Fries to cap off our evening. It was fun for Max to see Chinatown all aglow and alive in the evening as well.

Max was heading home back to Iowa Saturday, but we wanted to get as much out of the day as possible. We took his grandparent’s recommendation and made reservations for breakfast at Old Ebbitt Grill. Heading out the door at 8 am, we went and found some bikes to rent through a bike share. Grabbed our bikes, and headed toward the restaurant. Again, so much fun! We had a great breakfast to fuel up before we hopped back on our bikes to see all of the monuments. Max had seen them all except MLK, so we wanted to make sure we stopped at that one for sure. Otherwise, it was more fun just riding around on our rental bikes all day! With time to spare, we headed back to the apartment and relaxed while Max packed up all his things. We quickly explored Union Station before heading off to the airport. Max will be student teaching in Chicago next semester, so saying goodbye was hard. But I hope to visit him toward the end of January and he can show me the ropes of town just like I showed him!

 

This week will go by fast since I have a lot to finish up. One last paper, final communications class, a test, and a trip to the Holocaust Museum. And then next week we have a reception on Tuesday, my last day of work Thursday, final seminar class Friday, and heading home on Saturday! Thirteen days can seem a long time away, but I know it will fly by before I know it. I’m excited and sad all at the same time. Next Sunday will be my last post while I’m here in D.C.! How crazy is that! It’s been great, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life as well.

 

Until next time,

Brianna

‘Tis The Season

I apologize for being absent the past couple of weeks. To be honest, I don’t even have a valid excuse. My roommates and I have found that we are no longer tourists living in this politically extravagant city, but yet we can now assume we are literally residents. We have the ability to point out tourists from miles away, and we also make sure we steer clear of them. Not because we don’t understand what they are experiencing, but time is precious in this busy city and everyone is always in a hurry. That’s one thing I won’t miss. I understand the importance of being on time, even being early. I haven’t been late to a single class or day of work. Some people just need to sit back, relax, and smell the roses before the life they are rushing through is gone!

Since my friend Cait left, my roommates and I have huddled ourselves indoors most weekends to finish up the assignments we have due before the end of the semester. Not to mention, it’s super cold outside, and we don’t have cars here. Walking in whipping wind doesn’t sound ideal. We have five papers due for our internship class by the end of the semester, along with a test we are taking. My political communications course is practically done, but our next session includes a “revamp” of our resumes to help us becomes the best interns any business or company has ever seen. Not really, but it would be nice to have the opinion of someone working in the field you hope to enter. So instead of walking out into the dreary and cold weather, we stay warm inside with a pumpkin candle lit and bake, do homework and watch movies. We have essentially turned into homebodies. 

That’s okay, though, because this week ahead is full of adventures. My boyfriend will be arriving on Tuesday morning, we take off to Baltimore that evening to meet up with his uncle who then will drive us to Pennsylvania where we will stay for Thanksgiving! We asked out of pure curiosity about a month ago if this would be at all a possibility. Not only has become an awesome opportunity to be in a family setting for one of my favorite holidays, but his grandparents will be there too! We are going to explore Hershey, PA, run a 5K Thanksgiving morning, and just spend some serious family time relaxing. Max doesn’t want to miss out on being a tourist, so before and after our little trip we plan to see the monuments, go to a couple museums, and try as many restaurants as possible! The Saturday that Max leaves marks the two week timeline before I head home! It’s crazy to think how fast time has went by.

I’m sure next week will be filled with endless stories, so I will have lots to tell next Sunday. Until then I hope everyone enjoys Thanksgiving as much as I know I will. I love the holiday season so much that I’ve already started playing Christmas music when I do…everything. Too soon? I don’t think so!

Until next time,

Brianna

Host For The Weekend

On Thursday, one of my best friends from school took precious time out of nursing school to come and visit me! It was exactly what I needed to keep me going through the rest of the semester. Although she was supposed to fly in late Wednesday night, she got in early enough Thursday morning that we could make the best of the day. I feel terrible that she had to stay at the airport over night, but I like to think it was worth it :) 

I tried to get her as much fun in as we could, but it was nice to just relax and catch up with one another. We started our weekend off at the National Museum of American History. I love museums so this was a great time. It was awesome to see all of the artifacts and learn more about where they came from. Our favorite part of the museum was definitely the styles of the First Ladies and their gowns from the inaugural ball! 

