DC Reflections: First Weekend
Walking to work is one of the many things I enjoyed by living remarkably close to the CDFI Fund. When I arrived at the office my supervisor and I went over any concerns and ideas I had that will make the most of my internship, which included various tasks and training sessions that will help build my experience and skills. I opened my email and I was instantly notified about my first SharePoint Basics One training. As I walked towards the White House near the building where the training would be held, I reminisced about the first few conversations I had with my mentor when she advised me to take advantage of any free training being offered this summer. I felt relaxed walking around D.C. while I saw the congested traffic; an idea I grew fond of every single day.
In class, I learned that SharePoint is used for institution-wide collaboration, organization, and to display vital information about various offices. Learning SharePoint quickly became part of my bucket list this summer and realized that it is an essential tool for a government career. I had a short day at the office, despite my prolonged trip to another Treasury building and my training. Towards the end of the day, I also learned about financial analysis and the need to know more about the subject. As an Economics major under the Andrew Young School, I never took a Finance course nor have any knowledge of finance jargon. My supervisor handed me a book to add to my collection of reading material for the summer. I opened the book, Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs by Karen Berman and Joe Knight, and I instantly delved into the subject about what the numbers downright mean in financial analysis.
The first weekend in D.C. started with plans to explore the capital of our nation. After work on Friday, I went to a Latin Salsa Festival at the Yards Park. I took the D.C. rail system for the first time, where my only navigation tools included my iPhone, iTrans D.C. application, and my Smart trip card. I was tempted to walk there, but it was too far; besides, I refused to miss the concert playing and at the same time miss the sunset. The D.C. metro was outstanding and easy to understand, despite the different color lines and directions. A rule of thumb that I learned from my trip is to be aware of which direction I am heading to and to charge my phone before I leave to another adventure. My phone died while I was at the festival; however, my innate ability to recognize landmarks helped me get home safely.
On Saturday, I attended an evening lecture “Your Ticket to the Universe” by Kimberly Arcano and Megan Watzke at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. I walked to the museum and somewhere along the path I felt the sun’s rays penetrate my skin, as well as expended all the water I consumed that day as it was a hot day in D.C. The presentation took place in the Lockheed Martin IMAX room where people sat quietly and listened attentively to the speakers. Your Ticket to the Universe was about understanding the Universe, looking at gorgeous images, and at the same time the presenters used simple language to explain space and time. The presentation was based on the book the two presenters wrote together, where they offered autographed books for purchase. I decided to get the book, as well as walked around and enjoyed my time at the museum. It was after hours and we were the only visitors the museum had inside, which provided ample opportunities to take clear pictures of the monumental and historical objects.
The night was still young. I heard rumors that the national mall is better at night, so I went on a night tour. It was intensely dark, which made the moon look larger than normal, and the monuments in the national mall seemed brighter. In high school, I remembered learning about the history of America, and now I found myself walking through history. While I walked the national mall, I was enamored by the lights from the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and World War 2 Memorial. Also, I saw the “Reflection Pool” where the reflection of the Washington Monument can be seen from the waves of the pool that lies in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The rumors were true; the national mall is most striking at night.
On Sunday, I went to Capitol Hill and watched the sun’s halo through the cloudy sky. The more I walked the more comfortable I felt with the city, which started to feel like home in Atlanta. I did not get many pictures, but I took just enough to remember how I felt when I walked to Capitol Hill. While I walked up the hill, I thought about the theme song I’m Just a Bill by Schoolhouse Rock. My first weekend in D.C. was full of adventure of the national mall and new profound knowledge about the Universe. I felt rejuvenated and ready to take on my first week in D.C.
“Conjunction junction, what’s your function?”
-School House Rocks