Week 6: The Fourth and More

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Monday, July 10, 2017


Samantha Pedek

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time is flying by, especially this past week. There is just so many things to do here in D.C., and so many sights to see! The holiday and the nice weather inspired an adventurous weekend. On Saturday, a group of us went down to Rock Creek Park where we found the ruins of the old capitol, with the help of a very kind gentleman who offered us some much needed directions. Since we have been living among the hustle and bustle of city this entire time, it was refreshing to go hiking in the woods even though we got caught in a mild thunder storm.

The following day, a few of us went down to Old Town Alexandria to check out the historical neighborhood. We stopped by an art center, a repurposed missile factory, and saw some fantastic pieces from local artists. I could have easily spent much more time there! Being in a town that has been around for about as long as the country has existed was absolutely mind blowing.  

Tuesday we celebrated the holiday by visiting the National Archives and Records Administration and seeing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Some of us even dressed up in colonial style clothing! It was extremely humbling to celebrate the birth of this nation by seeing the entire essence of what the country is, while in the heart of the nation. That evening, we also were able to see the firework show from the front steps of the capitol, thanks to the Mather Interns. This 4th of July was one of the most memorable that I have had so far, and I am truly proud to be an American.

The rest of the week I poured myself into my work, since there is so much to be done. I am extremely happy with my project and my mentors, and I am thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. I look forward to coming to work, knowing that huge progress is right around the corner. Though the main reason I am here is to do research, I am also encouraged to explore and to push myself. This internship is much more than the science, it is also about human experiences. As the internship starts winding down, and deadlines fast approach, I find myself wishing for more time here in the lovely city of Washington DC.

Samantha Pedek