Friday we took the time to walk to some of the monuments. The trip would have lasted longer if it wasn’t so cold and windy! The sun was shining but spent most of the day hidden behind the clouds. So after the Lincoln Memorial we turned around and headed back to the apartment. That evening, though, was filled with something awesome. FOOD! Cait, my roommate Cassandra, and I all went out to a nice dinner at Oceanaire Seafood Room. This wonderful restaurant has been recognized nationally as one of the best seafood restaurants and all three of us can only agree. All of the food we had was phenomenal (of course we tried each others) and the service was great too. I had an asian tuna dish, recommended by the waiter, which I finished every last piece of. Of course we had to perfect the evening with some dessert. When we got home I baked everyone homemade chocolate chip cookie cake and topped it off with some dark chocolate icing and ice cream. Talk about perfection! I thought about taking a picture to display my baking abilities, but the treat was gone before I could do so!

Saturday Cassandra, Cait and I spent the day wandering around Georgetown after a visit to the White House. We walked all the way to the White House (a 2.5 mile walk) just to take some pictures and stare for a little bit. I don’t know why, but I expected it to be so much bigger! It was pretty amazing, not to mention beautiful, but for whatever reason I wished it would have been….more! In Georgetown we took the time to wander around campus, stopping by the bookstore for some souvenirs, and then headed to M Street to do a little shopping. Needless to say, we walked for about 6 hours straight that day! When we got home, it was nice to just sit back and relax for a while. That evening, though, we pampered Cait with some more exciting food by making breakfast for dinner. My roommate Hannah whipped up some homemade chocolate chip pancakes while I cooked some eggs and bacon. We were all so full after dinner, we barely even moved! 

Sunday Cait made it home safe, with no flight delays, and my life went back to normal as I had yoga at 2 followed by a lovely day of homework. This coming Friday our class will be taking a tour of the Capitol, so be on the lookout for pictures and a post of that. Cassandra and I are also spending our Monday morning sitting in on a Supreme Court hearing. We are required to do that (or attend a protest) for class but I am also excited to get a new kind of experience. This option wasn’t as exciting for some of the interns working with Senators or Congressmen, but because I am not dealing with government and politics all day, I am actually kind of excited. So get ready to read all about that too! 

I don’t want to give away too much about this week’s plans, so I’ll leave it at that. Happy (early) Veteran’s Day to those who have served this country in such great honor. Make sure to tell all of the veteran’s you know just how much you appreciate them tomorrow, and every day. 

Until next time,

Brianna

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Cait & I at the Capitol

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Cait & I after Oceanaire Seafood Room

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My lovely dinner!

 

 

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The White House

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Breakfast for dinner!

D.C. Does Fall Right!

What does that title mean? It means that in Washington D.C. during the Fall, it doesn’t get too cold and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere I go the leaves are changing to yellows, oranges and reds and the sun is shining enough to make it even more breathtaking. Not to mention, it was in the mid to high 60s last week! Jealous yet? The past couple Friday trips I have taken turned out to be just perfect. Two weeks ago we went to Mt. Vernon and it was a great experience, partially to how awesome the weather was. This last Friday, a small group of us from class took a trip with our professor to Monticello and it blew Mt. Vernon out of the water. Half of the beautiful sites were merely open meadows and hills filled with those changing trees I described. The trip there was about 2 or 2 1/2 hours but we made the most of it and chowed down on some snacks and jammed to a wide variety of music. For everyone that doesn’t know, Monticello is the home of Thomas Jefferson located in Charlottesville, VA. To get up to the home, you have to drive a very curvy, hilly road that makes you feel like you’re in Kentucky (for real. I’ve been there and there is a kid from Kentucky that agreed!). It’s so worth it once you get to the top and see the woods filled with changing and falling leaves and the sun shining. It was the perfect day for the trip.

