Follow me on Twiter!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bikini Bottom!

You're probably wondering why my post title is named after a fictitious city where fires can take place underwater and a sponge is best friends with a squirrel but it makes sense. Today getting off the train I just couldn't understand why the metro station smelt like seafood market.

"It is so stink!"

"It smells like fish", said Audriyana.

"I was think the same thing."

"I call Foggy Bottom Bikini Bottom because it smells like fish sometimes."

I thought that was so hilarious and told her I was going to name my post for the day that. It was the wittiest thing I heard all day and I'm mad I didn't think of that first. Gold.

Is it bad that I want to give D.C. some southern charm. And when I say "charm" I'm talking about a Wal-Mart. I understand it's more space in a city with a population of 50 but areas without a Wal-Mart are missing out. I had to shop in Target when I first got here. Target. I don't even shop in Target back home. Target is too rich for my blood but I'll make do.

I can remember last year when me and three other friends came to visit a friend who attends Howard (the HBCU that gets all the black celebrities and rap song name drops) and we were making fun of how "D.C. is sponsored by CVS." We were kind of ruthless, three to one, but the bus driver stepped in and let us know that the Chuckee Cheese, Wal-Mart, and other pharmacies were in other regions of the DMV area. I'm just saying is our nation capital too good for a Walgreens or Rite-Aid?

I'm still getting used to being charged 5 cents for a grocery bag. Can you imagine if that law was implemented back home. I can hear it now, "I wasn't stealing, I was putting it in my purse since y'all charging for groceries and the bags now." One time I stuffed my coconut oil, shea butter, body wash, and jar of honey in my purse because I honestly didn't need a bag but turned around and held my purse cautiously to not break the glass jars of honey or oil.

Oh let me just air this now since it keeps slipping my mind: I do not like Whole Foods (WF) and I'm borderline with Trader Joes (TJ). I really only like Trader Joes because it's cheaper than Whole Foods. WF is disgusting, I couldn't help but grimace as I walked down the aisles. Organic food just seems so..........bland. Everything about WF just yelled tasteless; I've been conditioned to Wal-Mart, Kroger and Piggly Wiggly too long! Why is there an aisle of grains? Like I can't believe people just munch on granola, flax seeds and nuts--unprocessed. See I'm that bad. I just wanted to get out of there. I ended up buying things I haven't ate in years--peanut butter and jelly. Some may say I sound ignorant to the healthy substitute that organic groceries that WF and TJ sell but this my opinion and I can say what I want. I spent like $30 and bought like six items. WTF. On top of that when I decided to make PB&J; I opened the jar and oil spilled out. "Oil separation is normal." Not only did the oil separate but the "smooth" peanut butter I brought had pieces of peanuts in them. Choosy moms choose JIFF and that's all I have to say about that.

Even though I vowed to never step foot in WF again, I do want to get on a healthier track with the food that I put into my body and definitely when I have children of my own.

Something good came out of the organic groceries I bought: four days of pasta! I decided to make a seafood pasta on Monday and figured half the packet of noodles should be enough for one person. I was so wrong lol. I had enough pasta to feed six people. I was eating pasta for lunch and dinner for the next three days after that. Monday I had seafood pasta, Tuesday I had tilapia with a tomato sauce based pasta,Wednesday I had seafood pasta made with the rest of the pasta from Tuesday (different from Monday), and finally on Thursday I just threw some spaghetti looking stuff on my pasta that my roommate made. It was actually a Ghanaian stew she made but I didn't care I just wanted to get rid of that damn pasta. I will include photos of the dishes I made.

I'm used to sort of a medley of convenient stores, but up here I guess 7-11s are it. 79 cents Parker drinks are swapped for Slurpees! So if you're from Savannah just imagine everyone with a Slurpee cup. Slurpee??? That's a weird name lol. Sluuurrrrppeeeee. You know those words that sound weird when you think about it. Adds Slurpee to list of things to buy before I leave. I've had them before but I call them icees instead but I want to feel like a local and I shall dine on the popular iced pick-me-up on a scorching D.C. day. It's only right.

