Hello friends, and happy Friday! Today I thought I would tell you all a bit about my trip to Washington D.C. in March!
In case you weren’t aware, I was out of town for the past two weeks. I spent one week in D.C. and one week road-tripping around southern California. This post will be all about my week in D.C. and next week I’ll post a recap of my road trip.
I spent the 19th to the 25th of March in Washington D.C. with a group of thirty sophomores and juniors from my school. We traveled as a part of an organization that brings schools from all over the country to D.C. and takes students around the city to see monuments and museums and our capitol in general.
A quick warning that this post will most likely be quite political. Please know all opinions expressed are mine and are not influenced by the program I attended! I was actually in the minority in terms of my views.
Sunday, 19 March
Sunday was a travel day. We woke up at 4am in order to be at the airport by 5, which was far too early for a 7am flight. I ended up spending about an hour sitting at the gate drinking starbucks with my friends.
The flight was rough. It was a 5 hour nonstop with quite a bit of turbulence. I did some homework (making up for the week of school I was missing) and read the entirety of Ask the Passengers (review to come (; ).
By the time we landed in Baltimore we were all hangry and tired. As soon as we had all collected our bags from baggage claim we hopped on a bus and got to our hotel as fast as possible.
We got our roommates first thing (four girls, two beds, one bathroom), and then went to a ballroom for dinner and orientation.
Dinner (and all other meals) was amazing. We learned what the rules were and mingled and met our groups.
On Sunday night we talked about political efficacy and watched a debate between a self-identified conservative (republican) and a self-identified liberal (democrat). It was very interesting to actually learn how each side views topics such as trans rights, climate change, abortion, and gun control.
Monday, 20 March
After a delicious breakfast in our hotel, our groups split up and we headed for the Jefferson memorial. This memorial is huge and beautiful, and has one of the best views in Washington.
Next we went to the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. Both were incredible and very interesting as well. We talked about the role of government and how much power the government should have in comparison to the states and the individual.
After a quick lunch in a mall (yuck), we headed to Capitol Hill. We didn’t go inside any of the Capitol buildings, but we got a quick tour before going to a seminar on North Korea.
The seminar is widely agreed upon to be the most boring aspect of the trip, so I won’t bore you with the details. Next we went back to our hotel for discussions on judicial interpretation and government intervention for bullying in schools.
Tuesday, 21 March
On Tuesday we visited all of the war memorials. We started at World War II, and worked our way through Korea, Lincoln, and Vietnam. My favorite was Vietnam, as it seemed like the most simple yet effective.
Next we went to an Armed Forces panel that I may have slept through. We then went to the Pentagon to visit the 9/11 memorial, which was very humbling. It was hard to see all of the names of the people who died in one of the darkest moments in our recent history, especially a five year old girl who died on the plane.
The last thing we did on Tuesday was a mock congress. This was a highlight of the trip, because we got to act as though we were all member of the congress and debate real bills that are going through our government right now. I participated in discussions about school choice, juvenile sentences, and concealed carry laws.
Wednesday, 22 March
Wednesday was a day we call “Capitol Hill Day.” We spent the entire day on Capitol Hill, touring the Capitol, going to the Library of Congress, and meeting our representative.
We started the morning by going on a tour of the Capitol, which included going into the original House chamber! We also got to watch a livestream of a debate on President Trump’s proposed healthcare bill, which was being voted upon when we were there.
We then went to the Library of Congress Madison Building for a meeting with the people who run the Veteran’s History Project, which my school participates in. While we were there, I got a Library of Congress library card!
At noon, we met with our representative in the House. He’s a very cool, hip guy and he called Trump stupid multiple times, which was interesting.
While we were there, a group of protesters were gathering on the lawn, protesting the end of the Affordable Care Act, which was very exciting to watch! I definitely wanted to join them, but we had places to be.
After lunch we went to the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, and we looked at all of the amazing art and books they preserve. The Library of Congress is an amazing place that I definitely suggest visiting if you’re ever in D.C.!
The last thing we did on Wednesday was see the play Shear Madness. It was hilarious. I won’t spoil it but it’s fun and interactive and I definitely swayed the audience…
Thursday, 23 March
We started the day by visiting the White House, which I did not find interesting. I actually preferred the protest that was set up behind it.
We also walked around a D.C. neighborhood a bit, and then we went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It’s an amazing museum, and definitely one of my favorites. They have an incredible exhibit about African American military involvement.
Lastly we visited Arlington National Cemetery. We tried to watch the changing of the guard, but I was too short to see anything. We also saw some graves and stuff. You know, cemetery things.
That night we had a banquet and a dance. Boring mostly.
Friday, 24 March
We went back to the Library of Congress for a gift shop visit, and I bought some Jane Austen quote temporary tattoos and socks with banned book titles on them.
Some of my friends and I went to a bunch of museums for the rest of the day. We started at the Museum of Natural History, where we looked at bugs and gems.
We then went to the Holocaust museum, which shook me. It’s a very sad and incredibly well done museum, which makes it hard to go through.
The last museum we went to was the Newseum, where we mostly goofed around pretending we were news casters.
All together, this was an amazing trip. I had a great time and met some really good friends. I’m so happy I went. Thank you for reading this long and in-depth recount of my trip!
Have you ever gone on a trip for school/education purposes?