We took a tour of Thomas Jefferson’s house which was very informative. It was amazing to me how modern the home was with incredibly high ceilings, a lot of windows, and mirrors. Our tour guide mentioned that mirrors during the period Jefferson lived there, mirrors were only found in France. Except he made sure he had some. The main reason he had them was because it would reflect the light from outside to brighten the room because he would spend about 15 hours of a 24 hour day reading! There was also still a full and functional garden behind the house that overlooked the hills and all of the greenery. 

My weekend didn’t stop with Monticello, though. Last weekend another girl in the program, Meg, and I decided we wanted to check out Georgetown before we left. I had been there once before and she never had, so we were going to make it into a day long thing. We walked up and down M street all day drinking some coffee, chatting, and popping in and out of stores. Neither of us bought a single thing while we were there! After we had a day of “browsing” since we didn’t actually shop, we headed to Georgetown University’s campus to check it out. The buildings are amazing and the scenery there is beautiful to match that around the city. The buildings are big, gray rock that look like they could belong in a Harry Potter movie. It was nice to see a whole new area of D.C. 

To finish our day in Georgetown we walked across the Key Bridge into Rosslyn. This was fun for me because Rosslyn is where I transfer from metro to bus every day getting to my internship. The sky scrapers in Rosslyn are so beautiful, one fully equipped with five wall fountains on the side. It’s a cool place to see because where we live, the buildings don’t out-do the Capitol and the Washington Monument. We are definitely living in a more “historical” area which is quite alright with me! It’s just been so fun getting to know other parts of the city and how different they are from the area I’ve gotten used to. 

This morning Meg, Delaney and I took a quick trip to the Eastern Market. The market is somewhere I spent a lot of time at the first couple of weeks we got here. I don’t know why I suddenly drifted away from it but I realized how much I missed it this morning. I got some fresh grown apples, a yellow pepper, carrots, and some homemade caramelized pecans. Wow do they melt in your mouth! Those will be a nice sweet treat to have for the next couple of weeks. 

Speaking of the next couple of weeks, I can’t wait for all they have to offer. One of my best friends, Caitlin, is coming to visit me and she will be here this WEDNESDAY NIGHT! I can’t wait. We are going to see some different museums, all of the monuments, I plan on taking her to Ben’s Chili Bowl for dinner one night, and just a bunch of different things. I can’t wait to see her and then tell you all about her visit! The week after that (so, next week) I don’t work on Tuesday because I am going to a Supreme Court hearing for class with my friend Cassandra. We aren’t even sure what the hearing is about but we have to experience either a protest or a hearing to write a paper about for class. That will be something fun to talk about as well. I can’t wait to experience that!

Time is flying, I can’t believe October has already come and gone. Before I know it I’ll be packing my bags and heading back to Iowa. I’m trying to make the absolute best out of my last couple of weeks, so I hope everyone is ready for some packed blog posts! Of course, I’ll try to include as many pictures as I can.

Until next time,

Brianna

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Thomas Jefferson’s humble abode.

 

 

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Thomas Jefferson’s headstone. “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson. Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and Father of the University of Virginia”

 

 

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Cassandra and I at the gardens.

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Rosslyn from the far side of the Key Bridge

A Breath of Fresh Air…

I am unfortunately a day late on my post. I suppose it’s better late than never! Last week I stayed pretty busy at work and at home. My days were full of things to do from the moment I got to work until the moment I went home. And then I had to work on a press release and opening statement for class! Needless to say I was exhausted come Friday evening.

Thursday in class we held a mock press conference. Only a week earlier we blindly chose our topics and had to create an opening statement plus a press release. At first I thought my topic was going to be long and treacherous. I was responsible for holding a press conference regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. My main goal was to persuade my audience that what I stood for was important for them all. It turned out that the CFPB is actually super interesting. They are a new organization appointed by President Obama in 2009. They are in charge of overlooking financial institutions [banks and non-banks] and making sure they are following the rules in order to protect consumers. This is anything from mortgages, loans, and even monitoring money. My topic of choice was the need to protect older Americans from any financial fraud or scam. I didn’t even realize that this was such an issue! So many elderly people are being taken advantage of by con artists, friends and family. I’m actually glad I had to research this topic because now I better understand the expectations of a financial institution and can better protect loved ones!

