Monday, April 22, 2013

Disaster drills and what not

April 15th – 21st

Monday was a fun day! I got to meet an FBI agent! He was the head of the violent crime departments cyber division, or something along those lines. He is also a TWC alumni, hence us getting the meeting with him. He interned with the Sergeant at Arms, which is like the head of security for congress, or something like that. Anyways, after graduation, he went on to work with the Capitol Police Department, and eventually joined their SWAT team, which is pretty much the best in the nation. He told us his 9/11 story, which was insane. On 9/10, his bosses had a meeting with the SWAT team and said they were no longer needed since it was a changing world and SWAT was out of date. Obviously, after 9/11, they redacted that statement. He eventually switched over to the FBI, where he is today.

Tuesday may be the highlight of the week. I got to sit in on a Supreme Court oral argument! That was quite the surreal experience. I got up at 5, got in line to get my ticket at 6:20, got my ticket at around 7:30, grabbed some breakfast at Union Station, got back in line at 8:30, and got in around 10. Unfortunately, I did not make the cut for getting a seat for the day. I had to get in the 3-5 minute tour line, which was not what I wanted. As per usual when I do things by myself, I met some cool people. The lady in front of me worked in the Attorney’s office in South Carolina that dealt with the case. Her husband was an administrator at some college, or something like that. The case was really interesting! It was about who gets custody of a Native American child when her mother died or something like that. The father said he did not want anything to do with the child before she was even born, so she was put up for adoption. Later, the dad said he did in fact want custody, and because of some law, she was taken from the adoptive family that would have cared for her better given to the dad. I am a little hazy about all of the details, so don’t take my word for it. The lady in front of me worked with the adoptive parents, and ironically enough, there was a lady farther up the line who worked for the dad’s side. After that, I waltzed over to the Library of Congress and had a look around. When I was walking around, I saw possibly the most important book of modern times: the Gutenberg Bible. It was essentially the first book ever printed by the first fully operational mechanical printing press. It signifies Europe’s exit from the Middle Ages to modern time, where knowledge and history is free to anyone since books can be widely printed. That is probably at par with seeing the Supreme Court oral argument. On my way back to Union Station, where I was going to hop on the Metro, I heard some feint drum rhythms off in the distance; I decided to follow the sounds. Low and behold, there was a parade!! It was the Emancipation Day Parade! Needless to say, I stuck around there for quite a while. By the time I got on the Metro, got home and charged my phone, it was two. I decided a nap was in order, which was amazing despite the fact that I had a dream that a nuclear bomb went off here in DC while I was here. It was a weird dream. I think it was caused by the Boston Marathon bombing that happened the day before. That was a terrible tragedy. It sickens me to see the evil side of humanity like that. Despite that evil act, I loved seeing the goodness in humanity at the same time. On the videos, you can see people running to the scene right after the explosion to help those in need. It was great to see the average Joe help out his fellow American in need like that. My heart and prayers go out to all of those effected directly and the family members of those people as well.

Wednesday was a blur, and Thursday was fairly blah too. The only major thing we did those two days was a tornado drill on Thursday. It was a city wide thing. The VAMC would turn into a disaster center if something severe were to happen, so we practiced that. The Patient Advocates’ office will be a family reunification center, so I put some spread sheets together and slapped them on a poster board so that we could keep track of missing people and who is looking for who. It was supposed to be a big thing, and everyone in the facility was supposed to partake in the disaster drill; unfortunately, no one really took it seriously. It was a bit of a let down.

Friday, I only had to go in from 8:30 to 9:15. Originally, we were planning on being actors and helping with the decontamination part of the disaster drill, but no one got back to us on that, so Diane let Lauryn and I go home early. That evening, I went to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and enjoyed some free music! The band performing was this four piece fusion band from New Orleans called the Mike Dillon Band. It was quite the unique sound! The band consisted of drums, baritone guitar, trombone, and a dude who played the vibes and a whole slew of other percussive instruments! Both the trombone and vibes used some pedal effects, which was quite unique! That was the first time I have ever seen vibes or a trombone play punk rock. lol it was great!! I want to get their CD once I get some cash flowing.

On Saturday, I was supposed to do this civic engagement thing, but I didn’t get an email telling me the specifics even though I emailed the lady twice. Regardless, I went down to the National Mall and tried to find them, but I couldn’t find them! After walking around the national mall for a while, I went to my friend’s house out in Virginia and we watched Modern Family, played video games, ate pizza, and just relaxed for the rest of the weekend. It was great!! 

No comments:

Post a Comment