Earlier this week I attended a lecture with guest speaker, Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute. A nonprofit think tank that supports free enterprise. I enjoyed his message on happiness and the road to get there. Some of his highlights were that a key to happiness is faith, family, and earned success. You have to believe in something and most importantly you have to believe in yourself. Faith to me gives you something to look forward to. I cannot tell you what faith has done for me and how much it has gotten people through tough times. You can't pick your family, ever heard that? It's so true. No family is perfect but a strong family is everything. I'm so thankful I'm not one of those people that got so screwed over by my own blood that I turn my back on them and undermine them to the value of people who have no meaning to my life. I couldn't imagine why people post statuses and tweets publicly letting be known they don't care for their family. You think that's going to bring a family back together? I really don't try to judge people to my ethics, but sometimes I wonder why people run to God when their family and friends don't come through. There's no greater feeling then knowing you deserved what you received. I just don't think people who have slept their way to success on someone else's work has a soul, you don't feel. My words. Probably why when I first got to UGA, I had a moment of thinking my ancestors were right there with me and how I am a product of their success and hard work. Somebody had to fight for African Americans to be admitted in traditional white colleges. According to data that Brooks collected happiness is 48 percent genes, 40 percent transitional periods, and 12 percent lifestyle. Who do you think is more happier: men or women? Women, men fluctuate in happiness and their most depressing age is 45. Inserts Shania Twain "Man! I feel like a woman"

Moving on to my workweek. I said before this is my first time working a 9-5 and mines is fairly enjoyable. I honestly cannot complain that I have a boring internship. My work day doesn't drag. I'm thankful for not being placed at a boring intern site that would make me wish I had something more stimulating and that I didn't come all the way from Georgia for this. I've been at WAMU for three weeks and can say I've never had any watch-the-clock moments.

One day this week a questioned I ask got called "trivial", of very little importance or value; insignificant, thanks Trivial??? "I wouldn't bother with something that trivial", or along those lines. Well excuse me Ms. Intern but I'll ask what I want to ask. Now maybe I could have figured out how to do what I asked, but, I didn't. I'm a very cautious person and when I don't know how to do something or need clarification, I ask trivial or not. Don't get me wrong the other intern I work beside is a nice girl, but to consider my question as trivial is subjective. I'm one of those people that doesn't like to fuck things up. Especially when it ain't my shit. Don't let someone make you feel like you asked a dumb question unless you ask how to turn off Caps Lock on the computer. I asked one of my roommates where was the nearest laundry mat was yesterday and she's steady saying laundry room and how it's one down stairs and why you don't want to use that one. She eventually asked what is a laundry mat and I told her stop talking me and moved on to another roommate. Okay kind of went off track there.

Wednesday I had my first interview and it went great, even though my interviewee was nervous. My interviewee was so nice, after all the searching I did to find one! I finished my first radio piece yesterday and I couldn't help but smile. To know that you completed something with a software that seems so intimidating and technical was rewarding. I only pray that once my supervisor hears it she'll like it too. If so, it will be my first solo project aired on the radio. I find joy in any little thing I do and accomplish. When I was first introduced with Adobe Audition I thought how much there was to learn about it, I mean this is my first time using any type of editing software. Windows Movie Maker? Pssh? This is the stuff jobs ask what type of experience do you have and now I can put Adobe Audition, it is the 1.5 version (that's what the station uses). Can't wait to share it when it's ready for air!

I have been blogging through a headache so I am done......for today.
Jusqu'à la prochaine fois!

Arthur Brooks lecture 
 Monday: Before I added the pasta.
Tuesday: Don't laugh at my tilapia (it broke during flips). Still was delicious.
Wednesday: Honestly, this was my favorite of the week. They were all good but I loved it.
Don't have Thursday!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

That's No Way to Sightsee!