I haven’t talked about this much, but since I’ve been here in Washington D.C. I’ve joined a gym with one of my roommates. It’s right off the metro line that I take home from work so it’s super convenient. They had awesome deals for student interns that get you a 3 month pass. That considers me a full time member, meaning I can access any of the equipment during hours of operation and all of the classes are free! My roommate Cassandra and I are taking complete advantage of the classes. Although I maintain a softball related workout 2-3 times a week, I thoroughly enjoy the variety of classes Gold’s Gym offers. On Tuesdays I typically take a class called Body Attack that involves seriously 50 minutes of straight moving. It’s a great cardio workout that kind of reminds me of fast paced dancing! On Friday mornings my roommate Cassandra and I drag ourselves to spin class at 6:30 am! We are always grumpy and groggy on the walk there but typically are satisfied and glad we went afterward. Saturdays I take a pilates class and Sundays we do yoga! I sure am going to miss this variety of classes once I head home!

Last Friday our class took a trip to Mt Vernon. For those of you that don’t know, this is where George Washington lived. His home was beautiful! They kept it exactly how he had it and I cannot believe the size. It’s a large estate for these days, let alone for when he was living. Not only was the home beautiful but the estate around it was breathtaking. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the Potomac River with acres of fields and woods and gardens. It was such a beautiful day. A lot of us students that chose to go compared it to the fresh air of our rural home towns. Getting away from the city was something we all needed and it gave us the kick we had been looking for. 

My weekend was just beginning though. My aunt Tara’s aunt Dawn (okay, yeah, that’s confusing…so Tara is married to my mom’s brother. Easier?) lives in the area. I knew that since I’ve been here and she instantly opened her home to me whenever I needed to get away. Initially I didn’t know if I would ever feel such the need but as I called her two weeks ago, I was ready for an escape from the city. So Saturday morning, bright and early, Dawn and her husband Scott picked me up from my house in the city. We drove about 40 minutes into Virginia to their breathtaking home. The scenery out there is absolutely amazing. The trees are changing as Fall approaches and there was so much farm land. It was nice to be away from the noise of the city, even for just two days. I spent the days relaxing and just soaking it all in. I am so grateful to have them here! So kind and welcoming, they welcomed me back before I go home. I definitely am going to take them up on the offer!

I have a pretty relaxing upcoming week. No class on Thursday and no immediate plans for this weekend. Tomorrow night I am going to the opera with a couple other kids in the program, so you’ll have to check by next week to see how it went! 

Until next time,

Brianna

P.S. I’ll be posting pictures of Mt Vernon when my phone decides to stop being stubborn. So look forward to that too!

 

A Week of Learning

As many of you may know, but for those of you that don’t, I am a public relations intern at Sage Communications for the semester. My job includes an array of responsibilities. Mainly I am working with social media for different client accounts, including the main hub of our Sage PR team. But I am getting to do much more than just draft tweets and Facebook posts (which, let me tell you, is a whole other world compared to tweeting for fun!). I am getting the opportunity to reach out to reporters, draft press releases, research trends within the industries our clients work, and sit in on conference calls with clients. Last week, though, another intern and I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the VP’s of the PR department and talk about anything and everything PR. She told us about how she started in the industry as an intern and worked her way up to the position she is in today. She gave advice on how to handle the every day ups and downs in the PR industry and how to better yourself as a professional and an individual. The advice that stuck most with me is something I’ve been hearing since I’ve entered college. It’s all about connections. 

