Day 4: June 18, 2013

day4

I am convinced that everyone that both lives and works in Washington, D.C. has stress ulcers. That or they absolutely love what they do.

I took on the mile-and-a-half walk to our ASU center alone this morning due to the fact that I walk r-e-a-l-l-y slowly and I didn’t want to slow anyone down. It was oddly peaceful. I say “oddly” because everyone I passed on the street – and there were many, many people on streets of the federal district this morning – seemed to be in a huge hurry. The men were in suits and ties, the women in pencil skirts and dresses. Some walked with their phones pressed to their ears, others were nervously eying their watches, and most had coffee in their hands. Everybody sped by me as I walked slow enough to listen to Kenny Loggins on my iPod and daydream.

It’s incredible to me that people do, actually, both walk to work and work in such a huge, important city. Being from Cave Creek Arizona, I’m used to having to drive everywhere and going to places that dictate that the fanciest pieces of clothing socially acceptable are jeans and cowboy boots. We’re all dressed in our business casual best for our meetings, but I’m not used to it. I think if I were required to dress in shirts and fancy shoes every day and if I had to attempt to tame my wildly wavy hair each morning, I would get too full of my own assumed self-importance. Because let me tell you, the people I passed on the street today looked very, very important.

Anyway. I took 17 pages of notes today. That’s how information-packed our sessions were.  There were four speakers, three in our little center and one at the actual building our speaker worked. They were incredibly interesting and informative! (I am submitting a blogpost for the official ASU Walton Scholars blogsite, where I will go more into detail about what I learned. The link will be posted here when it’s submitted and posted.) I will say that I was interested in the final presentation the most. It involved the Center for Green Schools, and I am ecstatic about finding a place that does exactly what I want to do, which is help integrate sustainability within the K-12 school curriculum.

My entire group is so sweet. A few of them know of my blood sugar/stomach issues and are always looking out for me. I’m also really enjoying taking on this experience with such a diverse group of people – they ask really interesting questions of our speakers that relate to their own fields of study.

I can’t believe that at the end of tomorrow we’ll be more than halfway done with our time in D.C. I feel like we just arrived here yesterday. The time is going so quickly! Since we’re being let out early on Friday, I think I’m going to try to visit National Archives. I want to soak in every bit of D.C. that I can before I go.

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