Thursday, March 28, 2013

The visitation

March 18th – March 24th

Since I am writing this a bit late, Some of the details are a little bit fuzzy. That Monday, I came back from NYC! I had to get up super early in the morning again.  My friend and I got back around 12:30, bad some Fuddruckers, and then went our separate ways.

Tuesday was back to work! Well, after meeting with Congressman Jim Bridenstine. That was quite the experience! He was a fun guy to talk to. He was in a military subcommittee meeting, and had to be pulled out. When we went to where the meeting was, protesters were being detained! It was pretty sweet! But the main focus of our discussion were the negative aspects of ObamaCare. For starters, people cannot as personalized insurance plans; they will be what the government wants them to be. A good example is how a 90 year old lady will have to pay for contraceptives since they will be covered on her insurance plan. Also, It will be cheaper to pay the fee for not having insurance than paying the premiums themselves! A lot of companies wont insure their employees anymore because it will be more expensive than paying the fee. Some people will just get insurance when they get sick and then drop it once they are better and just keep paying the fee. It has been a few days since we talked about it, so I am a bit hazy on the details though. Don’t quote me on any of that. Haha Also, I believe it was that day that I met with Dr. Hull, one of the neuropsychologists at the VAMC. We just talked about what she does and her path to there. She works in the War Related Illness and Injury Study Centers (WRIISC). It is pretty self explanatory as to what they study there. She conducts neuropsychological evaluations and interviews, and does research. She was very insightful about how graduate school works.  She told me about how I should do some research while still in my undergraduate, because that will help me get into graduate programs. Also, she told me about the matching process for getting a doctoral internship. I won’t go into the details, but it boils down to that you don’t pick the exact site, and the sites don’t pick the exact interns; an algorithm matches the site to the intern. She also informed me that for picking a doctorate program, I should look at the mentors in that program, see what research they do and if I would like it, and then see if they are taking students. She was very helpful about the whole graduate school process!

That Wednesday was a blur in the morning! I was just excited for my parents to get here. I left work early and picked them up around 2:30! After that, we trekked back to Silver Spring, got them checked in, ate at my favorite local restaurant, My Big Greek Café, and then just hung out and talked. It was so nice to see them! They are the fun type of parents that are fun to hang out with.

On Thursday, we went to Union Station and had crepes for breakfast, walked to the Capitol Building, went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, had lunch, went to the top of the Old Post Office Pavilion, hit up the Smithsonian American History Museum, and ended with the National Gallery. The National Gallery was possibly my favorite place that day. I got to see the only Da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere. I have seen a few of his other works at both the British National Gallery and the Louvre. On top of that, I say some lovely Impressionist paintings. I got to see some works by Cezanne, Monet, and Van Gogh. Van Gogh is probably my favorite Impressionist painter, especially when it comes to landscape works. I am not so big on his still-lifes or portraits. My favorite of his works there was “Olive Orchard.” Again, I have already seen several works by these works at the British National gallery and the Louvre. For Monet, I saw his famous Water Lilies at L’Orangerie in Paris. I think those are my favorite works by Monet. Anyways, this blog is not about my favorite pieces of art, so I shall go on.

Friday was the Caleb Demarais Death March. In the morning, I took my parents to the VAMC to meet my boss and coworker, Diane and Lauryn, as well as other people at the VA. They got to sit in on the SAVE training I coordinated. After Diane gave them a tour, we went to Arlington National Cemetery, which began the March. We walked from the guest center to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was a surreal experience. After that, we walked back. Then we walked to Georgetown, ate at a nice Italian place. From there, we walked to Foggy bottom, hopped on the Metro and got off at Federal Triangle. After that, we went from there to the George Washington Monument, passing the White House on the way, went to the Lincoln Memorial, walked to the MLK Memorial, walked around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial, and ended at the Smithsonian Metro stop. That night, we went to Columbia Heights and walked to the Adams Morgan area to go the Bossa, my favorite club here. We got home around 1:30! We walked over 10 miles that day!

Saturday was not a death march day. Lol We slept in, got some food, hit up the Natural History Smithsonian, and split up so dad could go the Holocaust Museum and mom could go the National Gallery again. We didn’t have nearly enough time to see it all last time, so both her and I wanted to go back! That evening, we got some good food and just relaxed.

On Sunday, we went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for Palm Sunday! It was quite the enriching experience! That afternoon, I dropped them off and did nothing. I was sad to see them leave. As much as I hate to say it, I am a somewhat ready to go home. I have explored DC, seen the monuments, been to the museums, explored the nightlife, and had many great experiences! But it is weird not doing stuff like that without my family and friends from home. The saying “ you never really notice something until it’s gone” (or something like that) is true. I have an amazing family and group of friends! It is going to be weird going off to grad school after next year and having to find a new group of friends. But I already went on a rant about that in a previous blog. Once it warms up more, I will go and explore more parts of DC! I know the rest of my time here will just fly by. 

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