Yes, it’s true, that many people can find their way into open opportunities by hard work and dedication. Those are two traits that any professional should have if they desire to work in an industry they’re passionate about. But it’s also important to meet people along the way. Take the time to talk with those interested in what you’re doing, make the first comment to someone who may not seem as invested, and always keep in contact. Building great connections is something that almost everyone learns to do as they grow and make friends. Personally, I’ve made new friends in every step of my life. New friends in high school, new friends in college, and new friends in this program. The cycle is never ending. Taking the time to create genuine relationships with people could benefit you, and them, in the future. The VP encouraged us, as interns, to take the break time allotted for lunch and sit in the kitchen with everyone else. That’s where people feel relaxed and willing to talk about not only their jobs but their personal lives. Even if a future doesn’t lie with Sage Communications, those people will be able to give advice and maybe even a little push in a direction that could help figuring it out easier. It’s reassuring to hear the struggles of the other professionals as they tried to figure out exactly what it is they wanted to do and how they ended up where they are. 

 

Classes have picked up speed in full force. Last week, I had my first essay due for Political Communications which discussed a particular voting block and why they might be encouraged or discouraged to participate in the 2016 election. Being a member of the millennial generation myself, I chose the youth voting block. I found many studies done by a variety of research centers that provided me with excellent statistics and information about why the youth will be encouraged to vote in 2016. Some of the facts I found were just mind blowing. A Pew Research study discussed in a Huffington Post article said that in 2020 there will be more than 90 million millennials able to vote and every year, more are taking advantage of voting. Our generation seems to want the government to be more involved in making chages unlike generations before us which tend to believe that the government shouldn’t be too involved. Our generation is the most ethnically diverse and we also tend to support controversial arguments such as gay and transgender rights, immigration, and the acceptance of different religions. I think it is safe to say our generation was born color blind and very accepting. Majority of us think it’s important to have as much equality as possible, which is important in a nation that requires a lot of team work!

Last Friday our seminar class was supposed to take a trip to Mt Vernon but it was going on day three of straight rain. We instead went to the International Spy Museum and will head to Mt Vernon this Friday. Hopefully the nice weather can stick around for that; today is the first time I’ve seen sun in about a week! Today a group of students plan on taking a trip to some of the cathedrals in the area. I hope to upload some pictures of that tonight. So stay tuned!

 

Until next time,

Brianna

 

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L
ipstick Pistol at the International Spy Museum.

 

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A life size ninja at the International Spy Museum!

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Some ideas of how spies used to sneak in and out of different places via cars. There was also a body hiding near the engine!

Busy As A Bee

In a never ending city, I feel like my schedule continues to get busier and busier. More responsibility at work, new assignments in the classroom, and more social opportunities than I am used to. This week at work got so busy that I went into work at 7:45 a.m. one morning. Although it made for a long day, it also made for a very productive one. I have become much more integrated into the work force and it’s giving me the experience of a lifetime. I am getting the opportunity to draft press releases, pitch events to reporters, learn the ins and outs of Twitter and Facebook, and much more. I am looking forward to this upcoming week because another intern and I get to have lunch with one of the VP’s of the Public Relations department at the firm. It is a new program that our internship coordinators set up called Lunches with Leaders. Every other week we will get the opportunity to sit down and have lunch with a different VP or executive from the office. In these lunches we can talk about anything we would like. What their work days consist of, their history in the field, etc. I am looking forward to posting about our first lunch!

This coming week I have my first big assignment due for our political communications course. It is an essay over a specific voting block and how we believe they will be encouraged or discouraged to participate in the 2016 election. I have chose to write about the millennial generation and how they will be encouraged to participate more in the 2016 election. I started my research this weekend and hope to continue drafting throughout the week. Our first draft is due on Thursday and then our final draft is due two to three days after that. The following week we are holding a mock press release and we all blindly chose our topics on Thursday. My topic is discussing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how they should protect all consumers from unscrupulous practices of predatory financial services providers. I am not very educated about the topic, so I am interested in the research I will find. After I finish my essay, I will begin searching!

As my week was, this weekend was rather busy. Two of the kids in our program had birthday this past week so on Friday we all went out for dinner to a place called Clyde’s. It was fun to get to know the other kids in the program better. Friday evening all of the representatives from our schools came for a conference and Saturday we got to sit down and chat with them all over lunch. That wasn’t the end of the free food chain, though, because Saturday night we got to go to dinner! The representative from Coe, the three students (including myself) on the program, and then an array of alum’s all went to Las Tascas in Chinatown and had some awesome tapas dishes. It was nice to meet new people that shared the love for Coe that all of us had! Today (Sunday) I got to go to dinner with my friend Danny and his brother. Danny’s brother, Ryan, lives here in D.C. and Danny is on his way to Sweden to visit my best friend Courtney! It was nice to catch up with Danny and get to know Ryan. Having another person to keep in contact with is always nice. 

