Tuesday, July 20, 2010

(WHITE HOUSE TOUR) Wednesday, June 9th

Tuesday afternoon we learned that our “special tour” on our itineraries was a tour of the White House! At 8:30, we all met in front of headquarters, and as group walked the few blocks to the White House together. Of course, me being my forgetful self left my driver’s license in my room so I had to run back to the dorms, in heels, and then catch up with the group. The tour itself was amazing! After multiple security checks, we finally got into the White House. We got to visit the downstairs area including the library, the vermeil room, the china room, the east room, the green room, the blue room, the red room, and the state dining room. My favorite room was the state dining room because of the flowers on the tables. We learned that a florist has a shop in the basement of the White House and switches up the flowers every 2-3 days and also makes the flower pots. We were the first group of NAIA students to get to go on the tour, so thank you Jennifer Lourie for making that happen!!

After the tour, the group headed back to headquarters to get started on our work for the day. Katie and Tori shared their experiences from last year with us and what they did at their blood drives. They told us what worked for their campuses and what didn’t. Their presentation really helped us to see how much of a difference we can make and that we must never feel discouraged! We took a long break for lunch and then resumed our day with Dr. Richard Benjamin. Dr. Benjamin was one of my favorite speakers in all of the two weeks! He is the Chief Medical Officer for Red Cross. He told us so much useful information for our blood drives. Our current blood drives are on the third floor which is not a good idea at all. Although, I do not know where else our drives could be so that donors have easy access. I asked Dr. Benjamin why women have a tendency to get deferred often because of their iron level. He replied that different ethnicities have different amounts of iron in their bodies and the standard for giving blood is based on Caucasians. I thought this was interesting because I have always thought my iron was low, but from Dr. Benjamin I learned that it may not be!

Our next speaker was Gloria Huang who is a social media specialist for the ARC. She spoke to us about Facebook, Twitter, and blogs that could assist us in gaining support for our blood drives. After her presentation, the group went upstairs to work on our strategic plans! My group consisted of Olivia Goodall (from Atlanta), Kayla Anderson (from Kansas), and Jake Fox (from Oklahoma). Our topic was Support and Sustainability on our campus. We were to discuss how we can gain the support for our blood drives and how we can sustain our success after we graduate in a few years.

After working on our strategic plans until five, the group headed back to the dorms to get ready to go out for the night. A couple of people got suggestions for restaurants from locals so we all decided to go to Nooshi, an Indian restaurant a few blocks away. I had sushi for dinner and it was delicious! Larke, from Mississippi, was sitting next to me and she had never had sushi before so I had her try mine since it was a pretty basic combination and would be good for someone’s first time. I will never forget her face! She was trying so hard to keep it down, she absolutely hated it! That is the last time I will ever suggest somebody try something new!!

After dinner, Amber, Steven, and I went across the street to a sports store. I was in desperate need of a jacket since I forgot mine at home! And they had special edition flat billed Nationals hats so I could get my boyfriend a present! After we made our purchases, we were making our way down the street to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and all of a sudden we were told to stop walking. So curious as we were, we waited right there and a man was rushed out the door of the Palm Restaurant surrounded by security guards and ushered into his black SUV with extreme tinted windows. Turns out, it was the President of Georgia that I was so lucky to get a glimpse of!

I had my first Ben & Jerry’s experience that night, with strawberry cheesecake ice cream and it was delicious! When going to an ice cream place, I learned quickly that you don’t have many options if you don’t like chocolate! Afterwards, Sam, Jake, Larke, Hanna, and I took off for a late night jog down to the Washington Monument. It was so beautiful at night!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out Alex!
    You'd NEVER had Ben & Jerry's before?! What??!