By Rachel Miles
Early on the morning of March 20, fifty-three honors students piled onto a bus waiting for them in the Bast parking lot to embark on a journey to Washington, D.C. for the weekend. This trip is offered every year to all non-freshman honors students to explore the city of D.C. and to interact as a community. This year’s trip was led by Dr. Michael Hakkenberg, Director of the Honors Program, and Dr. James Hargrove, Associate Director of the Honors Program, as well as a committee of dedicated students who worked to set the schedule, buy tickets, and get all of the details in order. After four or so hours with a quick break in the middle, the bus finally arrived at the Hotel Harrington, which would become home for the next two nights.
After about an hour for lunch and unpacking, the group split to visit either the Newseum, a museum highlighting journalists and newspapers throughout history, or to travel to the Capitol Building. At the Capitol, students were given a tour of all the main rooms. At the end of the tour, students had the opportunity to sit in the meeting room of the House of Representatives. It was an incredible opportunity to walk in places where history was made.
The rest of the night was then open to the students and what they wanted to do. The fifty of us dispersed for dinner and shopping and napping. At seven, there was a chance to join a walking tour guided by Dr. Hakkenberg around the monuments of DC to learn more about the history and experience the important architecture of the city.
The first night concluded early for some and later for others, but the whole troupe was gathered downstairs at ten o’clock the next morning to attend the next planned activity. Some went to the Holocaust Museum where they were able to witness memorandum from such a horrific part of history. Others visited the Library of Congress, followed by the United States Botanic Garden which boasted a wide array of plants from around the world. A third group toured the National Zoo. Afterwards, everyone was invited to eat lunch together in Chinatown before dispersing to enjoy the city on their own. DC was full of museums, art galleries, and historical monuments to explore. That afternoon served as only a taste of all the city had to offer.
The night allowed opportunities for either an opera or a comedy show. The stand-up comedy routine was called “On Capitol Steps” and brought humor with a political twist to The Reagan Center. The opera was “The Flying Dutchman” and gave the students the opportunity to dress up and experience the German opera of tragic love.
On the final morning of the trip, students could either visit an arts market or attend a service at the National Cathedral. Following these, students made the journey back to campus, arriving back on campus around 5:00 p.m., concluding the Honors D.C. trip of 2015.