Week 1 Blog Post

Week 1 Blog Post

I have never created a blog post before, but I am all for trying new things. Now I am not one to travel – even though that contradicts my previous statement about trying new things – mostly because of my college student budget, but when an opportunity comes along to work at the National Science Foundation for a summer where travel is taken care of, one does not pass that up.

Washington DC is very different from San Antonio. Even though they both attract many tourists for their historical significance and architecture and whatnot, San Antonio is very spread out. The downtown area is quite small and frankly underdeveloped in comparison to the DC area. Washington is significantly more densely populated and very pedestrian-friendly, which is right up my ally considering I am young enough to appease walking.

In my many walks around the George Washington University and the QEM Network sides of town, I have noticed one thing specifically, the abundance of food. There are so many places to eat, too many for me to try in my time in the city, but that does not mean that I will not try! I am a complete foodie, probably stemming from my upbringing in the culinarily diverse city of San Antonio, so the prospect of eating my way through DC makes me completely giddy.

Which brings me to my complete appreciation for the QEM Network. They fed us breakfast and lunch for our first week and it was nothing short of delightful. It appealed to the foodie and the penny pincher in me equally, especially considering the fact that they provided enough food for us to take back to our dorm and have for dinner. Food tastes much better when it is free.

I am going to warn you, reader, that most of my updates will revolve around my many gustatory experiences of DC. They will also go into depth the many professional and academic experiences as well when they develop in time.

But this week was not all food. We interns also gained a lot of exposure to the very political side of the DC area with talks from the unforgettably charismatic Brent A. Sullivan (I swear I will never be able to forget his name he said it so many times) from Time on the Hill and the influential Ashlynn Profit from the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education. We also took a field trip to the House and Senate Offices where we all got a genuine feel for the policy that gestates throughout that place. Understanding the significance of politics in this city is going to help us network our way through the NSF.

After finishing my first week I am left with nothing but excitement to start work at the NSF headquarters next week. This city is lively and there is always something happening, so these weekly updates will never be boring, I assure that.

Signing off.

Sergio A. Melendez