An update from Lisa S., a senior majoring in accounting and political science:

Writing this with still numb fingers, our experience in D.C. has begun with a cold start. Except, that only pertains to the weather. In all other aspects of our trip we have had an eventful and invigorating start.

Yesterday, after an early morning flight, we arrived at Reagan International Airport and congregated to face our first Metro ride together. After only a few minor delays, our luggage was dropped off at the Comfort Inn Ballston and we were set to explore. First, and most importantly, we went to the Madison Building of the Library of Congress to receive our esteemed reader’s cards. Next, the power was ours and the weather had not quite turned yet. So, we walked everywhere. We stared in awe at the Supreme Court building, wandered the infamous reading room in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, made the journey from the Capital Building down the National Mall to the Washington Monument, and finally indulged in dinner at We, the Pizza. Needless to say, we were all very happy to curl into bed last night.

Ceiling at the Library of Congress
Jefferson Building Reading Room

Last night the storm hit and we woke up to a nice blanket of snow, chilly temperatures and uncertainty about being able to conduct research today. After breakfast, we were assured that there would only be a short delay and we would be working in the Manuscript Reading Room for the day. When we arrived, we had a brief orientation on the etiquette at the library and were shown some various archival items, such as locks of Thomas Jefferson’s hair and a letter to President George Washington. Then we were given free reign to start our research for the remainder of the day. Time went fast, but once I started to get into a rhythm of things, understanding and interpreting what I was holding became much easier.