WDC Blog: An Insider’s Guide from Alumni

Day 6, Friday, May 12, 2017

By Sophie LaSala ’17

For the last full day in D.C we had an early wake up and quick breakfast. Our first stop was the U.S. Capitol. This opportunity was possible thanks to Todd Willens an alumnus of Brewster’s graduating class of 1989.

Before the tour we had an hour-long meeting with Todd in the office of Steve Pearce a congressman from New Mexico. Todd told us about his position as chief of staff and that he has worked for Rep. Pearce for eight years. He also told us about his time at Brewster and it was interesting to hear Mr. and Mrs. Palmer reminisce about what the school was like in 1989.

Ben, one of Todd’s staff members, led us to the amphitheater where we watched a video about Congress and how it is the middle ground of compromise. Once this video was completed we were taken on a tour of the Capitol. We toured within a group tour of about 20 people and listened to our tour guide through a headset and followed him throughout the Capitol. During the tour we got to see and learn about paintings in the building and multiple statues and busts of people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.

After the tour we met up with Curtis Nelson a Brewster alumnus from the Class of 1987 (on right). Nelson works for the U.S. Secret Service. He told us a few stories of meeting with former presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, along with current President Donald Trump.

By the time we were finished with our meetings and tour it was time for lunch. After walking in circles a few times and stopping to ask directions as to where we could get food, we stopped at a pizzeria and a pret a manger. After lunch we headed back to the Airbnb to work on our PBLs.

We began working on our projects around 1:30 p.m. The Holocaust group sat at one table and collaborated, exchanging notes, pictures, and thoughts. We said we would work until 3 p.m. but ended up working a little overtime. In the end we created a PowerPoint presentation with bullet points, maps, and images as well as the notes taken during the Holocaust First Person presentation with our expert Peter Gorog. After working hard on our projects, we took a break. Some of us took a nap while others watched The Office.

At 6:15 p.m. we left the Airbnb and took the metro and an Uber to our dinner in Old Town Alexandria (Virginia). We meet Maria’s aunt at the restaurant and had a nice Italian dinner and celebrated Clare’s birthday. Once dinner and dessert were over we headed back to the Airbnb for the night. Another great day in D.C.

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