Things To Act
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
It's Good to Be In DC!
A few observations:

Working in a Congressional Office:

*It can be pretty overwhelming to be working within sight of (and occasionally within) the Capitol. Yet as with anything else one does on a daily basis, one gets used to it.

*The Capitol is an entertaining study in contrasts. Most of the public spaces have high ceilings, ornate decorations, and statuary and such everywhere. When you go down to the basement, you get exposed plumbing and a cramped catacomb feel. (You have to go to the basement to go through the Secret Tunnels back to the office buildings).

*Walking through metal detectors to get to work (and through more if going to the Capitol) is another thing one gets used to, to the point where it feels weird going to a public building without them. Not frightening, just weird--as if something is missing.

*A more paranoia-inspiring experience is opening the mail. Fortunately, it's irradiated and opened in a lab somewhere long before we see it. Unfortunately, this means physical mail is delayed for an unspecified period of time.

*Adding a sense of excitement to otherwise dull days are the periodic buzzers/bells going off indicating quorum calls/roll-call votes, etc. Even though routine staff are not particularly affected by what's going on on the floor, it still makes one feel connected to the rhythms of Congress (as well as meaning certain elevators are off-limits).

Living in DC:

*DC is a lot more urban than Provo. High population density and tall buildings give a very different feel to an area. Peak-hour metro rides make even crowded UTA busses seem spacious. However, DC-ites seem to handle themselves in pedestrian traffic much better than the average BYU-ite (the lack of impromtu mission reunions in the middle of a crowded sidewalk is not considered a Bad Thing here).

*DC also has a lot more homeless than Provo. This raises troubling theological problems, given BYU's discouragement of giving money to panhandlers near the Barlow Center.

*Speaking of the Barlow Center, the wall of the Great Room has several pictures on it, including a prominent one of the Savior and the rich young man. That seems especially fitting, in a city where so many come seeking fame, power, riches, and the things of the world.

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