Betty Takes DC: Day 2

The journey continues

Main Events

-Mount Vernon


-Formal Introduction Dinner


Today was a “relax” day, which was purposefully lightly scheduled to allow delegates’ bodies to readjust from the double whammy of daylight savings ending and a new time zone.

Our first stop was at Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s plantation. The historic mansion is gorgeous. However, the most amazing part is imagining it as the actual home of Washington. After his presidency, it had over 600 guests, often uninvited, in one year. Can you imagine the immense amount of history that took place within those walls? Where all the founding fathers could discuss our “Grand Experiment” as Washington so aptly put it, over a cup of tea. The most surprising aspect of the home to me was the vibrant. “historically-accurate” colors. The walls were painted various shades of colors that seem better suited for an 80’s throwback party than a President’s home. The various teals and greens created a very festive environment. The mansions’ grounds were gorgeous, with a splendid view overlooking the Potomac River.

We attended lunch on the terrace level of the Newseum, in a room with the perfect view of the Capitol. Following lunch, we went onto the deck to gain a better view. This was the first moment that the trip became real to me. Seeing 104 suit-clad high school students and our 17 fully dressed military mentors taking numerous selfies with the Capitol in the background was a moment to behold. The selfie-taking frenzy really struck me as unique to the current times and the youth in America today. Instead of asking someone to take their photos, most people just simply switched the camera and took one of themselves, no doubt sending them out to the world via snapchat or instagram.

The sleek Newseum, a museum of journalism, is filled with the history of documenting history. A section with original newspapers in chronological order spanning from 1455 to current day intrigued me the most. The style of newspapers has changed such radically with the design elements we implement with computers today. Can you imagine The Epic with all impossible-to-read small text? While the Newseum did highlight the changes in the ways journalists communicate, with the vast mediums computers provide, it reaffirmed my beliefs about the need for a strong print media.

During our formal dinner, we were formally introduced to all of our military mentors. These highly accomplished officers come from every branch of the military. They facilitate our tours with staunch efficiency, and provide great insight to their assigned groups. All of the mentors are so inspiring! Their immense education and work backgrounds make me want to achieve something great.

While today was amazing, I can’t wait to start our more formal programs. You’ll have to wait and see whom I get to hear from, as for security reasons we aren’t allowed to speak of the engagements beforehand.