Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello short update

So last night a group of us went to Kramer Books, a small little bookstore with a nice cafe in the back with live music. We departed around 11:30 pm and got back home about 2 in the morning. Walking back home was hilarious. We were all "high on the Thursday night weekend" and hopped up on lots of sugar from dessert. SO fun. I think everyone thought we were drunk, which is ironic, because I'm confident we are the most sober individuals in the DC area right now.

Tomorrow I'm going to help clean the chapel where we attend church, then take a nice nap. Or go to the zoo. Hope you're all doing well. I love and miss all of you.
By the way, I set up a Flickr account for those of you who aren't into the whole reading thing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hello heaping portions of gratitude

Interesting fact: when I was in the MTC anxiously awaiting a departure to Mexico, I was able to visit the Provo temple with my companions. The picture here in front of the Washington Monument is almost an exact duplicate of a picture taken three and a half years ago in front of the temple. Crazy huh.

Anyway. Matthew's mom came into DC yesterday and we all went to the top of the Monument. It was breathtaking. A fitting tribute to such an incredible man.

After that Sue treated us to Hard Times chili and in typical Sonic the Hedgehog fashion, I enjoyed a whopping pound or so of chili dog. Thank you Sue!
As for this little gem...what can I say? I told Gabel before taking this picture that it might be a little corny. Whatever. I love it.

Today I finished my round of the "Americans at War" exhibit in the Museum of National History. Such an Inspiration. Thank God for the countless Americans who gave "the last full measure" to purchase our freedom and well-being as a nation. We owe them more than we can imagine. I hope I can one day live up to that.

On that note, I'm realizing that DC has an effect on me that very few other places can elicit. I absolutely love it here. I love the history behind this place. I love learning more and more about what this country is built on.

I think the longer I'm here, the stronger my heart beats.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hello monday, you bitter monday you

First of all: I love MLK Day. I love celebrating a man who devoted his life to a noble and inspiring cause. I love reading about the civil rights movement and learning about people who were brave enough to stand up to the ignorance and hatred that prevailed for so long in our own country. Thank goodness for people like MLK.

Second: I had to work for most of the day today. I am once again feeling overwhelmed and in over my head. I'm a little discouraged. I am doing my best to keep up with everything and learn. Slow and steady.

Third: I was going to go run this morning to the Lincoln Memorial. That place has become somewhat of a sanctuary, even a temple, to me. I can't describe just how it makes me feel, but I can tell you that the people and things that it stands for are exemplary, inspiring, and full of meaning. I love this country. Before coming here, I had begun to forget that I think.

Well, time for bed. I love you all and hope things are going fantastic.
ps. Quinn, call me back. Colts won on saturday.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hello fire alarm!

What a week! My baptism by fire at work continues as assignments pile up and deadlines approach. Meanwhile, I learn the language of the law, painstakingly slowly at times, but I am learning.
Work was very difficult this week. I think we put in close to 50 hours in four days. There were several points during the week were I just wanted to cry, I was so frustrated. I was telling Brittney, not understanding what is expected in terms of assignments at times is like having a giant army ready to dominate the other, but having to wait for someone to put up a bridge to cross a tiny river. That might not make sense to anyone but myself though. Sorry.
Anyway, I learned that it's natural to be a little (or quite a bit) overwhelmed at the beginning of any great endeavor. I've already invested a lot in this experience, and plan on continuing to do so. So, it's all worth it.
On a lighter note, I made dinner tonight for dinner group and hopefully we don't all get sick tomorrow. Oh, and I set the fire alarm off for the building because I guess I kind of forgot to open a window as I was cooking. Now I have "street cred" for being the first one at the Barlow Center this semester to pull that off.

P.s. I have NO idea how the Vikings or the Colts are doing right now.
And this picture by the way, was taken as a tribute to the arts. Yay for sculptures and fountains and free museums.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hello three day weekend!

My first week of interning has come and gone quickly. At the same time I feel like I've been here a month already with the insane amount of things that have been going on.

