So everything took an unexpected turn today, which really ticked me off, but still sticking to my philosophy of “everything happens for a reason, and everything is done for the good.” I was accepted into The Washington Center in October of last year, and supposedly, they are supposed to guarantee you an internship before you arrive in the summer. SOOO.. they did offer me a couple of things before I came, but never confirmed any of them until I arrived in DC. I show up to headquarters, and they tell me that it’s a really competitive market out here with 5,000 people looking for internships within federal law enforcement, and law, so its going to be pretty tough to find something. So at the end, I’m here in DC, without an internship, doing NOTHING!! I called the Senate office I used to intern for last fall to see if I would be able to intern in the DC office, but no luck; tried to call the list of NJ Congressmen, but they too are full for the summer. The end result is as follows: if I don’t hear back from another internship or have any interviews from now till 3Pm tomorrow, then I will probably have to withdraw from the program.
On the more positive side, I registered for a tour of the Capitol at 1:50 and got to go inside and see the architecture, and history that lies in it. I must say that building is one of the most inspirational buildings that every American citizen should be proud of. After the Capitol, I took the underground tunnel to the Library of Congress next door. I toured the different sections of the Library, but I was really intrigued by the Coptic section of the Library. They have a whole section devoted to the different ancient books, and manuscripts of Coptic heritage. I saw the first printed agbeya, psalmody, and full Coptic bible. They didn’t allow me to take pictures of it, due to the sensitivity of the books, but it was so nice to see that my religion and heritage is being preserved by one of the largest, libraries of our nation. More to come tomorrow!
One word for today! EXHUSTING! Today’s high (temperature) was approximately 90 degrees. Woke up at 10AM, to meet the youth of St. Mark’s for the “Primetime” (group name) trip to the National Harbor! It took me an hour and 45 minutes to get to Vienna due to the construction on some of the stations. Maggie picked me up, and we headed for church. I met a couple of new people that are involved with the church’s technical ministry, and they gave me a tour of their Sound Room. We headed out to National Harbor in Maryland shortly after. Upon arrival, Ihab and Kristine Guriguis, the college ministry coordinators, we so kind to purchase lunch for the 35+ people who were on the trip. We purchased our tickets, and got on the boat. The boat ride was about 30 minutes to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The boat docked for an hour as we toured. We saw a magic show, cup whistling show, and psychic readings. Toured Alexandria for about 1 hour and headed back to the Maryland. When we docked, we went to the Gaylord Hotel (nothing to do with homosexual orientation). The Gaylord Hotel is by far the nicest hotel I have ever seen. The hotel is consists of a convention center, 19 floors worth of rooms, all around glass windows overlooking the Potomac. The whole group went up and down the elevator just to see the view from the 19th floor, BOY IT WAS NICE! We finally ended the day, Maggie took me to the metro, got to the apartment, and ready to officially start the internship tomorrow morning! Have a good night!
Today was my first church service I attended in St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Fairfax, VA. I left the apartment at 8AM, and took the metro to Foggy Bottom to be picked up to go to church. Met a couple of new people on the way to church, which was awesome. I love how everyone in DC is sooo friendly in comparison to the NJ/NY area. I attended the service led by Fr. Paul, and the sermon was given by Fr. Bishoy Andrawis. Following that, I went to the Light and Life meeting, which Fr. Anthony Messeh led. I benefitted greatly from all three priests. After the service, I went back to the apartment to relax for the day. More to come!!
Today I woke up pretty late (11AM) due to the lack of sleep I’ve been having since the day I got to DC. I had some breakfast, and then my roommates and I headed out to tour some of the Smithsonian Museums, and Monuments. The first stop of the day was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We spent about an hour and a half there. (Picture below) Next stop was the Washington Hotel Lounge for some lunch. The Washington Hotel Lounge is located on Pennsylvania Ave, which over looks the whole city, and has a great view of the White House. I had my first ever tuna burger, with some fries. Spent a good amount of time there enjoying the 75 degree breeze overlooking our beautiful Nation’s Capital. Next stop is the Smithsonian Museum of American History. This museum is HUGE! Only had a chance to visit the gift shop and “The Price of Freedom, American Wars” exhibit. I was truly moved by this exhibit. It’s a real reminder to every person that lives in the US, the price that other paid for us to live in this great nation. Definitely need another full day to tour this museum. The American History museum was the last Smithsonian Museum of today. Next stop was the White House. This was Joe’s (my roommate) first time to DC, so we stopped by the White House for his sake. We took pictures at the North end of the White House. Final stop before heading back to the apartment was the Freer Gallery of Art, and Islamic World. Fortunate for me, they were closed because I was tired of walking, and my feet started to hurt. (I wore flip flops the whole time). Finally, we headed back to the apartment for some chill time before we went out at night. Our nightlife for tonight was going out to Lebanese Restaurant called Lebanese Tavern on Connecticut Ave. Joe, Ethan, and I decided to eat there to get a feel of our homeland’s food. (at least Joe, and I). I ordered falafel, Ethan ordered Salmon Mashwee, and Joe ordered Shawerma. Then came desert, I ordered baklava, Ethan, Um Ali, and Joe, Basbousa. Boy! It was a great meal, and reminded me of home. We got back at 11:30 watched the rest of the Lakers/Suns game, and I knocked out after to wake up for church the following morning.