Ladies and gents you're in for a treat, I have so many pictures to share with you from this week but as you know pictures come at the end!

My second week in D.C. has once again been filled with memories that I can hopefully remember for years to come, but then again what's this blog for right. My schedule is pretty much: I intern by day and take classes by night; except for Fridays, no work just class. This is my first time experiencing a real 9-5 and I can tell you: It's really what you make of it and based your profession. One would say sitting in front of a computer all day is no fun, even boring; but when that's a requirement and detrimental for research with your job, it's really not all that bad.

This older woman who works at the station and probably goes through each and every "insert bleep here" word in a day is that personality added to your workspace that makes you say, "I love working here". Does her use of profanity make me cringe? Not at all, especially when you use it yourself. She's a pro at using at least one in every sentence. Not only does she give me compliments and good mornings, but I got a "What's that broad's name? Tayla?" I would be lying if I said I even got slightly offended, if anything I responded with, " It's Kayla." Then I got the run-down that where's she's from "broad" in her book isn't bad, she uses it for everything. To each it's own. Some people may not understand why it didn't bother me but I just didn't care to get my panties in a bunch. She's a cute older woman who has much higher ranking in office than I and I would not work in an environment where I felt condescended nor disrespected.

I had my first Man On the Street assignment Tuesday and man was it nerve wrecking. First time using the portable recording equipment for interviews and first time actually having to tell someone "it'll only take a minute of your time." Thank God I've never been rude when I was on the receiving end, cause now I'm in their shoes. My assignment was to ask people to describe D.C.'s heat that day in one word. I actually got a ratchet and trifling (which didn't make it one air), muggy, delectable, and lovely are just a few. But if you had to ask me--it felt like home. I mean I can compare a hot D.C. day to a Savannah day and wish I could just jump in a pool until I look like a California raisin. Some people were very receptive, some weren't but it didn't matter--I was a Woman On the Street. I decided to try my first food truck once me and the other intern was finished. The choice: a taco truck. I saw shrimp tacos and thought hmmm, I like shrimp tacos, but I was clouded by the idea they'll be similar to Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Athens (Oh how I love those tacos). After waiting for ten minutes (in the heat) this lady comes back and makes a fairly friendly complaint on how naked the tacos were and how the shrimps are in comparison to fruit loops in size. I'm thinking she's probably overreacting with the frosted cereal comment but she was not. I mean these were the flimsiest little shrimps I EVER seen, not even worthy enough to be called shrimps--shrimp are my favorite food. The shrimps could sit on a dime, no lie. Paid for it so I ate it, lesson learned.

Had my first low of my time here in DC--my midterm in my Ethics course. I didn't even get to finish. A midterm and the next week a final examination. I just think it's dumb to have a month of school with only three full weeks and have a midterm and final. By time you take the midterm the final is right around the corner. Yea it sucked to know you didn't do well on something automatically but that sucky feeling is so bad you never want to feel it again. I could have let that affected my week, but what would get done? Time won't go back. However, I do have a professor that is flexible and is one of those professors that actually cares and sees the potential in students. So cross your fingers for me. But there's redemption in the final.

I randomly had a I want a Jeepers Creepers 3 moment this week. I love those movies and how all the black people survived in Jeepers Creepers 2, only horror film I can think of where all the black people survived.

Thursday I was assigned to Mayor Vince Gray of the District of Columbia press release for his next steps on education reform in the district. I went with an experienced reporter and was her personal assistant/photographer for the day. First time ever seeing cheerleader protestors, I honestly thought they were apart of the mayor's speech. "Shame on Mayor Grace, don't take publics schools away!", chanted the young protestors. See Mayor Grace is planning to combine the District of Columbia Public School System with it's charters school. The restraint it takes for politicians, presidents, or anyone to give a speech whether for three minutes or 25 and speak through hecklers, boos, disrespect, lobbyists is quite amazing. I don't think I could do it. As the protestors shouted Grace raised his voice but to what extent could I still focus on concentrating. It was definitely an eye-opener in the world of journalism. Not only did I clap for the protesting cheerleading (big no-no, reporters/journalists are objective) but I lost track in where the mayor was in his speech. I did takes tons of pic (God I need a camera, an iPhone can only do so much). I lucked up with that assignment, I got to meet the Chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson, President of Washington Teachers Union, Nathan Saunders (Savannah State University alumnus), and D.C. councilmember, David Catania. All three of prominence in the D.C. region and I got to shake their hand. Councilmember Catania complimented my blazer three times! A blazer I got for a buck at Plato's Closet back home (get compliments on that blazer every time I wear it actually), even the reporter I was with couldn't believe how many powerful D.C. people I got to met.

