Week 6: Whirlwind

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Thursday, July 13, 2017


Victoria (Tori) Eng

Looking back on this week has been both very eventful and very uneventful all at the same time. We had a four-day weekend with the 4th of July falling on a Tuesday. I spent both Saturday and Monday just hanging around the apartment, just relaxing. But on Sunday myself, Sam, Riley, and Mary Ann went to Alexandria. It was mostly just hot with a lot of walking around. But we did get brunch at a Lord of the Rings themed bar which had specials like Frodo’s French toast. After that we walked around the downtown and went to the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The art factory had lots of local artists selling and creating art right at that facility. We even met an artist who displayed prime numbers in his art. Although not necessarily the most exciting day it was a nice day and we got to see a strong human element in the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

On the Fourth, most of the interns, myself included, went to the national archives. There we got to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. It was amazing to see our founding documents up close but I was surprised at how worn down the documents were. I didn’t expect them to be in great condition but the words are barely legible on those documents, it makes me wonder what conditions our founding documents had to go through all these years. The wear ends up making them more special because they experienced American History just as much as the people who lived it. After the archives, we got lunch at a pizza place and then walked back to the apartment. Later that day we went to the concert on the mall, luckily, we had Riley who got us access to the Capital Hill staff section for the concert. The mall was packed with people as far back as the Washington monument. The concert itself was interesting because it had acts from many genres of music including artists like The Beach Boys, Trace Adkins, The Four Tops and many others. I was surprised by the lack of artistry in the fireworks though. It was a very standard show that only lasted 18 minutes. Although the placement of the fireworks right behind the Washington monument was cool, the actual show was underwhelming. But that was in stark contrast to trying to get home which was overwhelming to say the least. There were people everywhere and the lines to get down to the subway platform had hundreds of people just waiting. We all ended up walking the 2.5 miles back, which wasn’t too bad.

The rest of the week was a bit of a whirlwind for me. On Wednesday, I worked pretty much straight through because I had to leave a little early to catch my flight to Chicago. I was a bridesmaid at good friend’s wedding on Friday. That Wednesday after work I took an hour-long metro ride to Rockville to pick up my dress from alterations, and then took another hour-long metro ride to our apartment to shower quickly. I then went to Ronald Reagan airport via metro and hopped on my flight. But my travels did not end there, my boyfriend picked me up and we drove the 3.5 hours back to Iowa City. We arrived at 2am and I awoke at 7am to get to work on wedding preparations the next day. The few days I was back home were a complete whirlwind but I was glad I came back to see my friend get married and be a part of that intimate time. Although it was a whirlwind I did briefly see my research professor and getting back to where I have done so much research over the past 2 years gave me some of the motivation I have been missing for my upcoming conference.

Although this week was an absolute whirlwind, it was exactly what I needed. I got some missed motivation and some relaxation that has been desperately needed over this past year. 

Victoria (Tori) Eng