Thursday, January 11, 2007

Would it be pretentious if I changed the title of this site to "Mr. Wilson Goes To Washington"?

I had this whole packing thing down, mainly because I only had to do it once a year. After the initial “So this is where I’m living” experience of freshman year, it’s been rather systematic, but since I won’t be returning to Dillon Hall, I’ve got to do a mass moving of my worldly possessions twice a year, which is just silly.

For those of you who were unaware, I’ll be forgoing my sixth semester of South Bend eligibility to spend this winter/spring in Washington, DC, interning at Meet The Press and taking some Notre Dame-controlled classes. This was obviously a big-time pro and con situation, but I think I’m going to enjoy it. At least, I continue to tell myself I’m going to enjoy it so as not to spend my days pouting and wondering why I didn’t find a place for my desk chair, instead leaving it for Jake.

Studying in DC is like the lamer, cop-out version of studying abroad. It’s nowhere as cool as immersing yourself in Europe or somewhere down South America-way, like Portugal[i], and nowhere near the level of eternal jading that going on Semester at Sea will cause you. I won’t argue this, and I think everyone who’s spending their spring semester somewhere completely foreign is in for one helluva time – studies show study abroad programs are the awesome 98% of the time- I think our nation’s capital will turn out just fine for me.

DC advantages?

1) I’m still in the United States, baby! I was never any good at learning other languages, managing to pick up only bits and pieces of Irish, French and Spanish in my studies, and I’d hate to be “the ignorant American who can’t speak our language” elsewhere, so I’ll just be that same ignorant American at home. Plus, I’m sure a lot of countries are going to be super fired up about us trying to further escalate the Iraq War, but at least our president is smooth under fire.

2) Being in the United States means I still have full cell phone usage and connection to everyone – plus normal AIM hours – without crazy international plans being added to the KRZR. This is a good thing, as instead of just weeping in my room once a week, MacKrell can have his cathartic release over the phone.

3) I don’t have to take special steps – well, besides the SlingBox - to follow the NFL playoffs, March Madness, the opening round of the NBA, Oscar season and the myriad of television shows I watch. While you might consider this reason petty, just look over what the majority of this blog is about, and it’s rather pertinent I be around influxes of American pop culture so my brain doesn’t collapse under the weight of headier, more intelligent things.

4) Considering there’s no oceans separating me from the main campus, I’m a mere 158 to 190 dollar flight away from visiting the campus, which I’ll be doing for Junior Parents Weekend and most likely for Blue-Gold Game. Consider I’ll be missing hanging out with everyone, these will be nice little reprieves.

5) I GET TO SUIT UP EVERY SUNDAY FOR THE SHOW. My internship coordinator – who seems like an awesome guy in all of my contact with him so far – said that we don’t have to work every Sunday, since apparently that involves getting up ungodly early after a Saturday night, but I’m all about it. My half-windsor knot is evolving into quite the little tie, and I’m ready do the damn thing. I guess maybe the more important factor of this would be the experience working at a show like that, the people I’d meet and the big shiny beacon it’ll be on my resume, but the truth is, I’m just excited about getting to suit up on a weekly basis.

Also extremely high on my list for reasons that being in DC will be pretty sweet is actually very low: Zero, as in Agent Zero, as in Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards.

If you’re unfamiliar with Arenas, he’s evolved into the quirky, bad-ass underdog the entire NBA – nay, sporting – blogosphere has embraced as their favorite person to cover. FreeDarko discusses the philosophical implications of Arenas on a weekly basis (cold-blooded killer shot included in this link), and he’s literally everywhere in the news. When Gilbert threw his 25th birthday party last weekend, it was one of the most talked about events of the young year. But despite being awesome, Gilbert is humble, to the point commentators wonder if he’s getting the most out of his superstardom.

To make matters even better, Gilbert’s running mate is Coran Butler, one of my favorite college players of all time. Together, along with Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood and others, Gilbert and Coran have the Wizards near the top of the East, a game out of the Southeast Division and only two games out of the number one seed. They play exciting ball – see Gilbert’s 60 against the Lakers, or the overtime thriller where they ended the Suns’ winning streak in Phoenix – and now that they’re winning, there’s not a team on the eastern seaboard I’d rather be watching (obviously the Suns still trump all).

So I’m rather psyched about this whole opportunity, from catching a couple Wizards games on nights I’m not busy to meeting a random highfalutin politician from time-to-time. I’m still not sure what my daily schedule will be like, but I’m pumped for it nonetheless, ready to try something different for a few months, because as sad[ii] as it is to think about, graduation is only seventeen months away, so some adaptation – even moderate, ND-controlled adaptation – will be useful.

[i] I used the “Portugal is down South America-way” to someone who’d never seen Arrested, and yes, they thought I was just stupid as opposed to classically-trained in comedy. The perils of dropping random Gob lines.

[ii] TERRIFYING. SO SO TERRIFYING. Shakespeare necessary.

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