On the way there actually the reporter shared some knowledge with me that I honestly didn't think off: She said upfront that broadcast journalism is hard and a lot of interns don't make it. Its relentless and I told her I believe the journalism students, in my generation, we're blinded by dream jobs we read about, see on TV and here on the radio. It's only honestly how I got sucked in. She revealed to me how she started off in television and much of the interns she started out with dropped out because they want a social life. That honestly scared me. To hear that the platform I hopefully want to work on one day can chew me up and spit me out alive. Yes times have changed since she was an undergraduate but not by much. You're not going to be shipped off to some big city where you'll have a daytime or evening show and become a household name for news overnight. Small cities are where you need to start and how interning back home where you'll familiar with the city and people are so much more convenient is what she revealed. In television you'll work crazy hours, practically everyday and being tossed in a big unfamiliar city and trying to work and maintain a personal life, you can't do both. But home you'll have support (friends/family), you'll already have connections and won't be tossed in the middle of nowhere. Overall her message was balanced. Now I don't have to start in Savannah but I do have to realize I probably won't start in New York or California either, but I'll get there. What I want to say as well is: If you haven't tried the opportunities and doorways in your hometown, how can you assume you'll be better or know what to do somewhere else?

D.C. is full of life even though I saw only one gas station today, bad weaves are leading to good, and after I ride the metro I no longer smell my perfume. But still I love this place. There is always something to do here: museums, restaurants, parks, tours, events, just so much to do in Obama's hood. Recently I went to Jazz in the Garden (National Gallery) and I never wanted a pitcher of sangria so bad in my life: 1) I was hot. 2) I'm 21. 3) Everyone else had one, wanted one too. Every place you can think of to put a blanket or chair was occupied with garden-goers. It was like a class reunion, but in the thousands and no yearbooks. PERFECT place for coworkers to let loose after the end of a work week, friends to discuss their week, a couple to enjoy each other's company or a family outing. I wasn't paying attention to the jazz much, don't get me wrong love me some jazz but I'm a people watcher so I was watching people. A beautiful moment: this man proposing to his girlfriend in front of the crowd, I can only assume the unison of "aaaawww" came from the women attendees (me included, so cute).

First pitch ever got approved by my supervisor this week, pretty exciting. I'm not going to reveal it because I rather just make it a surprise so once it's published on air, I will link it ASAP. Got an interview for 1/2 the portion of the Door to Door segment I will be producing on the show, so I'm happy to get started with that next week. I can only assume after this week, the days will go by even faster and it'll be mid July before I know it.

I got to visit the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress today where me and Taryn, me and her love touring the city, got reader cards. I will be back to use it in the genealogy room, maybe I can trace my roots.

Ah before I forget I had a soft shell crab sandwich for the first time today at the restaurant in Eastern Market. The bread was delicious, the coleslaw ( one of many foods on my What I Don't Eat list), tomatoes (I despise tomatoes), and deep fried crab (deep + fried just sound so artery clogging) ended up with a 9 out 10 (thank the coleslaw and tomatoes for that). See that sandwich made someone as picky as me a believer. Each and every layer of that sandwich was fresh. The sweet hint of the coleslaw balanced out the ocean of the crab. I'm telling you even if you have foods you won't eat, put that aside and dine in fine cuisine! Oh and the sweet tea..........YEEESSSS to a place up north that 1) sells sweet tea & 2) had tea that was sweet. Thank you!

