Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Orientation Day 3

As always, you can go to the group's flickr page for more pictures. Also, sorry this blog post is a bit lengthy.

For the third day of orientation, we went to the Capitol for an 11:45 tour with program alum Tyler White (far left in the above picture). He currently works in Congressman Jerry Lewis' office. During the program he interned on Capitol Hill, but for a different Congressman. After asking us about our living arrangements and catching up with Dr. Spalding, we started the tour by going up to the House Gallery, where we could watch as Congressmen cast votes and simply chatted amongst themselves. Before we went in we had to surrender all our electronics, including Tyler who is a staffer. He explained to us some of the traditions of the room: no assigned seats, the rotating Speaker, the cloak rooms, etc. Next we went to the rotunda (which you can see in the picture above). On our way he explained the paintings, and the statues, including the new California statue of Ronald Reagan. As we were standing there, learning about the room, in walked a couple of Capitol policemen, a photographer and an entourage of people.

It turned out it was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had come to take a picture with the new Reagan statue. The room was divided in the middle with a roped off walkway. We happened to be the only group on the Governator's side. As the groups in the room pressed up against the ropes, we got a closer look, and presumably got into many people's pictures. After that we walked to the "Center of Washington". In the middle of the room, there was a compass built into the ground. It was the original center of Washington, DC when the City was first designed. The picture below is us standing around it, and some with our feet on it.
After that it was time for lunch in the House Member's Dining Room. The next week when I handed the "CMC Washington Packet" to my supervisor with the orientation schedule she remarked that she had only eaten there once or twice in her ten years, so this was quite the experience. On our way there we saw Dennis Kucinich hurry past us and as we were waiting to be seated, out walked Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures. But we were joined by a CMC and Washington Program alum whose name escapes me at the moment. She also worked in Mr. Lewis' office and had interned there during the program. We talked about how CMC had changed since they had been there, Claremont Hall, the Kravis Center, and even the Pomona construction blocking our walk to Frary. We talked about the long-term plans for CMC renovations as well as their suggestions for the future of the program. Not only did we get great food, but it was covered by CMC (always a plus).

After lunch, they took us to Congressman Lewis' private meeting room (I think I got the name of the room right) (Picture above). It had an amazing view of The National Mall. After we were done, we went to the steps of the Capitol to take a couple of group pictures. I already posted the picture before, but I figured it's a pretty good picture, so I would post it once again.

After that we had a little break before we went back to the office for our first class with Professor Haskell, who works at Georgetown during the day. He handed out the syllabus, gave us free copies of our textbook (which he wrote), and showed off his impressive random knowledge of all of our hometowns. After class was over, we all headed home for some rest before our early 8:30 am start time the next day.

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