An update from Brad, a junior with a double major in economics and CCPA, and a history minor:

The day started off bright and early at 4:00 a.m. I was hoping that my shower would help wake me up, but instead I had to rely on the generated excitement for my trip that was about to begin.

Once boarding the plane, I met a nice girl named Amanda, a financial analyst from Dallas who was also going to the Inauguration. Luckily, she had a family friend with a law firm that overlooks the Inauguration site. She had been to the two previous Inaugurations, and she informed me a little bit about the experiences that I would have and what I should expect from my trip. After talking to her for about 45 minutes, I dozed off to sleep. I was woken up by Amanda talking in her sleep shortly before we landed. I woke up just as we were flying over all of the glorious monuments that Washington D.C. has to offer.

Once we got our luggage, we trekked through the terminal to the metro. You always see quite the interesting people in that area, especially the man who was just putting his pants back on at the bottom of the escalator. We got to our hotel, and with the brilliant planning of the CCPA faculty and staff, it is right across the street from the Metro entrance. Since our rooms were not ready, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and made our way through the cold weather to the Newseum. This building has so much to offer, with history of the news, along with galleries of historic news events that took place in our nation’s history.

We were fortunate enough to be able to sit in on a short lecture/question-and-answer session with Stephen Hess, the author of What Do We Do Now? A Workbook for the President-Elect. It was interesting to hear Mr. Hess’s brilliant insights on certain perspectives of the political arena. After hearing Mr. Hess speak, we had a brief meeting with a senior CNN producer who briefed us on the workings of the news coverage of the Inauguration.

Despite the cold weather and waking up at 4:00 a.m., the first day has been quite a journey, and I am looking forward to what is in store for me across the next few days.