Took me a hour and a half to write my week! Please enjoy the photos!
 The food trunk I where I got those JUMBO shrimp tacos.
I got to go to a lecture where Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spoke.
Some chicken place around the corner from my job with good fried plantains.
Mayor Grace (center) speaking with attendees at his press release.
 Nathan Saunders
Councilmember David Catania

 A sculpture at The National Gallery of Art, Jazz in the Garden.
That's just a view from across the fountain, doesn't do it justice.
National Press Building where TFAS held Journalism Awards ceremony.
On way to Eastern Flea Market.
 Bakery in Eastern Market
 Eastern Market
 African street drummers.
 Soft shell crab sandwich. YUM

 Flea Market where I brought some cute $5 shades.
 First gas station seen since I've been in D.C.
Me in front of the Capitol building. Beautiful.

 $5 shades.
 Liddle ole me in front of the Supreme Court Justice (which was under renovation, that's a backdrop).
 Side show of the Library of Congress.
 Library of Congress front shot.
 Gorgeous mosaic ceilings.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mon semaine première

This will pretty much be a compilation from everyday this week, even though I've tried to update daily as much as possible. So let's hear about week one.

My first week alone made me appreciate my hometown a little more. To complain about Savannah traffic is like someone complaining about the winters in Miami. If you get my point, the traffic back home is nothing in comparison to cities such as DC, where just the streets are as confusing as their addresses. You may see a street sign that reads Constitution Ave and under it is 1200, which can translate to......on the 1200th block of Constitution Avenue blah blah. Back home I hear the word 'block' but I rarely use it, not shame to say I didn't understand what it meant either, but I have seen the light. 'Block' is very similar to how we say 'street', yes street is more broad and can mean anything but back home one would say "three streets over", "up the street" or "bout a street up" compared to up north; here every 'street' is replaced with 'block'.

You know I'm starting to really fall in love with this place and it's only week one. Now there are some things I can do without. Starters, I don't like the Metro. Yes, you read correctly. For one, I wouldn't say the metro is wallet-friendly that much. You can purchase a weekly unlimited for $36 but I mean calculate how much you're spending a week, a month, a year on Metro passes. Maybe this is just my "visitor" talking but honestly compared to gas it's not that off. But on the plus side if you have a car it's better on your miles, maintenance and finding parking here is madness, but these are just my opinions only.

Second, I would want to live and work in the midst of everything. I will possibly regret that because in a city that is in motion 24 hours when will one sleep, find quiet or get a little peace. But this city has so much inside it, you want to be at the center of everything.

DC is nothing like back home, there's so much in your reach one cannot complain how boring and slow it is. See back home there are things to do but you more so have to be creative in what there is to do versus DC. So to my generation, I strongly suggest going out and seeing what this country has to offer first before you want to go abroad; there are some fascinating places at home as well.

Even though I am paving my way and starting to lay a foundation for myself in the communications and journalism world in U.S. headquarters, I still drift off in sadness. Have you ever just had a moment where you think about someone and say "I can't believe they're dead." It's an amazing feeling and amazement does not have to be connected to just positive only. No, it can adhere to anything. It's amazing when you really want to talk to this person, it's amazing when it's a birthday, it's amazing when you wear their favorite color, and it's amazing when that person is not there anymore. The comfort of knowing someone will always be with you spiritually doesn't console forever, especially not in the early stages. I couldn't tell you what works for me.

Once I snap back into the moment I let my mourning and focus become one and have to understand it's all a part of reality. A reality you have to face at...the same damn time. On one hand I'm sad and the other I'm excited about the many opportunities that await me this summer.

There's no way I will go into the new school year without an incredible story that starts out "Omg while I was interning in DC......" This I promise. I have a good feeling that this summer will be unforgettable, mainly cause it started on a bad note, has to get better.

