My week, as with seemingly every other week since I’ve been here, was jam packed full of interesting things, educational moments, work, and play. Rather than attempting to go through my entire week I’ll touch on a couple highlights. This past Thursday, I attended an all staff meeting for the US Department of Education. Individuals either attended the event in the auditorium, or tuned in virtually from their computer at their desk. Sec. Arne Duncan was speaking, along with others, so I wanted to physically be there at the off chance of getting to meet him. The meeting was very informative and interesting. They discussed numerous initiatives that were going on throughout the department as well as asking for input. After they concluded, I hung around chatting with some of the interns when Sec. Duncan migrated towards us. He ended up shaking all of our hands, saying hello, and actually taking a picture with us. It was definitely nice to be able to interact with someone on that level. His approachable and personable demeanor is something I really appreciate and respect.
Perhaps presumably some of the other wonderful experiences I had came during the weekend. On Saturday I was able to go with a group of friends (mostly fellow interns) to a Washington DC landmark restaurant: Ben’s Chili Bowl. For anyone that is unfamiliar, this restaurant is frequented by many celebrities, state officials, and even Pres. Obama himself. I must say that the food was spectacular and I definitely will be returning.
As a foodie, the final event from the past week that I would like to share with you all is yet another culinary adventure and actually took place today (Sunday). A large group of friends and myself were able to attend a Barbecue Festival held here annually. For any carnivore like myself, my senses were on overload with all of the amazing sights, smells, and tastes. We started the adventure off right by trying something that I’d never had before: chocolate covered bacon. Now before your nose wrinkles, I must tell you, it really wasn’t that bad–in fact the bacon flavor was fairly subdued by the overpowering chocolate, which I felt was a disappointment. When it came time to really chow down, the wonderful people of Safeway came to our rescue. They were holding a free samples booth which was approximately the length of half a football field, but the problem lies in the fact that the line was extremely long. However, a representative from Safeway saw that we had numerous people in wheelchairs and offered some assistance. He brought us an assortment of all their free samples including: meats, salads, chips, and drinks. Not only was this gesture much appreciated, but the food was spectacular! Before leaving the barbecue festival we were able to listen to the live bands and even make some music of our own by visiting the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile and singing the theme song. All in all… I’m working hard, but also seem to be eating my way through the city.