Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Three Weeks, Three Vacations - (3)

We got back to Chicago around 10pm on Sunday night. I worked for about 14 hours on Monday morning on the materials concerning the Washington D.C. trip that would be happening during the week. We got up around 2:45am on Tuesday morning and it was back on it. We HAD planned on taking the CTA Blue line downtown, transfering to the orange line and getting to Midway.....but then when a Cab went by and honked...well we decided to go that route instead, especially considering that I will be reimbursed for those charges. Jason and I were so tired that we were both asleep on the plane before it took off and woke up when the wheels hit the ground in Washington. I never sleep like that on a plane, and neither does Jason so it just goes to show how exhausted we were.
Washington D.C. 2007

We got into Washington around 9am and took the Metro to our hotel where we were able to check in immediatly. After we checked in, we went for a really long walk, going around the White House and towards the Washington Monument. At this point I realized how nice it was and decided that it would be a good idea to go for a run....so it was back to the hotel, into running clothes and then back out to the Mall. We ran to the Capitol building and then realized that we were a bit tired and so walked/ran back to our hotel.

That night we had a fancy dinner with the rest of the group on trip where I met a girl from SLAC who was awesome. It's very rare to meet cool physics people and even rarer to meet cool physics girls. It's always weird meeting people that are a lot like you and "get" your sense of humor. I am a bit on the weird side, but new SLAC girl seemed cool with that.

The next day it was off to meetings on the Hill. The first day I had 5 meetings all of which I was the primary on. The primary leads the meeting and so on. The first meeting was a little rough as I was really nervous, but my secondary said it added to the charm :-). The rest of the meetings went really well and it was a really fun trip. My last meeting I was with a girl that was a constiuent of the district so after our meeting they wanted to take us to have our picture taken in front of the Capitol and then give us a tour. My secondary had a meeting right away though....BUT Jason happened to meet me outside and so we got our picture taken and we got a tour of the Capitol building including some time watching the floor discuss some issues which was interesting.

The next day was a full day of meetings, but I had a bunch of really really interesting ones. First off I got to meet Danny Davis who is my representative. I went into his office and most of the offices have these maps of their districts. I looked at the map and I was almost 100% sure that I didn't see my neigborhood on there. So my big plan of going, "Hello sir, it's wonderful living in your district" failed as I didn't want him to go...."I don't actually represent that area...." However, he's a great guy and it was really fun to meet him. I then was able to meet a guy that has an American Advancement for the Association of Science (AAAS) fellowship. He was really interesting and super nice. It was nice to have met him as it's a good contact to have if I decide to try and apply for one of those fellowships......which is my current plan.....must. graduate. first. At another meeting we had a really good discussion of education and the problems with the math and science programs and how is all this money going to help that problem.....good discussion there.

On Friday I only had two meetings and a late flight so Jason and I spent the whole day walking around D.C. We went from Capitol Hill to the FDR memorial back through the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial and then back to the hotel for our luggage.....and then to the airport to wait for our flight.

After getting back to Chicago we decided to take a Cab home. I have lived in Chicago for just about 27 years...well ok, like 21 considering I was in Bloomington for 6 of those years...but you get the point. I told the Cab at Midway that I wanted to go to Damen and Iowa and he goes down the Stevenson.....PAST DAMEN....all the way downtown.....to Augusta....back to Damen and then over to Iowa. I always tip cabbies really high as my dad was a Chicago Cab driver many years ago, but I tipped him nothing AND after arguing with him about why he went the wrong way (he kept saying that I didn't know what I was talking about...didn't I know how far south I was when I was at I-55? I told him that it didn't matter how fucking far south I was, there was no need to go any farther EAST...anyways) I called and reported his cab. I don't know if anything will happen with that but...cest la vie. I was pissed. I had been traveling for 3 straight weeks and I did not need a cabbie to go so far out of the way and then tell me I was wrong about directiosn in the city.

Well that concluded our Washington D.C. trip. It was a great time and I am really looking forward to possibly moving into the political sector of science...we'll see.

4 comments:

Firefly's Running said...

Nice synopsis of your trip. Glad that you had a great time even though you were tired during part of it.

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Good work in Washington.  The cause of science deserves as much political support as it can get, and I'm glad you two are out fighting the good fight.

Now back to running.

Bridgette said...

I'll never take a cab without Leah Rieger - defender of good directions! :)

Welcome back!

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