One of the reasons McDaniel appealed to me was its location. I’m a PoliSci major, which means I have a fascination with the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. One of my friends from the Bay Area, who goes to Oberlin in Ohio, is interning with Congresswoman Kaptur for his school’s JanTerm, so I decided to go and visit him in DC last Saturday. McDaniel’s shuttle, the Pickle, runs to and from Shady Grove station, part of DC transit, at 1PM and 10PM on Saturdays, so it’s not too hard to get out there for a day.
We weren’t really sure where we were going to go since we had so much time, but we remembered that DC’s zoo is free, so we decided to go there. We saw the zebras, which I was very excited about because zebras are fantastic creatures. A lot of the animals weren’t out since they’re from warmer climates (and it was freezing) and I was sad that I didn’t get to see the fishing cats. We walked along the Asia Trail and found a huge line at the end. Since we didn’t know what the line was for, we decided to leave. Later, while checking the news we realized that it was the debut of the baby panda! If we had stayed, we would have seen him on his first day. I didn’t mind though, because I was still excited about seeing the zebras.
We went trough the Museum of American History, which was also free, and amused ourselves with their transit exhibit. Then, we walked to the Capitol building. Since my friend is an intern, he was able to get us into the office buildings and give me a secret tour. I was having my tourist moments and freaking out with how cool it was to be walking along the same halls that Senators and Congressmen walk along every day. We passed the doors to offices of a lot of people I admire greatly and I also got to see the little Congress subway. I kind of want to be an intern there now, but they don’t pay their interns at all–not even a stipend for room and board or a pass for riding the metro to get there. It’s a full time job with absolutely no benefits. Still, hopefully I can save up some money because it would be an awesome experience.
Also, we visited the World War II memorial, the Lincoln memorial, and walked around the main tourist-y area of DC. It was really great to catch up with a friend from home in the nation’s capitol, and great to explore places I hadn’t been. I’m so glad that we have the Pickle to take us away from campus to explore the area!