Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Its cold in D.C - January 12

Well i think I'm going get used to going to sleep late and waking up early. All for a good cause. The morning started out like that last. As the crowd shuffled into the University of the District of Colombia, everyone was ready to listen and learn. Its great to see so many college students are willing to sit down and pay attention with such interest.

The speakers for the day were excellent. I already knew who two of them were (Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel, both columnists for USA today), so i was excited. First the scholar in residence, Michael Genovese (who also authored the seminar text) spoke a little more about the power (or according to him lack thereof) of the office of the president.

The next speaker i did not expect to be so good. In fact he was so great I can't even mention his name. He is Secret Service agent in charge of security at the Inauguration. As described by him, it is a daunting task that only few can tackle, and it seems by the way he spoke that he is one of those. It was great listening to his stories. And yes (it was asked by someone from the audience) he carries a gun.
Finally the speakers I was anxious to see came out to discuss their new book Common Ground. Cal Thomas, a conservative, and Bob Beckel, a liberal, discussed how both sides can get along. It was a funny, witty, straight and overall amazing speech. It was highly enjoyable. I recommend reading the book. I even got a picture with Cal.

After lunch, the second half of the day was spent at the Center for American Progress. It is a liberal think tank that lobbies for social reform in America. Although being a conservative, i was outnumbered in beliefe, it was amazing to hear the great work they do to improve the quality of life for people in our country.
It was a great day, and I look forward to more!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

January 11, The First Full Day!!!

The alarm went off with pronounced buzzing sound. The first full day of the TWC Presidential Inauguration Seminar has now begun. After an initial rocky morning stumbling around in the apartment, we were out the door on our way to the University of the District of Colombia for the first set of speakers.
As I came into the Auditorium there was the aura of higher learning in the air. The program begins with an ice breaker. The twist was it was a political ice breaker (It is after all a presidential seminar!!) Each member was to find people that did certain things or possessed certain qualities. It was mayhem as everyone looked for people who met Sarah Palin or campaigned for Hilary Clinton. I found it rather enjoyable and interesting to move around in the hectic environment and talk to lots of interesting people.
The speakers from the day were a great start to the seminar. Dana Bash, a Senior Correspondent provided an exciting account of her coverage of the Campaign. Michael A. Genovese, author of the seminar text Memo to a New President, also spoke. He discussed the office and its complexity and diffculty. The lectures were very interesting.
After the lectures in the morning, and an afternoon introduction to our faculty leaders the center took us on DC bus tour. Despite it being rather cold, it was great to see all the Monuments and Memorials. Here are some pictures!

Iwo Jima Memorial

Me and the Washington Monument

Korean War Memorial

After dinner, the long day had concluded and it was time to rest. Whew!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


And so it begins … We have arrived to the nation’s capital to begin the Presidential Inauguration Seminar. It was a fast trip to arrive, but hopefully the week will not go by as fast! Although no activities were scheduled for the day, there was much to do exploring the city. We spent the day walking around the city center and seeing all it has to offer. It was a nice afternoon spent relaxing before the real work begins. Sunday morning, at 8:15am, the full seminar program begins and we start to explore all the different areas of the executive branch. It is sure to be a day packed with excitement. But for now, it is time to get some shut eye…

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Before the trip

In one day I will be traveling to Washington D.C to begin the 10 day Presidential Inauguration Seminar, hosted by The Washington Center. It should be a very exciting trip, and I will be posting here daily to reflect on the days events and experiences.