Student Experience Blog

A reflection on my D.C. escapade

The latter half of my time in Washington, D.C. turned out to be much more eventful than life before and during the shutdown. What began as a paying-your-dues internship – answering phones, sorting mail, and handling faxes – gradually evolved into meaningful work experience. I wrote letters to constituents, sat in on more committee hearings, conducted more research, and even made it onto C-SPAN a couple times.

In November I was able to road trip up to New York for a three-day weekend. It was my first time seeing Wall Street, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, and other N.Y. sights. I could also cross the state, along with New Jersey and Delaware, off my list of unvisited states.

For Thanksgiving my family – my parents, brother, and sister – came to the District. For two of them it was their first time in D.C. During this visit and other occasions throughout the semester when friends came, I saw the same monuments, museums, and memorials again and again but I always enjoyed each one as much as I had the first time. By the time my family came, White House tours had just resumed after an eight-month hiatus. That’s why I was pleased to lock one in for the first day they were in town. We spent our Thanksgiving meal at Gadsby’s Tavern in old town Alexandria, Virginia. Around since the eighteenth century, the place reeked of history. It was a favorite destination of George Washington’s, and each of the first five presidents ate there at some point in their lives.

With a week left, having lived in a sports town for as long as I did, I figured I couldn’t miss every NFL game being played there. And I had never been to one before. So some friends and I got tickets when Kansas City came to town. We figured they were a good team, and this would be our chance to see a potential playoff team. On the claim that the Chiefs were good, we were right. Unfortunately, we were too right. It was the Redskins’ biggest home blowout since 1998 and to make matters worse it turned out to be the first snowy game in D.C. in decades. Regardless, we found a way to make it entertaining.

I flew home in time for Christmas and I’ll be back in Caldwell for winter term. It was an experience of a lifetime made possible by C of I. Now I’m looking forward to getting back to school and using what I learned from my internship in the classroom.

- Gabe Osterhout

Gabe is a sophomore Political Economy major from Boise, Idaho.