I’m not a huge fan of change. I like routine; sort of knowing what’s coming in a general sense. In short, NOT living on the edge.
Therefore, coming to Washington, D.C. made me a little nervous, but stepping out and trying new things is an important part of life, right? So I packed my bags and journeyed forth to lovely Washington, D.C., the home of the nation’s capital, beautiful monuments, fascinating museums and lots of joggers.
When I arrived in D.C. I had to start getting used to my new surroundings. This is always tough for me to do. There were lots of new people, a new living arrangement, new ways of getting around, etc. And, of course, lots of learning. So here is a little bit of what I’ve learned so far:
Transportation in the city is different from anything I’ve ever experienced before. The streets in Washington appear to have been laid out with the express purpose of frustrating drivers and endangering the lives of pedestrians. It’s odd when the most convenient way of getting around involves being shot through underground tunnels at alarming speeds. But that’s the beauty of the Metro and I think it works out pretty well.
I mentioned earlier that there are a lot of joggers in D.C. Their favorite place to run seems to be on the National Mall. I joined their ranks during my first weeks here and it was definitely a unique experience. The first time I ran to the Mall it was in the evening. I passed at least nine softball or kickball games on the grass and countless other runners. I felt like I was part of a big running club; it was fantastic.
Other parts of my Washington experience are less exciting but equally important. For example, I’m realizing that sometimes learning new things is a matter of survival. Since the WJC program does not involve a cafeteria or meal plan, I have had to fend for myself in terms of food. Unfortunately, I’m not the best of cooks, but I’m slowly learning. Emphasis on “slow.” My wonderful mother, knowing of my deficiency in this area, cooked a pot of sloppy joes that she sent with me to put in my freezer when I first arrived. I’m still working my way through it, but I plan to cook and eat my own dinner sometime soon…after the sloppy joes are gone.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m very happy to be here. My experiences are teaching me a lot and I’ve met some wonderful people. I know that when I go back to Ohio, I’ll have some great new perspectives…and a new appreciation for my good old routine.