First of all, work is intense. There's always a substantial pile of things to get done, and with each of those tasks there are five million new latin words to learn and just as many rules in legal proceedings to familiarize myself with. Thank goodness for Brittney, a patient boss, and the other attorneys at the office. I would be lost without them.

Work, as tough as it can be at moments, continues to push and challenge me in ways I'd never imagined; I LOVE IT. The legal practice is extremely rewarding and invigorating. Every day we spend our time observing, reasoning, deliberating, analyzing, thinking, creating, and using our brains. I like to think that what we've been doing requires a sound moral compass and good judgment. Lots of decisions are to be made and sometimes that's difficult. But wow, I love this.

This is the view from the who-knows-how-many-stories-high-I-think-I'm-going-to-pass-out-because-I'm-afraid-of-heights elevator in the Old Post Office Pavilion. I think it took ten minutes just to get to the top floor. The view from the tower was pretty cool though--we could see the whole DC metro area

Anyway, on Friday I went shopping with my main man Obama. I ended up buying some postcards; don't think I've ever written a postcard before, come to think of it.

Speaking of Illinois politicians, we went to Ford's Theater today. They had a great museum down in the basement of the building. It's amazing to think how much there is to know about just one person, or one event. It seems that everything we see has so much depth to it; there's a rich history to just about anything here in DC, even the sidewalk.

We also had a chance to visit the Holocaust Museum for several hours. I was floored. I had not anticipated such a moving experience, and it was an experience that changed my life. At the end of the exhibit there's a big room with a vaulted glass ceiling and walls lined with candles. Near the center of the room there is a small flame situated under the words of a scripture in Deuteronomy 4:9 that say, "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons." How appropriate, I thought. With all the crap happening right now in Darfur, and with the memory of thousands murdered in Rwanda and Bosnia, how important it is to remember, and learn, and make sure that today the horrors of genocide, or any other ethnic/racial violence, are never able to destroy innocent lives.
Anyway. Sorry to end on that note. It was just such an unforgettable experience, and it's hard not to feel inspired to be a better citizen of the world after that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

day one!

Today was my first day at work, and boy did we just hit the ground running. We work hard here! My first assignment was to read through about 600 pages of deposition! It took about five hours but wow, what a feeling once it was done. Tomorrow our boss and another attorney in the office will be in court; Brittney and I get to tag along. I'm excited to see the proceedings, especially since I won't be the one arguing before the judge.
I'm overjoyed to finally have some more food in my little mini refrigerator. Can't wait to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single day for lunch. Thank goodness for Taquitos. And whole milk.

DC is amazing. Yay(?) for the Metro Rail!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh my wow!

DC is so cool. Really. I had forgotten just how amazing it is here. I haven't even scraped the surface of great places to see, and I've already been wowed.
The Lincoln Memorial was of course one of the first places I had to visit. I unpacked all my things and ran a mile down 23rd to see the monument before it got dark. It was amazing. And freezing cold. But mostly amazing. The two walls surrounding Lincoln's statue had the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's second inaugural speech carved into them in big letters- what an inspiration!
I had to walk home after that. Unfortunately I hadn't realized just how bitterly cold the wind is here. A hoody was definitely not enough to keep my body temperature at a healthy level. And not wearing gloves and a hat? Bad idea.
Later that night I went with some other students to a little hole-in-the-wall kabob restaurant called Moby Dick. I got a gyro sandwich; SO good. And then we walked home and I froze. My roommate and I were so tired that we went to sleep around 10:30, which was 9:30 MN time. My mattress is basically a slab of rock, so of course I slept beautifully and did not wake up with a kink in my neck that still hurts right now.
Church was cool. The ward seems cool--a little old, but hey. We had to ride the Metro to get there, which was fun. Definitely better than walking and freezing your face off. After church a big group of us went on down to the smithsonian's natural life museum or whatever you call it- the one with all the animals in it. Super cool. And it's free!
Anyway, tomorrow we have a big orientation class which should be a good time-waster, then Tuesday we start working. Peace and love to all my home slices out there!