The End or the Beginning?

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Tue, 01/22/2013 - 10:23pm -- Bradley

Hello again Children its Bradley coming to you live from outside the Capitol! Well here it is, the last journal entry for the seminar and my time in Washington DC! AS I write this I want to take a moment to reflect on my time in Washington, I had a great firsthand experience. I loved the city, I loved being in the city, and I can’t wait to go back, this has truly been one of the best experiences, academically, in my life. The Washington Center’s program was insightful and the information they gave us during the short amount of time was something you can’t just get on your own. You can read newspapers, blogs, and tweets all day long but to really get the whole picture of politics you need a certain amount of guidance from non partisan and partisan stand points. I was able to experience the metro, navigating streets, the inspiration of the monuments, hear from insightful speakers, obtain aspects of good site visits, explore job opportunities, view history, and to top it off witness the 57th inauguration in person.

Over the weekend I saw the Newseum, Georgetown, and Monday the inauguration; these couple of days were packed full of things that I may never get the chance to see or do again. As a matter of fact this entire trip has been chalked full things that I may never, but very much hope to do again. The Newseum is probably one of the best museums I have ever been in! It was fantastic to get to see the impact of the media throughout history and to be able to relish the fact that it is such a key component in shaping our nation and her policies today. This site visit also tied into to the majority of the media theme for the seminar, throughout the seminar we had many journalists or people associated with journalism and the media. We learned the increasing importance of the media in positive and negative ways as well as how the printed media is on the decline. It is sad to see that this is the case, the printed newspaper has been a staple of American politics since the creation of the printing press and it would be very disheartening to see it go. Georgetown represents the history of Washington, it is a very classy and historical part of town where many powerful men and women have made there homes. The place was gorgeous and very, very expensive; at one point my girlfriend and I walked into a shop and saw a handsome scarf. I turned the tag around on the scarf and immediately started walking out of the shop, she was a little baffled and asked me why I was already ready to leave. I turned to her and said, “that scarf is almost two hundred dollars, so imagine the prices on other things.” That gave us a good laugh and a few odd looks from the employees but oh well, maybe one day I can afford to buy things like that but even then I could come up with better uses of two hundred dollars. I was also able to witness history in the making at the inauguration. I have been to a couple concerts and various long events with meaning but nothing compares to this. As we stood in one spot for five hours waiting for it to start I couldn’t help but complain like a little baby, but as soon as it began it was all worth it. I remember getting goose bumps on several occasions during the ceremony and it wasn’t because I was cold either. It is an inspiring thing to hear the President of the United States give a speech in person and then get followed by Beyonce singing the National Anthem. Nothing could ever compare to a prouder American moment than that hour of my life, unfortunately what ensued afterwards was pure chaos. Let’s just say that a half hour trip home and five minute walk turned into three mile walk and a four hour long process.

I want to leave you with this, it may be the most important phrase of my time there, “a lot of people are outside looking in, but only a few are inside looking out.” It is tough to remember, even while you are in DC, that the decisions of our country and its future are made there, rather it be at Clyde’s over lunch or during a heated debate on the floors of Congress. The people, the media, we all have our opinions but it is important to remember who makes them and where they do. Its our job to put them there and to support them, it is also our job to remove those who don’t do what is right for our country. I have a wonderful time and I would like to thank Fairmont State, Dr. Baker. Dr. Noone and Dr. Noone, our faculty leaders Dr. Payne and Dr. Marshall, the Washington Center, the studens that went (especially Courtenay), and of course you all who have been reading these blogs.

So, until next time children, it looks like goodbye for now!

Bradley
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My name is Bradley Reed, I'm a senior majoring in political science and minoring in national security and intelligence. I'm also a contributing author for The Nolton. I'm from Berkeley Springs, West Virginia but my current hometown is Teays Valley, West Virginia.