Speaking of having contacts in the area, my aunt Tara’s aunt Dawn lives near here! I think I am going to give her a call this week and hopefully she’ll have a weekend available that we can spend together. Not only do I want to get to know her, but I think some time away from this busy city would be nice. She too went to Coe and was also a Tri Delta! It’s awesome how small of a world it really is. 

I forgot to mention that Friday our class had the opportunity to go to the Newseum. Originally we were supposed to take a trip to Arlington Cemetery, but due to the shutdown we were unable to do so. Some of the information they have in there is unbelievable and it’s all put together so well. I really loved the floor dedicated to JFK. I got to understand his story a little bit better and I think him and his family just have a very interesting and unique story that went through the White House. 

It’s 10 p.m. here in D.C. and unfortunately passed my bedtime. Since I have been here I’ve had to become quite the early riser, so the sooner I’m in bed the better for everyone. I hope everyone enjoys this blog post, hopefully I can get another up within the week. 

Until next time,

Brianna

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My roommate Cassandra and I at the Newseum

 

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The New Media room at the Newseum. They had interactive screens that you could take pictures and play games on. It was really interesting to see how times have evolved in the world of media!

 

 

 

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The antenna that was on top of the Twin Towers on 9/11

One Month!

As the title hints, I have been living in Washington D.C. for approximately one month! It is a crazy feeling. Some days I feel like I’ve been here for only a week but other days I feel as if I’ve already been here for six months. It’s crazy how the workday flow can make you feel so different about the place you’re living. Commuting in a big city is one of the most interesting and exhausting things I have ever done. I think getting to and from work is more tiring than work itself! But it is something I am glad I’m doing. You never know how you’ll like (or dislike) something until you try. At least I am trying now, as an intern, instead of waiting until I’m thrown into the real world and more-or-less stuck with what seems like a never ending trip to and from work. Public transportation makes things interesting every day. You never know if you’ll be at work on time or early because traffic differs from day-to-day. You’re cautious of what you’re touching and who may be breathing too close to you. You learn that there are nice people that wait in the designated line for their spot on the bus and that there are very, very rude people that budge every single day. It’s interesting that I have designated this travel time to and from work my “alone” time even though I am surrounded by at least 20 people at all times. But as long as you have your headphones in, music playing or not, no one tends to bother you.

Our house is lucky enough to have the Washington Post delivered to our porch every single morning. I am by far the first one to wake up in the entire house, so I snatch it up and read it while having breakfast. At first I felt guilty for taking the paper with me to work so I started leaving it on the table by the door. I soon realized that no one was picking it up to read it and from that day on, I’ve taken the paper with me almost every day. Because I have grown so accustom to reading the paper and just staying generally informed, I don’t know what I would do without it. This past week I came down with the flu for a couple of days and didn’t read the paper during that time. When it came time for my political communications course, I felt like I had no idea what anyone was talking about! Okay, so I did know some things, but because I was a couple days behind on reading I did feel out of the loop. Reading the paper is something I did every once in a while back at Coe, because I do enjoy it. Now that I’ve developed a habit I can’t see myself stopping when I get back!

This weekend, a Coe alum was celebrating her birthday here in D.C. She moved out here almost immediately after she graduated two years ago and was a great mentor when I was working on applications for internships. She helped me proof and redevelop my resume and she gave me advice when it came to knowing the city. I didn’t know her much in the year we spent together at Coe, but I am very grateful for all she has done for me now. For her birthday Hayden and I joined her and some of her co-workers for dinner at an Asian fusion restaurant called Zentans. It was so nice to meet new people over some great food! I am looking forward to doing more of that as a current professor from Coe ventures out to D.C. next weekend and an even larger group of alums get together for dinner! I’m sure I’ll share the experience in next weeks post.