Museum of American History, Air and Space Museum, DC
I woke up at 7:45 for the second day of orientation, which took place in the Department of Interior. All TWC students headed out to take the metro to the site, which took us about 35 minutes to get there. DC, by the way is all about walking. I think I lost a couple of pounds already. The orientation was brutal, 3 straight hours of people talking about the institution, rules, safety, and alumni telling us how great The Washington Center is. When the orientation ended, I left the group and headed over the TWC headquarters to change my one night a week class. As I was walking to headquarters, I had to pass by the White House. There I saw President Barack Obama getting into Marine One to fly to Andrew’s Air force Base to go to Louisiana to evaluate the Gulf Crisis. It was nuts to see all the Secret Service agents on the roof of the White House, at the gates. It was so nice to see. When I got back home, I went down to the Lounge Area, and computer lab to finish a couple of busy work items for the program, and went up to the apartment. Had some leftovers for Lunch and then my night began. I took the metro to Vienna, VA to be picked up by a friend, and then headed over to St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Fairfax for the youth meeting, where I met so many new people. When that ended, we went out to eat at this Asian place, socialized and headed back home. It was a good night, full of laughter, serious conversations, and meeting new people. Up next: THE START OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!
Today is the first day of a orientation with the Criminal Justice/Law Program. Had a hard time adjusting to my new bed, so I was a bit exhausted. I got ready, and headed down to meet a girl in the program to walk with to the Newsum. Apparently, the program advisors just wanted to keep us busy that morning, so they got us tickets to the Newsum, until the real part of orientation later at 1 o’clock. I must say, the Newsum is a great place to see how the media has expanded over the course of history. We toured for about two hours, and then Katherine and I headed for Union Station for lunch at Taco Bell. After that, I went back to the apartment until 1PM for the orientation. The orientation lasted until 4PM. Following that, Joe and I went to Safeway (local supermarket) to buy some groceries. Got back to the apartment at 6, went to the gym until 7:30, cooked some dinner. (Pasta and Portobello Mushroom raviolis) and just chilled for the rest of the night.
In the morning, I woke up, and took my final shower at home before leaving for DC. My parents and brother then drove down with me to DC to help me get settled in. Upon my arrival to the apartment, (GREAT APARTMENT), I met my first roommate, Ethan. Ethan is Lebanese, whose major is Middle Eastern Studies. He speaks Arabic, and loves to study Middle Eastern History. Ethan is place into the International Affair program, and is interning at the National Defense Insistue. As my parents, brother, and I were unpacking, my second roommate Ryan came in; he is interning at the Naval Museum. Still don’t know too much about him, but he’s cool. After my parents, and brother, left after I settled in, Joe came in. Joe is also Lebanese and a real cool kid. Joe is in the Science and Technology program, and he is interning at a hospital. After we all got settled in, we went out and started to explore. First we went to union station to look at what it has to offer, and then we went to the Postal Museum sums up the history of the US Postal system. All TWC residents had a mandatory meeting at 7PM in the auditorium downstairs. There we met the Student Life Director, Kevin Dunnely, and our RA’s. (Michael Shell is my RA) They went over the rules and regulation of the apartments, and introduced the security personnel. After that, we went to DC’s Chinatown, and stopped at CVS to get my first metro card, and picked up a couple of things for the apartment. When we got back home, I knocked out. That was my first day of my 10 weeks here in DC.
This marks my first blog for my DC internship.The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. I am part of the Legal/Law Enforcement for the summer, so I’m looking into internships within the federal government (White House, Homeland, Department of Commerce, FBI, intelligence, Interpol, etc) Keep you posted