Friday, July 7, 2017

Week 4

It seems surreal that we are on our last week here in D.C. Being in this city has definitely been a humbling experience and I am grateful that I was given this opportunity. From meeting the guest speakers to visiting congressmen and senators, I have more of an insight of the “every day” life of politics. It has been refreshing to meet people that are trying to push for change within democracy and challenge the “system.” I enjoyed each speaker in their own way but my favorite speakers were Dane Strother, Mike McCurry, Rob Rehg and Maxwell Hamilton. Each of these speakers brought a different and enlightening perspective to the program that I found beneficial for everyone to hear. Each of them were also from different political fields and partisanship that I thought brought a great diversity to the overtly liberal views from other speakers. I enjoyed how these speakers did not harp on partisanship but focused on telling us about their job and past experiences.  Jack was telling us about past classes who did not care for the amount of speakers brought in and would have preferred more “class” time. I disagree with that statement and think even more speakers would be interesting just to hear from more people within the field of communication. I think more classes should be structured how this class was, especially in grad school. I found it very beneficial to hear first hand from people within our field about their experiences and their personal advice. I think that is a factor that is lacking within the graduate program. Although I do think learning methods and theories are extremely important, I also think it is important to network and learn form people within the field.

This past week was definitely one of my favorite weeks from the program. I loved going to a National’s game and experiencing my first major league baseball game. It was a lot of fun and it was nice to route for the winning team. Of course my favorite part of the game was the president’s race, which I know Jack hates. It’s mindless and entertaining, what’s not to love. The bus trip was also a night I will never forget. It was a night full of interesting costumes, songs and conversation. Shout-out to Meghan for setting that up for us. All in all, I am sad to leave D.C., but I am excited to return home and see my family and friends. This is definitely an experience I will never forget and cherish for the rest of my life. The people here really made all of the difference. I’ll end my blog on a positive note and give a list a few of my favorite things from the program with one being at the top of my list.

  1. Night tour of the Capitol with Garrett Graves
  2. Researching in the Library of Congress
  3. National’s game
  4. Smithsonian Postal Museum
  5.  Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum

I want to thank both Jack and Meghan for this unforgettable experience and all that they did for us while we were here in the city!

Until next time D.C.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Week 3

I can’t believe we are already through Week 3 in D.C. This week has definitely been one of my favorites when it came to field trips we took. The Washington Post tour was pretty amazing. It was surreal to be inside that building and to see everyone hard at work. When we walked in to the lobby I tried to take a picture of The Washington Post logo on the wall and security quickly told me that was not allowed. I was surprised to hear that considering there was nothing around that could be leaked in the lobby, it was only a logo on the wall.

The tour at USA Today was surprising great. I was unsure about going into that tour because I am not a huge fan of USA Today or most of the things they write. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived and Beryl was gracious enough to let us sit in on their morning meeting. It was interesting to see first-hand how they communicate with everyone on their team to see what is happening in the world. As I listened I realized everything they were talking about was all digital both trending and analytic numbers. I enjoyed learning about how they determined what to put in their paper based on what is trending and what their readers want to read about.

The tour at NPR was my absolute favorite tour thus far. The vibe from the time we started the tour to the time it was ended was all positive and upbeat. I didn’t know much about NPR prior to going on the tour, but I learned some really interesting stuff. I think NPR would actually be a pretty cool company to work for because it didn’t appear to be the same boring work everyday.

The week’s extracurricular activities have been a lot of fun, well some of them. We of course watched the Tigers blow it at The Brig. The Brig has become my comfort zone here in D.C. It reminds me a lot of the bars at home that I like to go to so I enjoy going and hanging out with our classmates. After our Holocaust Museum tour, Meagan, Brogan and I went to the wax museum. We have talked about wanting to go since we researched and found out it had the hall of presidents and we figured it would be a nice pick-me-up after the Holocaust museum. Boy were we right, I encourage everyone to go before they leave because it was the most fun we have had this entire trip. Our only disappointment from the wax museum was Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin were not in the Founding Father’s room or anywhere else in the museum. Other than that, it is a 10/10 recommendation to go.

I also went to Jazz in the Garden last night to see what all the hype was about. It was a cool spot and I enjoyed listening to the band, but I didn’t think it was as great as everyone in the city made it out to be. Maybe because I’m not from here I can’t appreciate it as much. A last recommendation I have before we leave would be to go to the Smithsonian Postal Museum. It sounds lame, but it was the absolute coolest museum I've been in here in D.C. It was interactive and you were able to really learn information about the post offices. Before you left, they even had a section for you to collect old stamps and take a picture of yourself and create your own. (Seth picked my picture out for my stamp)

Anyway I am excited for our last week here. I am ready to go home, but I am also ready for our bus trip. It is the one thing I have been looking forward to since we talked about getting the party bus.

Until our last week in D.C.,


Friday, June 23, 2017

Week 2

Week two in D.C. was a much of a whirlwind as week one. Class continues to only get more interesting and each speaker ends of being as amazing as the last one. Listening to the speakers talk about their professions with clarity and openness has given me more insight into their respected fields and industry. Meeting Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary was one of the most interesting discussions from this past week. It was highly interesting and entertaining to hear the side of Mike’s story with President Clinton. I have a higher respect for Mike after listening to his side of the story rather than the media’s portrayal of the scandal.

This week I have also hit the ground running with my research at the Library of Congress. I am amazed at how much history housed within the walls of these buildings. Looking through Herbert Putnam’s papers has been nothing short from extraordinary. From reading his personal letters between him and Teddy Roosevelt to holding blueprints of the hill in my hand, I am constantly in awe at how much history we have access to, yet we don’t take advantage of it. Meghan and I had a brief conversation about the collection from the current and next generations. It has challenged me to think about how much bullshit is important as a society to preserve. Society, in my opinion, no longer values the correspondence between the Librarian of Congress and other librarians across the states, but rather values the uproar a simple tweet creates. I am curious to see within the next decade or two how different preservation of correspondence will be as new technology and platforms begin to unfold.

I don’t want to harp on negatives too much within my blog, so I will tell you a funny story. Prior to our meeting with Senator Cassidy, Meagan and I were being super productive at the Library of Congress. We both finally felt that we knew what we were going to focus on within our papers. Our meeting with Senator Cassidy wasn’t until 4 p.m., so we knew we had plenty of time to get research in before then. 3 o’clock rolls around, and we decide to start wrapping things up so we can go change and get ready for the meeting. We both wanted to make a good first impression and show up early, looking our best. We change and begin to head over to the Hart building. We make it halfway there, just before the Supreme Court building, and the bottom falls out and we are soaked within a matter of seconds. We begin running towards the Hart building and the weather only got worse. We said the hell with waiting for the pedestrian crosswalk light and managed to not be hit by a cab or two on the way over. Needless to say, my goal of the day was not to meet my first Senator as a wet dog. Long story short, even an umbrella won’t save you from a torrential down pour on the hill.

Until next week,