Friday, August 29, 2008

City Savvy

After a chance encounter with a US senator during my layover in Denver, I boarded the plane to D.C. and arrived at my apartment complex in Rockville, Maryland around 7 PM. My fourth floor, four-person apartment is surrounded by a town square complete with cobblestone streets, white Christmas lights, restaurants, shops, and a movie theater (Pictures above). The nearest metro station (Rockville Station on the red line) is a ten minute walk from my apartment and the closest grocery store is about 15 minutes away (walking back from the supermarket with bags of groceries presents its challenges).

My roommates and I left the apartment around 7:45 the next morning to make the 45-minute commute to D.C. for program orientation. There are a total of 400 interns enrolled in the Washington Center program and many students are visiting from other countries (South Korea, Brazil, and Mexico to name a few). I met with my fellow Law and Criminal Justice interns at orientation and then grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the Smithsonian Natural History museum (Have you ever seen the skull of a Diceratops?). Next, a group of us walked to the Lincoln Memorial and later tried to familiarize ourselves with the metro system.

Already, I realize how much I enjoy living in a big city. I love having breweries, pizzerias, clothes stores, and pharmacies right at my doorstep. I love people watching and reading the newspaper on long metro trips. I love the sound of cars and sirens outside my window at night.

D.C. Observations:
1. Everyone uses umbrellas (This is considered taboo in Oregon). Even the slightest drizzle prompts a Washingtonian to whip out their umbrella on the city streets.
2. People that stand on the left side of the escalator instead of the right side are trampled.
3. Everything is expensive. A one-week metro pass with unlimited rides, for example, costs $40. A one-way trip from Rockville to downtown D.C. costs over $4.
4. Everyone dresses up. I have never seen so many people in business suits in my life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Political Beginning

This Wednesday I leave for Washington, D.C. to intern for Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, a law firm that specializes in whistleblower law (protecting employees who speak out against wrongdoing in the workplace). I will also take a class on criminal law through my program, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC).

I hope to become more politically aware during my stay in D.C. Ironically, I have a layover in Denver in the midst of the Democratic National Convention and will be on the lookout for Obama and Clinton. I already registered for my absentee ballot and am excited to watch the elections unfold firsthand from Washington.

With graduation creeping up in May, I am trying to figure out what to do with my English Literature major . . . Will the law suit me? Stay tuned for my adventures in the office and the city!