Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two Weeks of News and Spying!

It has been a little while since I posted last, so I have a lot to catch up on!  Work has been great, as I've gotten to do some more exciting things lately.  I finally did the Capitol tour training, so now I will be able to give people tours of the Capitol building.  There are so many interesting and historic parts of the Capitol and lots of fun facts to learn and share with others.  I need to practice a bit before my first one, but I'm excited.  I've also gotten to see the congressman do some interviews.  One was for Martin Bashir on MSNBC.  I tweeted about getting to see the filming of it, and I got retweeted by @BashirLive, which is the show's official twitter handle.  That is kind of amazing!  It is the moments like these that remind me of my importance here.  I also got to sit in on a meeting with the congressman and President Barker from Clemson.  It was great to finally meet him and funny we met in DC, not at school.

I went to a two day training session on how to be an "online activist" using social media and blogging with my roommate, Ryan, at the Leadership Institute.  It was great to finally get an opportunity to learn more about my field, and I'm thankful my office is nice enough to let me attend things like that.  The Leadership Institute is a conservative organization, so I had to ignore some frequent anti-liberal remarks, but overall the training was pretty useful.  I'm proud of myself for being open-minded enough to attend something there, as I knew when I walked in and saw a portrait of George W. Bush on the wall behind the receptionist I did not belong.  There was also a framed newspaper with the headline, "Clinton Impeached!" outside of the training room.  That freaked me out a little!  I felt a bit like a secret liberal spy.  It is always good to know how the other side operates, too...haha.

Two interns in my office are done with their internships now, so it will just be me and one other girl who only comes in 2 and 1/2 days a week.  It was sad to see Helen, my Australian friend, go as we have become good friends, and she was very helpful in the office.  Hopefully I'll get to Australia one day, and she can show me around :]  It will definitely be different and probably busier, being the only intern in the office most of the time now.

Helen and I
Last weekend, I decided to go to the Newseum.  I had heard a lot of great things about it and had wanted to get there for a while.  It was pretty neat.  Obviously they have lots of newspapers with headlines from important moments in history, and those are cool to see.  They also had a pretty large part of the Berlin Wall, and an exhibit on 9/11, including a large mangled-up antenna from the top of one of the twin towers.  There were some fun artifacts from elections, SNL skits, the Daily Show, and the Colbert Report.  They have a great balcony you can go on with a wonderful view of the Capitol and the Mall.  They film ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos in a studio there, so I got to go in there, too.  The tickets were good for two days.  I finished all the exhibits on day one, but they had the chief White House correspondent for Politico come talk on Sunday so I went back for that.  I was glad I did.

Berlin Wall
Union is Dissolved Newspaper
Antenna from 9/11
On the Balcony
Thursday we went to another play for theater class.  This one was "Red" at Arena Stage.  It was about painter, Mark Rothko, and his assistant.  He was getting paintings ready for the Four Seasons, and dealing with issues of his relevance as an artist and whether he was "selling out" by accepting a commission for these paintings.  It was pretty interesting and emotional.  He was getting to the end of his career and having to legitimize his life and choices as an artist.

This Saturday we had our White House tour that I had gotten from my office!  It was pretty much what I had heard it would be, which was a bit disappointing.  Obviously, they can't show you any of the really cool places that they use all of the time, as that would be too complicated.  Therefore, you really don't get to see much.  You can peek your head in a few rooms, then walk through a few more, and all of the sudden you're going, "that's it?"  It is also a self-guided tour, so you don't have anyone really telling you about what the rooms or for or anything.  It is still neat to say you've been in the White House, but if you don't get to go, you're not missing out on much.
At the White House
Today I went to the International Spy Museum, which was another I had been looking forward to going to for a while.  It was really great and worth the money.  They take you in and you immediately choose a cover.  I was "Angelena Falcone," a 21-year-old travel agent from Italy, going to Vietnam for 30 days on a "business trip."  Then you go through a section that teaches you how to be a spy and spot people using surveillance or who could also be spies.  You get to see a lot of cool spy gadgets and technology.  Then there are sections about actual spies from the U.S. and other countries and their stories.  I was pretty impressed.  The gift shop had lots of cool stuff, too, including "Agent Double Gnome 7" merchandise - so cute!  I couldn't resist and bought something.  I hadn't gotten any souvenirs for myself  before this.
International Spy Museum
Cool Car!
Agent Double Gnome 7
I also walked through the National Postal Museum before I went home, as it is right next to Union Station.  I walk by it all the time and thought it might be worth taking a few minutes to walk through.  It used to be the City Post Office so it is a really neat building.
National Postal Museum
Old City Post Office
Old Mailboxes
I've been trying to make my posts more interactive with links to the different places I'm going.  That's all for now.  I CANNOT WAIT until Friday when Jake comes!  Woo hoo for seeing him and having a four day weekend with Friday and Monday off of work.  I'm working on a fun list of things to do while he is here.

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