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About Me:

Hi! I'm Andre. I'm a senior double major in Political Science and Spanish at Butler and I'll be graduating in 2014.

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Posts Tagged “butler”

Cryptography

Last week, my class went on a field trip to the National Cryptologic Museum and the National Spy Museum, and they both were great! We had a seminar on Cryptography with a guest professor and it was really enjoyable. It involved a lot of math, which I usually hate and try to run from, but this time it was actually fun.

The National Spy Museum was cool because you were able to assume a different identity and see all different types of real life spy gear and protocol. It blended elements of fiction, in terms of the Bond movies, and reality, in terms of international spy rings. At the end there was a gift shop where you could purchase spy stuff you saw throughout.

The Cryptologic Museum was sponsored by the NSA and showed how cryptography has been used throughout history, even influencing the outcome of war. Being able to see the real life impact of cryptography and spying, was really powerful and made me understand it much more deeply than I previously had.

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Meeting Senator Warren

Last week I got the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite senators, Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren is from the state of Massachusetts and was also a professor at Harvard. So when I heard she was having a meet and greet in her office, I jumped at the opportunity!

Warren is pretty well known to political watchers. Some are even urging her to run for President in 2016. She became of a political celebrity after being nationally known for taking a stand on issues for consumer protection after the financial downturn. Here’s a video of her speaking on those issues:

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When I met her, she was extremely nice and we even held a small conversation. It was great seeing how genuinely excited and interested in getting to know everyone at the event. I’m so glad I went and got to meet one of my favorite senators!

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Throwback: National Cathedral

A couple of weeks ago our class visited the National Cathedral and it was a really fun experience. One of the striking things about the building is the cool gothic architecture. It’s such a distinct building and sticks out, which is cool since it’s a couple blocks away from our apartment. Fun note: one of the gargoyles on the building is in the shape of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

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The inside of the building is beautiful as well. One of the stained glass windows actually has a piece of space rock in it from the moon that is over 3 billion years old! It’s hard to tell in the picture but there’s a little black dot in the window and that’s where the rock is.

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There are tons of other things to see inside such as President Wilson’s tomb and Helen Keller is also buried in the building, which is either creepy or cool whichever way you look at it. If you’re in DC, I’d recommend visiting, whether you’re religious or not. It has so many secular and political things as well, Darth Vader & President Wilson included.

State Department Visit

Last week, our class took a field trip to the State Department. Unfortunately, Secretary of State John Kerry was in the Middle East during the time or otherwise I would’ve found a way to take a selfie with him. We got to see a lot of historic architecture and handiwork inside the building as well as some historic artifacts like the desk the Treaty of Paris was signed on.

statedeptWe also got to see the Jefferson room, which is the room our tour guide said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton preferred to have her photo ops with Ambassadors. After the State Department, we got to visit the Foreign Service and hear a talk about overseas work from one of our professor’s friends.

It ended up being an eventful day and I got to see a lot of history, surprisingly up close, that I didn’t expect. Heck, it even made me debate wanting to do international work in the future.

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21st Birthday!

Last week I celebrated my 21st birthday! It was actually really fun, but not in the way you’re thinking. I had a weekend class seminar about Cryptography on my birthday. Our class spent all day visiting the National Spy Museum and the Cryptography Museum. The course involved a lot of puzzles and math and surprisingly I learned a lot about cryptic messages and the history behind them!

Normally people don’t like being in class all day on their birthday but I did considering I got to visit two new museums I wouldn’t have otherwise! Plus, I got all my gifts and texts wishing me a happy birthday throughout the day so it still felt like my big day.

Plus, I don’t work on Fridays so the rest of the day I had free! I took the time to do some shopping with my birthday money and trust me, it was money well spent. The only weird part of the day was not being on campus with all my friends on my birthday but I was still with the Butler group in DC so all is well!

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Saudi Arabian Embassy

Our DC professor Ivo decided to take us on a field trip to the Saudi Arabian Embassy last week and it was a lot of fun! When we first got there, we were able to look around a bit and the building was beautiful inside. There were so many displays and building models to see.

Eventually we were led in a room to watch a short slideshow about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is definitely one of the most westernized countries in the Middle East and its country’s leaders have had a long history of cooperation and support with the United States. Every single US President has met with the Saudi Arabian leader since FDR.

We ended with a couple of us volunteering to try on traditional Saudi Arabian outfits! I got to try on what men traditionally wear in the country and it was so cool. Most of their outfits are long and flowy because of the extreme heat in the region.

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Hometown Tour

As part of my internship, I am able to give tours to visitors to the office/Capitol and recently I was able to give a tour to a group of students from my local middle school/future attendees of my high school. Some of the kids in the group were even younger siblings of friends I graduated with! It definitely showed me truly how small of a world Earth really is.

I got my group of students and parents, many of whom also went to my high school, and we went through the Capitol Visitor Center and began our tour! We got to see all of the cool rooms and I got to inform them of all of the history of the different parts of the Capitol.

When the tour ended, we all got to catch up and they were able to reunite with the larger group and they all went off to see the rest of DC. It was a nice taste of home seeing them and definitely eased my homesickness!

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Veterans Event

Last week, there was an event on the National Mall honoring all of our veterans that died of suicide as a result of their duty. About 1,892 flags were planted and I got to see all of the volunteers as they were finishing putting the flags on the ground.

I thought it was a great thing to witness and also call attention to. It was so great that they were able to put the flags in front of the Washington monument, a site with so many historic events. The weather was also nicer yesterday so it was perfect timing for the event. I’ve also believed making sure our veterans are being taken care of should be one of the highest priorities our country has.

I was able to go see all of it during my lunch break and I’m so glad I did. There was even an info booth so I could find out more information about the issue and also the group that was sponsoring it.

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Music Monday: Because I’m Waggyyyyy

I was browsing the Huffington Post last week and I found the best video ever. I’ve previously documented how much I like the song Happy by Pharrell so you should’ve seen the face of happiness (get it?) I had when I saw that someone made a puppy version of it!

My favorite type of dogs/puppies have to, hands down, be Dalmatians. I deeply admire how pretentious they are and the fact that their spots add character to an otherwise boring breed. But the fact that they possess spots changes everything!

Now I’ve been inspired to rewatch 101 Dalmatians since I don’t remember paying it much attention as a kid. But while I do that, enjoy this puppy music video.

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Visit to the National Cathedral

While in DC, along with my weekly one day a week class, I also have three weekend seminars on various different topics. This past weekend was the first seminar and it was about how Religion and Politics affect each other in America with a guest professor.

One day we got to walk to the National Cathedral to take a tour and try to figure out the political elements involved. We all visited it on our first weekend here but didn’t get to take a tour so it was much more powerful this time seeing the history behind the building.

The building itself is so beautiful and full of grand architecture and statues. It’s kind of overwhelming at first to be struck by just how beautiful and colossal the building it.

We were also able to visit the Mormon Temple and find out more about the Mormon faith as well. It was a cool experience seeing a faith up close that I did not have a lot of knowledge of beforehand and how they fit within the discourse of politics, especially in relation to the 2012 election.

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