It is hard for me to believe the semester is almost over already! I have one more week in D.C. and next Saturday (Dec. 11), I head back to Kansas. My semester has been absolutely wonderful and I am thankful I had the opportunity to spend a semester off campus. I am not looking forward to saying good-bye to the city that I have grown to love or my new found friends.
As I look back on the semester, a couple of things come to mind as my favorite things this semester. I will take a bit of time to reflect on them here:
1. Blues Festival– One of the first weekends we were here, there was a free blues festival outdoors in a park in D.C. It turns out that it is actually a pretty well known festival, and in the blues world, very high quality music. The music was AMAZING, the setting was beautiful, and it was at the beginning of the semester when I was just getting to know some of the people I am now friends with. None of us were really sure what we were getting into when we went, but it turned out wonderfully, and I am so glad I went!
2. Classes with experts– The whole semester, we had the opportunity to meet with experts in energy and energy policy. We spent 10 weeks looking extensively at energy policy in the U.S. through 3 different lenses– environment, economics, and security. We heard from experts who work at leading think tanks and senior staffers in Congressional offices and committees that deal directly with crafting energy policy. There were many times I left meetings in a bit of daze because the experts were so smart!
3. Family visit– I will admit it, I have missed my family! I haven’t necessarily been especially homesick, but I have missed having the chance to be around my family. In early November, they were able to come and visit me and that was a wonderful and special time. I was a tour guide of sorts, and I was actually able to see some of the touristy things I had not yet had a chance to see.
4. Visiting the White House!!!– Yesterday, my roommates and I had were able to go to the White House to a Christmas Open House. It is hard to get in to see the White House, but one of my roommates got an invitation to bring 3 guests to this event. It was hardly exclusively, but it was necessary to have an invitation to get in, so it felt pretty exciting! Although we were not able to see the whole thing (or anyone famous), we were allowed to take our cameras, normally not allowed, so we have pictures to document the experience!