I apologize for not updating my blog in awhile – this last week has been jam-packed.  Unfortunately, this will be more of an informative rather than a reflective blog post.  I hope to write something more substantial later.

While everyone else in the program started their internships this week, I was unable to start because of a pending security clearance investigation.  To make up for this, I had to put together a proposal of how I would spend at least 20 hours in the city in ways related to my internship.  Here’s what this week had in store:

– Reading the Nuclear Posture Review and the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, and also catching up on Russian news on RIA Novosti

– Exploring the Library of Congress, including the European Reading Room and the Performing Arts Room as well as an exhibit on flutes (YES!) and Thomas Jefferson’s rather magnificent library (“I cannot live without books.” – Thomas Jefferson)

– Listening to a lecture by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at the National Archives (Yes, I bought his new book, and yes, I got it signed!)

– Getting a private tour of President Woodrow Wilson’s home and learning more about his ideals (League of Nations), successes, and failures (“The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.” – Lyndon B. Johnson)

– Strolling through Embassy Row and not taking a photo of the Croatian Embassy because of the guard’s piercing glare

– Buying a Washington D.C. mug at Starbucks (I couldn’t resist…)

– Hearing a lecture about the current state of affairs in Russia at Georgetown (which happened to include a delicious complimentary lunch – I wasn’t complaining!)

– Pretending to be a Georgetown student as I explored the university (I’m checking out their master’s programs in Security Studies and Conflict Resolution, as well as their PhD in Government)

– Tasting cupcakes at the three best cupcakeries in Washington DC (see ranking below)

1. Georgetown Cupcakes (I tried their chocolate banana cupcake and it was simply superb, perfectly rich and moist with a satisfying cupcake-frosting ratio!)

2. Hello Cupcake (I tried their chocolate cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting)

3. Red Velvet Cupcakery (I tried their “Wake Up Call” chocolate cupcake with expresso infused frosting)

* Note: My favorite cupcakery, Whodidily Cupcakes in Santa Barbara, would certainly beat out Hello Cupcake and Red Velvet Cupcakery, but Georgetown Cupcakes would give them a run for their money!

– And tomorrow (Friday), I get to tour the prestigious residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, also known as the White House (cue “West Wing” music!)

I guess it turns out that not interning isn’t as bad as it sounds… However, I got an e-mail today that my security clearance was granted (an answer to prayer) and so I suppose I’ll return to the working life. Wish me luck!