Money, and policy, and government oh my!

As promised here is the long-awaited Washington DC blog…..

I really just want to sum it up in five words (I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE), but I guess that defeats the purpose of a blog so….here comes the incessant details!

When I arrived at Dulles International right outside of the city, I hopped on the bus to the first Metro stop. I assumed this would be you know…a 10-15 minute ride. Try more like over an hour!  After finally arriving at the Metro station (in the 48 degree rainy weather) I then had to wait outside for 20 minutes because OF COURSE the metro had “scheduled maintenance” and was only running one way.  I just realized those last few sentences sound rather cynical so…disregard those and let me remind myself that waiting in freezing cold rain still means that I WAS IN THE NATION’S CAPITOL!

A few of the students had arrived a night early, and when I made it to Chinatown (where we were staying) I quickly refreshed and we headed out for a night on the town.  Sara, a fellow Economics major, had visited another Millsaps student in DC for a week this summer so she quickly gained the nickname “tour guide Sara” and began to guide us across town in pursuit of a particular Mexican restaurant. After trekking through a number of dark alleys and back streets (and after many complaints from her followers) we found the restaurant, and let me just say it was THE best start to the trip.  The atmosphere was very metropolitan, and it just felt like everyone there did something cool and important for a living, which meant that one day we would be that cool!

After dinner we ventured out to experience DC nightlife, and again I was in awe at how much I loved the city.  I had visited twice before, but it just isn’t the same exploring the city on a tour bus with you parents (although that’s great too) as exploring the city on your own with a group of friends from college. 

I’ll spare you the details of DC nightlife which forces you to want to come to Millsaps and be an Economics major just to find out right? Right!

We spent the next day exploring the Smithsonians, stuffing our faces, stumbling upon the Turkish festival, and doing a lot of other DC like things.

I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures, but you get the point right? DC is fabulous.

Official trip duties began the following morning with a trip to the American Banker’s Association to visit with the head of the Research department, Ryan Zagone, a 2008 Millsaps grad. If you like lots of economic talk and want to hear everything we discussed, subscribe and I’ll give details.  SInce I can assume most of you don’t…just know he was ridiculously smart and made me want to ace every class to have a shot at a job like his.

Following our visit to the ABA we walked down the street to the new Bobby Flay restaurant “Bobby’s Burger Palace”.  Yea Ryan Zagone was cool, but THIS was way cooler!  It was a gourmet burger joint that had the BEST burgers I have eaten.  Literally. I am a burger gal too so take my word for it!

We departed Bobby’s Burger Palace and headed to the Federal Reserve building to meet with Governor Betsy Duke. Along the way we took pictures in front of the White House (a DC tourist must do this), loitered in front of the FDIC (it was raining ok!), went to a number of museums that are apparently closed on Mondays, and finally ended up in the right place!

Once at the Fed we were given a tour of their art collection (yes, apparently the Federal Reserve has quite the collection of art), and we were able to meet with Governor Betsy Duke.  Governor Duke appeared to be for lack of better word a “firecracker”, and it was great to see such a powerful headstrong woman doing so well in the career world.  One of her staff members was able to meet with us as well, and happened to mention that her nephew is a freshman at Millsaps.  See! Small world, Millsaps connections are EVERYWHERE!

After the Fed we returned to the hotel to prep for our alumni reception that night to be held at Bar Dupont, right smack dab in the middle of Dupont Circle.  The reception was organized by the previously mentioned Ryan Zagone, and was quite the success.  Recent alumni living in the DC area gathered over dinner to share with us their tricks of the trade, tips for securing a job in DC, and overall “life after Millsaps” words of wisdom.

The next day was our last in DC, and we started off with a visit to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.  Again, the Dean of the Else School made a couple of phone calls, and we were able to waltz right in and receive a behind the scenes tour of the capitol…nbd.

Yes, this is what we do while at the capitol...

When the visit at the US capitol concluded official trip duties did as well, and we each departed ways.  The professors of course had early flights to Jackson, and we had booked the last flight possible to once again maximize DC time! The few of us that hung around made our last visits to the Smithsonians, the archives, and shopping of course and when our legs could go no more retired to the lobby of the hotel.  In true Millsaps student style, we began studying for the approaching midterms that we had ignored all weekend, and took full advantage of the free cookies offered!

Around 5:30 it was finally time to depart for the airport, and we did so with a drag in our pace and sadness to leave such an amazing city. 

Side story- While at the airport we decided that it was in all of our economic best interest to play the McDonald’s Monopoly game, which required all five of us (even though most weren’t even hungry) to purchase McDonald’s.  Of course I was the only one that happened to order something without the peel off stickers, but hey I got to fly first class FOR FREE so they can keep their “free Mcflurry”!

After all of that elaborate detailing of a four-day trip, I am having quite a difficult time coming up with a concluded sentence here.  So instead of trying to sound witty and complete I will instead give you a very fragmented simple sentence. Economics is the best.

I really just put this in here to embarrass "Tour guide Sara"

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