I realize that I completely forget to say anything about my visit in DC before our Marshall Orientation began. I arrived Thursday night and had a wonderful visit with Leila and Franna, the friends who hosted me last summer while I worked in the White House. I was also able to get into my office there to visit the staff I had become close with. Luckily, the timing was such that I was able to attend one of the staffer’s good-bye party. It was a true delight to see everyone again.
Friday evening, I met up with Mary’s grand-niece. Mary is a close friend of my grandparents; her niece Amanda just finished a Masters in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown and has begun a job at the United States Institute for Peace. Mary thought Amanda and I might get along very well…and she was absolutely right! We had a great conversation over drinks and an appetizer in DuPont Circle.
I, of course, walked Shammi the poodle quite a fair bit…every time I moved in the house and it wasn’t to take her out, I got in rather serious trouble. When I walked in the door Thursday night, thirteen-pound Shammi nearly took the house down jumping for joy!
Saturday was errand day – and packing panic, as you saw.
(I should mention here that the Marshall Scholars as a whole decided to test our luck…
As the absurd humor of the cosmos would have it, I am virtually the only Marshall Scholar whose carry-on was weighed. So I was made to put my laptops back in my carry-on, and then didn’t have a good way to move around and disguise weight at the gate, so I got the privilege of paying for an overweight bag. Alas for a $50 charge. On the other hand, $50 for a flight to England and two years of graduate school isn’t so bad!)
Saturday was also, however, a lunch meeting with the one and only Chris Heffner, a fellow ADS from Michigan State. Chris is beginning his PhD in neuroscience and linguistics at the University of Maryland and seems to be having quite the delightful time.