So far I got to see a friend from high school, that I missed dearly and got to enjoy what I like to call a Failed Friday. Shop at Chinatown, which is more like a whole bunch of Chinese restaurants and places with it's name translated in Chinese underneath, but still a cool place. Go down to the waterfront with a friend from UGA, treat ourselves at a semi-fancy seafood restaurant (the southern in us) and walk in a complete circle just to end up calling a cab (and getting ripped off). To ending my weekend in Sunday service and studying.

All the fails, money spent, time wasted, you know the things that make you go "ugh" are still memories. I for one will not draw more light to them but leave them in the past where they belong. I'm 21 and if I haven't made mistakes or had "spills" along the wait yet, I might want to get myself checked out.

I'm not going to end this on my typical French note but instead with a verse from one of my favorite Outkast songs.

"Don't let the days of your life pass by"

Do you need to know which side is mine?

These guys were really nice & fun even though it was Fail Friday lol
Just walking around Chinatown
 Où moi et Taryn ont mangé le diner.
C'était délicieux!
Me et Taryn (so fuzzy yuck)
 Je te dis le waterfront est beau!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hello Intern

*I am doing this post for June 12 even though it has been posted June 14

My first day officially starting the program was today (Tuesday) and I was pretty anxious and nervous on what all I would be doing. I never could say I interned, was an intern or am interning until today. Today I can add intern to my resume, that's nice.

WAMU is one transfer and roughly nine stops away from George Washington University (GWU), so I don't encounter that much people-traffic once I get further down the red line to Tenleytown (that's where WAMU is located). I arrived about 30 minutes early, mainly because it was my first day and since I wasn't able to do a run-through when I first arrived I wanted have enough of a window in case I got lost. Lost? Not even close, I arrived so early I opted for a quick breakfast at Panera Bread. The station is just right around the corner from metro, so I don't have to walk far at all.

I was nervous on meeting the manager producer for the first time, but who wouldn't be nervous on meeting their boss. We had been keeping in touch since my interview in April and seemed really excited to me as much as I was for her. First impressions are everything right? My first day I wanted to look like I meant business but wanted to give off that ole southern charm that not all everyone can say they have. Southerners are unique people.

The station is very laidback in their wear, but even though people do wear jeans, I won't be. I figured I even though the dress code is business casual and I did bring jeans, I also spent money on a good amount of business clothes. And I want to show that I can still be fashionable in and casual in my outfits. That reminds me, I came to DC with five FIVE pairs of shoes. Anyone who knows me (or if you don't) five pairs of shoes isn't even a fourth of my closet, but I had so much trouble packing so I sacrificed shoes. However, I'm going to make it work and hey that gives me an excuse to buy shoes up here right.

There's one other intern there, a graduate student, she seems pretty much into her work. We've had small conversations since I've been there but she's been there for a month already so she already has her work mentality.

The station has it's order, but it you won't find boring cubicles here. No. You'll see people working on deadlines, headphones in place, and how much computers are best friends. You wouldn't understand how much technology means to this world, economy, society until you're placed in an environment that depends on it; in this generation and country--that's pretty much everyone and everywhere.

My first day was pretty cool six hour day but I would say the day didn't drag. I was given a tour, showed how interview recording equipment works, saw the different studios, and lastly the area where I will be working. No I don't have my own desk, more like a pick and choose of four computers, haha. Oh and I got my picture taken with a quick biography sent to everyone at the station as the new intern. Kayla is here people and I'm not going anywhere for the next two months.

With my first intern day done, next up was class. Once I got off at the Virginia AU-GMU station I got lost. Partially because I didn't look up how to get there before I got there and the person giving me directions.............wasn't the best. Besides the metro ride there being about 45 minutes so I did arrive to class not too late.

Class is looooooooooooooong. Three hours of literally lecture style with no PowerPoint. Before I even got to class I already tuned out, that's what being somewhere previously for six hours than doing a three hour class will do to you. I found myself almost acting like a child who couldn't sit still and badly needed some sort of entertainment.

