David in Washington DC

David is a sophomore Hunt Scholar majoring in political science, economics and public policy in Dedman College. In Spring 2010, he is studying international law at American University in Washington, D.C. He also will travel to New York and Europe to tour international organizations and hear a live debate in the International Court of Justice.

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The Big Apple and big snow

ATT00001.-2.jpg As most people around the United States know, two weeks ago the Northeast and the rest of the United States was hit with a large snowstorm. Our class was supposed to travel to New York on Sunday, but the entire D.C. area shut down the Friday before we left. With two feet of snow on the ground, everything was covered. By some luck our bus got out late Sunday night. It took us an hour to get out of the D.C. area, and we arrived in New York late that night.

19866_1367749955154_1273830047_31096841_403254_n.jpg The next day we woke up early to walk to the United Nations. I had never been in New York before so I was excited to see the city. Arriving at the United Nations, I was amazed at the size and how majestic the compound is.

Our class was able to explore the UN and had a chance to look at the General Assembly Room (in photo). Looking into the room I realized how special this opportunity was for a college student. I had the chance to stand and look into a room where great leaders of this world stood and made important policy decisions.

19866_1367746315063_1273830047_31096784_522174_n-1.jpg After touring the UN our class listened to two speakers who have dealt with issues of International Law in their profession. The first speaker spoke about the difference between humanitarian law and human rights law. Hearing from an expert of this field, I was able to realize the challenges countries face when in season of war. We addressed issues from Guantanamo to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Each of these topics has forced policymakers and state leaders to make drastic decisions about human life and how their country would treat certain groups.

However, our trip to New York was quickly cut short. Monday night we found out that the entire Northeast was going to be hit with another snowstorm. The weather stations were calling for near blizzard conditions, and our supervisors were worried we would be stuck in NY if we stayed. Our professors decided to attempt to beat the storm and drive back early Tuesday.

19866_1367748915128_1273830047_31096817_6603278_n.jpg Even though we were in New York only for 36 hours, this was a trip I will never forget. We were able to visit Times Square, the United Nations, and see the Big Apple. Yes, it was a little disappointing to leave early and not be able to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Ground Zero, but at least we were able to be in New York for a short time.

When we arrived back in D.C., the snow quickly began. Wednesday the entire city shut down again, and the city decided to stop all snow removal services. Most American students were forced to stay indoors because of the blizzard conditions. Slowly, however, most of AU was catching a mild version of cabin fever and needed to get out of the dorms.

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