The past week wasn’t too exciting but I am learning one great trait from this experience; how to cook! I have been grocery shopping for more than pre-made meals and I’m actually learning what does (and doesn’t) work together! Tonight I am going to attempt making a sweet potato burger. If it turns out well, I’ll take a picture and post for next week. If it doesn’t turn out well, I’ll still take a picture to post for next week. I guess since I am so proud of all of the dishes I am learning to cook, this could be one more thing I will be able to share with you!

Until next time,

Brianna

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Shout out to the Tri Delta new members & Molly Wickham for sending me pearls! This helped brighten my week and I cannot wait to meet all of you!

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Krishen (birthday girl), Hayden & I at Zentans

The week of Cirque de la Symphonie

What a busy, busy week. Not only has work been giving me project after project, but I am taking on more responsibility than I ever thought I would be. Although the commute to and from my internship can be a drag some mornings, it is almost always worth the experience that I am getting. While some of my fellow classmates are stuck behind desks answering phones and making copies, I am getting the opportunity to draft press releases, tweet for major clients, contact reporters, and sit in on weekly meetings. I am applying skills that I have learned in the classroom and am looking forward to gaining some ‘real world’ knowledge to relay back to my professors. How lucky am I?!

I’m not only lucky for my internship, though. My time here and the things I get to do makes me feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world. As I have mentioned before, every Friday my class and I get to participate in some kind of cultural event. That might mean a baseball game, visiting a museum, or taking a trip to Philadelphia! (Yeah, be jealous. We actually get to do that!). But this week our event included an incredibly talented symphony orchestra that played music for some incredibly talented performers. We went to Cirque de la Symphonie at the Kennedy Center. Our program director advised us to head there early just so we could check out all of the amazing things that the Kennedy Center had to offer. As you walk into the performance hall, there are flags from so many different countries hanging from the ceiling. The dim lighting set the mood for the memorable evening we were about to have. Before the show started, a group of us headed to the top floor of the Center to explore what the balcony had to offer. And let me tell you, what a beautiful site. You can see many historical monuments and memorials from the roof, a river, and just an amazing view of the city. The balcony loops around the whole building and when the sun is going down (at the time we were up there) it’s such a beautiful site. But that was just the beginning.

We took our seats as the symphony began to play. How wonderful and impressive they were! But when the performers came on the stage, the words “ooooo” and “aaahhhhh” literally escaped from my mouth. There were aerial performers, gymnasts, jugglers, strong men, and much more. I would recommend if anyone had the chance to see a Circus Olay series show, do it! What a fun experience!

Today I went to a street festival with my roommates Hannah and Cassandra. It was a huge block party, all day and night, that seemed to stretch for miles and miles! There was live music, djs, food vendors, community businesses, and a bunch of people just coming to have a great time. To be honest, I can hear the hum of the music still playing from my apartment. The amazing thing about DC is stuff like this goes on literally every weekend. There never seems to be a dull or quiet moment. I love the busyness of the city, but I do admit that I miss the humbleness of the Midwest. I’m learning to adjust to the chaotic and loud lifestyle but I think I will forever love the sweet silence of my home in the country. Which I like the best, we’ll never know!

I will try to post during this week. Hopefully I won’t have to bring anymore work from my internship home, again. And yes, that really happened! Feel free to leave comments, I always am interested to hear what people think about this wild and adventurous I am embarking on. And a big ol’ shout out to such a wonderful person in my life, Max Stanford! Without him I wouldn’t have been encouraged to take the next step and actually come out to the east coast. And now that I’m here, I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

Until next time,

Brianna

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Morgan, Meg, Hayden, Hannah, me and Cassandra on the balcony at the Kennedy Center before Cirque de la Symphonie

 

 

 

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Beautiful view from the balcony at the Kennedy Center

 

 

 

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Just a shot I snapped during a run this week…

 

 

 

 

 

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The H Street festival when we first arrived! There was some fun music and awesome dancers promoting the festival. The skull is made out of all recycled cans!