As students at The George Washington University in downtown Washington, D.C., my classmates and I had the atypical college experience; we didn’t have a football team or expansive lawn on which to play frisbee, and most of the dorms consisted of former hotels and apartment buildings that the university acquired to house the burgeoning student population. During my freshman year I lived at the Hall on Virginia Avenue (HOVA), which was a former Howard Johnson’s hotel. My dorm was situated directly across the street from the infamous Watergate complex, site of the burglaries that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon. My room, 419, was the original site of the burglars’ “lookout room” from which Alfred Baldwin and James McCord monitored the DNC office. The photo above shows the view from my room.
I’m back in Palm Desert…unfortunately. I wish I was still in DC…I told that to a few of my friends and they laughed because all past semester, and the year before that, I complained about DC. Well, it turns out that I really like being in DC when I’m not in school…you don’t get to enjoy the city when term papers and massive amounts of reading take up a majority of your time. When you’ve got some time on your hands, though, it’s a pretty nice place to be. I think I’ll be moving back there after grad school. I love California, but not as much as I used to…
Laura, Cindy, and I visited our old freshman dorm, the Hall on Virginia Avenue (HOVA). I haven’t been back there since the day I moved out at the end of freshman year. It felt very odd to visit HOVA…not much has changed…we got to see our old room, #419…had the same sagging ceiling, chipped paint, and wonderful view of the Watergate.
On Saturday I attended the Columbian College graduation ceremony (since I was a PoliSci major…and yeah, we were definitely the rowdiest of the majors there). When I started at GW I was originally in the Engineering School as a Computer Science major, but my first programming class made me realize how much I hated CS (I also failed the course, which added to my frustration with the major I had chosen). I thought that I wanted to major in business with a concentration in information systems, so I took business classes for a semester, and what a mistake that turned out to be. The subject matter was boring and absolutely useless, and our assignments consisted of group papers and multiple choice tests (yes, I felt like I was back in the 5th grade). So I switched to Political Science and loved every minute of it. Maybe I should be thankful that I failed that computer programming course…
Graduation on the Ellipse was nice. (For those who have no idea what the Ellipse is, it is the “backyard” of the White House where various Presidential events are held). It rained in the morning, but by the time the Commencement started, the sky cleared up and we had a good amount of sun. Some might say too much sun, but don’t mind them – they are just whiny New Yorkers. One of our speakers was General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He remarked that studying in Washington DC at this time would be similar to studying in Rome at the height of the Roman empire, which I thought was an interesting observation. There were a lot of students with anti-Bush and pro-Kerry slogans taped onto their graduation caps…gotta love that. Trachtenberg also threw in an amusing statement at the end of his “Charge to Graduates”: “And you may now turn your tassels from right to left, as I hope happened to your politics in the last four years.” My mom said that some parents sitting behind her were a bit angry over that statement…leave it to SJT to stir up some controversy.
Overall, this past week was great…won some $ in Atlantic City, got to see all my friends, had a few rounds at Lindy’s, ate at Old Ebbitt, met up with one of my favorite professors, and finally graduated on the Ellipse. Pictures will be up soon…
My flight back to Palm Springs was delayed for a few hours…typical America West (aka America Worst). Another thing the really annoys me is when people bring those mini-rolling suitcases into the plane…oh, excuse me, you can’t wait 10 minutes for your luggage to come out of the carousel? I sat next to a lady today on the Phoenix to PS flight that had one of those bags. We were on a small plane, so the bag wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment and of course she didn’t want to check it, so she put it under the seats in front of us but she took up my space too and told me I’d have to put my backpack in the overhead compartment…what the hell…well maybe I don’t want too! Ugh, those people piss me off so much.
Tomorrow I go back to work…not looking forward to it. Volume IV of Adventures in Customer Service is on the way…got quite a few complements this past week in regards to my previous entries…good to hear people are actually reading this blog.
Last night we went to Atlantic City…left the GW campus at 4pm and returned at 6:30 this morning. The trip was organized by GW and it was $32, but when we got to AC they gave us a voucher for $17 in chips to gamble with. I went to the slot machines and put $5 and the first time I pulled the bar I got three 7s…wooo $50 on my first pull. So I cashed out and took my $50, thank you very much. At Trump’s Taj Mahal I put $5 on the Jeopardy slots and worked my way up to $19, so I came home from AC with some cash.
Oh, and I got funnel cake…awesome. AC can’t come close to Vegas, but wasn’t as ghetto as I was expecting.
Today we are going to visit our old freshman dorm, HOVA! Oh, and also attempt to pickup our cap and gowns.
Well, my flight was 2 hours late into DC, so I got into National (NOT REAGAN) Airport around 12:30 at night. We skirted the Potomac when we were coming into land and had an awesome view of the monuments at night. We were landing and were literally 10 feet above the runway when the pilot decided not to land and instead climb to a few thousand feet and give us another scenic flight of the DC area…must have been a pilot in training. When I finally got to campus, Cindy, Rian, and I went to Lindy’s.
This morning we went to get Cindy some boxes and UPS Store was out so we went to the next nearest supply store…guess which one….OFFICE DEPOT. Well, I at least had a chance to put my employee discount to use. Tonight all of us are going to Atlantic City…never been there, but I know there is no way in hell it can top Vegas.