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.
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:
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!
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.
We 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.
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!
Tagged: 21, birthday, bulldogs, butler, cryptography, cryptography museum, dc, indianapolis, national spy museum, selena gomez, university
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!
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.
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.
Besides being happy that I’m in the city in general, I’m also pretty happy that the weather is finally, and hopefully, getting better for good! Words cannot describe how much I hate this cold weather. Is it too hard to ask for 50s-60s weather for a couple weeks!? It’s all I hope and dream for.
After looking up the music video for the song “Happy” by Pharrell, I happened to stumble across this DC music video version of it. The video is pretty cheesy but I like it because I recognize most of the neighborhoods and sites in it, which makes me at least know I know a lot of the city so far.
I’ll get to know even more of the sites when I go on more tours and see more monuments in the upcoming weeks as part of class. I can’t wait to see the Lincoln Memorial since we’ve extensively discussed it in class but I’m just excited to explore all of the history in the city in general.
A couple weeks ago I was able to visit the US Botanical Garden and forgot to blog about it! It it literally right next to the Capitol and all of the Smithsonian museums so it’s pretty convenient to visit.
There are so many cool and exotic plants to see at the garden. It houses tons of plants from around the world at all times of the year. It’s a huge greenhouse and was pretty cool. It was also very warm inside for the plants so I even had to take off my jacket.
I would’ve stayed for a guided tour but since I saw so much in one day I was too tired to participate but maybe I’ll come back at another time to get the full experience. I’d recommend seeing it for anyone visiting D.C.
For my internship, I was able to pick up a book from the Library of Congress and it was an adventure to say the least! I got there easily since it’s across the street from the Capitol and it is a nice, beautiful building. I walked over and got to pass the Supreme Court building and eventually got there. It’s still pretty amazing to me how I pass by all of these awkwardly important buildings every day.
It took me twenty minutes to finally find the room I was going to. After that I was inspired to get a Library of Congress reader card so I could come back other times to do some reading and research and feel important.
Of course I got lost on my way there but I finally found it, got my card, and was on my merry way out! Thankfully it was a little warmer outside yesterday so I wasn’t cold on the way. Overall, it was a pretty funny adventure, even though I had no idea where I was 99 percent of the time.
The Library of Congress building