Once class was over we had a guest lecture of journalists who have mastered the art of religion in the media with Mollie Hemingway, Kevin Eckstrom and Kim Lawton. All three had great advice because if you haven't notice religion stories really don't get much coverage. Instead of the media researching information to be accurate much of everything that  is covered on religion is through biases and very little. Religion in media is one of those topics that gets brushed under the rug because I feel people think it's a sticky topic.

After a 12 hour day I finally made my way back to GWU and tired, so so tired but I have a feeling that this is only the start and you got to start somewhere right. I have so much faith and relatives watching over me (my babies I call them), the doors are opening.

Enjoy a couple of photos from day 2!
Jusqu' a la prochaine fois

 Inside WAMU
 WAMU outside
 George Mason University - Founder's Hall

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"I have arrived honey"............12 Hours Later

*Even though this will be posted on June 12, I am writing for June 10 (been busy since I have arrived).

Five days later from the original start date (June 5), I have finally made my arrival in this nation's capital. A very long 12 hour journey on a bus--that I will never do again, has placed me safely in Washington, DC.

The ride up here started off very lonely, I found myself wiping away tears and thinking how in the hell am I on my way to DC right after a funeral--a very emotional one at that. I purposely picked to leave at night because I figured I could sleep the way there and by morning I will be in DC. Didn't quite happen that way. First was Fayetteville, NC, about 4 hours away from Savannah, this was a one hour rest stop. Next, Richmond, VA, another 4 hours from Fayetteville, but this time a one and a half rest stop. Three hours later I came to my final destination, DC around 9 am.

Once I got to DC I was already updated on the weather with my roommate letting me know it was raining. Raining? I had no umbrella and had 61lbs of luggage on me.

Arriving at the Union Station my first thought was how nice the bus station looked. I mean in my opinion it could almost be compared to the Hilton Head-SAV airport from back home. Definitely does not compare to the bus station back home, not even after renovations are done. So I tuck my blanket & pillow on my luggage and follow the signs leading to taxi services.

The line to get a taxi was ridiculous, it reminded me of this little downtown spot back home called Taco Abajo except the people in line actually had somewhere to be...........and were in business attire........looked middle age.........and didn't have on the latest Jordans or Forever21. I hate lines, so I decided to avoid the 'taxi line' and hop in a incoming taxi doing a drop off.

Finally found a cab but I could not understand the driver. "Am I 18?", is what I honestly thought the driver was saying buuuuuuut he was really saying "Where are you going?" I give him 616 23rd St. NW. He actually tells me "hurry up", so slightly frantic and not wanting to look like a 'tourist' I literally threw my luggage in the trunk. The traffic in DC is pretty major, nothing like I complain about at home, however, a great time to sight see. The drive gave me a moment to see from a rain-dripped window the beauty of the place I will call home for the next two months. Even on a ugly day, there's beauty in the rain.

I always thought that taxi rides pay meters went a mile a second and before you made it down the street you were already at $5. Well I was quite surprise when my total came out to $13.18--my first DC purchase ^__^. Unfortunately I realized I gave him the wrong address and should have given him the address of the housing office. Oh but it gets better. After putting in the "correct address" to Philip Amsterdam Hall in my phone, I see it's only .3 miles, I'm like no biggie so me and my luggage head towards 19th Street. By this time it started o rain and me with no umbrella, two suitcases, not even a jacket, and a head scarf on get to this "correct address" and it's not the right address I was given. Frustrated was not even the word. By then I wanted to turn around head south and tell the city of DC where to go. But I knew getting upset was not got stop the rain nor would everything magically open up a teleportation portal. So I sucked it up looked up the correct address and made my way to H Street.

Two hours later after the Union Station, after the taxi, after the wrong directions, after the rain; I finally was in my dorm and in much need of sleep. Once I got my sleeping beauty time in I decided to venture out to Target. I'm such a southern girl. I pretty much let it be known Walmarts, Kroger and Piggly Wigglys are my thing and where is the nearest place similar to those three. Target? Okay lets go to Target. Lets ride the Metro.

