An update from Kayla, a sophomore political science and world languages major. She is studying to what extent Chief Justice Rehnquist succeeded or failed in aligning his court with his political ideology on three topics – abortion, states rights and Miranda rights:
I’m sitting in my own bed once again, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about the prospect of sleep.
We have come to the conclusion of our trip to DC, and my happily ever after includes a full night’s sleep, something I have been deprived of all week. But despite my exhaustion, I come back from our class trip with a multitude of positive memories. The city itself is beautiful, with a deep sense of American history at every turn. You can breathe in the connections to the beginnings of our government and nation. The monuments dedicated to preserving the memory of our most famous and cherished institutions, leaders, and legacies fill the city with a sort of ancient and benevolent feeling of wisdom.
The research we have conducted has been amazingly insightful and precious as well. I now have an even deeper understanding of the Supreme Court. After having peered through a magnifying glass at old cursive handwriting, I have also vowed to myself that if I am ever to become a justice on the Supreme Court, I must ensure that every single piece of handwriting I ever scribble down, may it be the simplest memo to a clerk, be in the most pristine and clear fashion as possible.
I have also come much closer to my classmates in this journey. I have learned something about every single person on this trip. Jamie is the fastest walker I have ever seen. Terisha wakes up extremely early every morning to work out. Anton is amazingly durable even when doing hard research with the flu. Sydney loves Taylor Swift. Ryan wears sandals with socks every day unless he feels particularly swanky due to the influence of his beverage of choice. Lily is about as much of a morning person as me (i.e., not at all). Adam loves movies, including old classics with Audrey Hepburn. Kelsey is a bit of a germophobe and is always willing to hand out hand sanitizer. Daniel is immensely proud of his home state of Georgia and will find any and every opportunity to brag about it. Mollie is going to law school, especially since she rubbed John Marshall’s foot. Langston has three questions that he asks everyone he knows, although you don’t get to hear all of them all at once. And Kobylka actually has a human side to his personality, much to everyone’s surprise.
I have also learned something about myself. I have an unexpected passion for reading through personal and formal papers of old dead guys. I already have a few more ideas of things I would like to research about the Supreme Court should I ever go back to the Library of Congress. This will be one of those trips I never forget. It has been an amazing opportunity that I still feel so lucky to have experienced. I can’t wait to go back through all I have learned and develop my knowledge and understanding even further. However, first I’m going to sleep like a bear in hibernation.