I still had my SmartTrip card from visiting a high school friend from last year but unlike last year I had someone with me who knew where they were going. And that's something I can see the difference from southern to northern. If you hear someone say people from the north move at a quicker pace from people in the south, believe them. Everyone looked as if they had someone where to go, the pep in their step was already there. So if you don't want to get caught looking like a freshman visitor, look like you have somewhere to be. It took me asking every Metro worker, a few random people, and paying an uneccessary fare to finally make it to Target.

Is it a bad thing I felt at home at Target? I mean even back at home I don't go shopping there but I guess seeing something familiar made me feel at ease.

Once I got back to my room  I was able to meet my three other roommates and yea each one of us are from a different walk of life. Hanna, she's from Japan but lives in Canada. Mercy, she's from Ghana but has been living in Michigan for the past three years. Courtney who lives in surburbia Texas. Then there's me, born and raised in Georgia.

My first day in DC was long and all I did was take two hours to get to my dorm, take a nap, face the Metro and go to Target, but all that was tiring and really exhausting. I realized just how nervous yet excited I was to take on DC alone and make my time here the best time. Yea just looking at the summer schedule makes me want to cringe but it's life. Certain things you sign up for and when you do your obligation is the most important thing to honor, not so much for you will not disappoint others but more importantly not disappointing yourself.

Enjoy a couple of photos from day 1!
Jusqu' a la prochaine fois

Passed by the Archives of the USA on Constitution Avenue
Is that a George Washington bust? I think it is.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Past Due

Today should have been my second day in DC in part of my Institute of Political Journalism program (IPJ), but I'm still back home.

Two days before my takeoff, my family and I discovered my aunt had died at her home.

The shock, terror and distraught was almost too much to handle; once again I came to a point in my life where I so badly wanted my reality to be a dream. A dream I could wake up from and no longer attach to my existence. But it was real, it was my life.

I asked myself was I even prepared to what awaited me once I got to my aunt's house. Are you okay?

I was already stressed enough preparing for a nine week program that involved me interning from 9-5 during the week, taking classes for 3 hours, and ending my weekdays at 9 & 10 (maybe even later).

Then the bomb dropped.

My aunt died two days before I am suppose to leave.

My aunt? She was almost like my diary. I called when I was stressed, happy, or just wanting to share what was going on in my life--especially when I was away at school.

That part hit me today. Once school starts back up, I will have no one to call. Yes I have more family and friends, but you know that one person that you're just relieved to talk to--yea that was her.

Boy troubles? Called. School troubles? Called. Family troubles? Called. Thanks for the ear.

Then I had to face whether I was going to continue with IPJ or too overwhelm to do anything. I knew she would want me to go. See my aunt was a huge factor in why I even decided to continue on with the program and take on the opportunities that awaited. I guess you can say she saved me from a boring summer, her and my sister.

I have to continually tell myself to spend money on what really matters.

Missing a funeral is regrettable but missing an event (or anything) that the person who you're grieving wanted you to take part in is worse. I knew if I continued on with the program not only will I be a hot-unfocused mess but the guilt of missing her funeral would consume my whole being.


Plane tickets are a bitch. I'm just going to be honest. Trying to make last minute/sudden changes was going to cost me nearly $1,000. Where's the sympathy. I had to stop. I couldn't look anymore, had to sleep on it and start back again tomorrow.

Tuesday came.

My God was sleep hell. Images, sounds and emotions stayed on repeat all day....all night.....every time I closed my eyes. However, I slept and sleep is good.

I was able to make some other travel arrangements and I'm content. Do I feel our society/economy needs to be more sympathetic to deaths. YES. I don't care whether people use death as an excuse or not, people do really go about their day as normal and get the shocking news that someone has passed, lets stop letting money control us.

Long story short, I am leaving Sunday and will be arriving to DC on Monday.