Kaitlynn: DC Day 1

So, today started out kinda crappy.  We all got to the airport and had to wait about an hour and a half just to get out luggage checked!  Then we had to go through security, which wasn't that bad.  After security, Kaylie and I decided to go get pizza though because we were hungry.  Only come to find out that we were going to be boarding soon.  So Kaylie and I thought that it would be fine if we waited just a little bit before we got in line, but we didn't realize it wasn't arranged sitting, it was just first come first serve.  So, I being the freshman let Kaylie go sit with everyone in the back and I sat next to a lady with two kids.  They were really cute at first, and then the boy, who was a year and 1/2 started crying and would not stop until about 2 minutes outside of Baltimore.  After we got off the flight, the day got so much better, minus the whole rain part at the airport and on our way to Arlington, but other than that it has been great!  I have already been able to make new friends with some of the other people on this trip I have never talked to before.  I got to walk around with Kaylie, Jeremy, Scott, Caleb, Brett, and Quinn most of the night tonight and just have a ton of fun!  And another bonus to tonight is that Bin Laden was killed and the US has custody of his body!! Woot Woot USA!! :)
Kaits210 comments

Kaitlynn: DC Day 2

Sooo, today was abosolutely AWESOME!!!!  I had such an amazing time! The capital was unbelievable with all of the statues and everything!  I especially liked the security gaurd when we were heading up to take a group picture, because he had his binaculures and everything going on.  It was really cool to see someone like that in action, because he was really trying to make sure we weren't causing any trouble.  The next thing however, was the Holocaust Museum.  That was so sad!  I almost lost it just at the beginning when we first got off the elevator.  The pictures and desciptions made everything so much more real that it was insane.  The museum had such a greater impact on me than anything I have ever learned about the Holocaust!  Another thing though that bothered me was dinner.  I have a feeling that is just because I am such a picky eater.  The ending to today was pretty awesome though, as well as the beginning.  I loved beinging able to just come back to the holel and relax.  I also loved being able to hangout with everyone when we all went swimming and played 'Marco/Polo.'  That was definately a GREAT way to end my day!! :)
Kaits210 comments

Kaitlynn: DC Day 3

Today we had to get up extra early so that we could go to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.  The FBI was amazing!  I have always wanted to go there and see what it was like.  My parents and family friends have always joked around with me about trying to join the FBI.  The only problem with this would be that everyone knows that I have a serious problem with listening to authority.  I would love to one day be able to join the FBI, but I definitely have to learn how to listen to what others tell me, rather than being so independent and such a smartass.  Anyways, we got to tour the FBI, and we were able to see a lot of different facilities.  I really wish we would have been able to see more of the behavioural unit, but at least I got to take a picture with Hannibal Lector.  I loved being able to take so many photos of everything today.  It will definitely help me remember all of the fun times I had today.
After the FBI we went to see many of the monuments in Washington, DC.  I especially loved the Lincoln Monument, but I was completely upset that they were doing construction on the reflection pool.  I was really looking forward to getting to see the Washington monument with the reflection pool leading to the Lincoln monument, but hopefully if I ever get a chance to go back to DC, the reflection pool will not be under construction.  We also went to Arlington Cemetery which was completely moving.  There were so many more tombstones that what I thought there would be.  The tomb of the Unknown Solider definitely kept my attention the most at Arlington today.  They had two different ceremonies take place, each of which was very controlled.  When the guards exchanged places, it was really cool to watch one of the men looking over the gun befog they were able to change.  Also, the wreath ceremony was pretty cool because I got to hear Taps played on a bugle, which I have never seen or heard in person before.  Another monument place we went to today was the Vietnam Memorial, United States Air Force Memorial, and the Korean memorial.  Each one of these memorials was moving in its own way, and I was so happy that I got to take pictures at most of them before my camera died at Arlington.  Thankfully I was able to use the camera on my phone too.

The Cardinal and the Cub Fan

I boarded my train, The Cardinal, at the Union Station in DC around 10:30 AM on a very rainy Wednesday morning. Most of my thoughts were with my students who I knew were at the ATF that morning without me. I hated to miss that tour, but I had to catch my train back to Chicago. I don't fly and it takes me longer to get home because of that. I left the kids with Mike Bradshaw who would get them through the ATF tour and also back on the bus to BWI and eventually home...what a guy!

Once on the Cardinal and settled into my sleeper car, I immediately made friends with the two women in the sleeper next to me. The one woman is retired military and her traveling companion is a massage therapist. I always say...you meet the most interesting people on the train...every trip I look around for whom I think will be the most interesting characters and try to sit with them at dinner. This time was no exception. The man I chose to sit with was a representative of the National Rail Passenger lobby who was coming back from DC after meeting with legislators about increased and permanent funding for train travel. So we talked alot about trains, routes, new equipment and of course, politics.

The train rocked and rolled all the way through Virgina and West Virginia where we could still enjoy the majestic scenery of the New River Gorge...how lovely...every year I look forward to the Gorge and sitting in the club car glued to the window. This year I camped out with a seat in a four top table. I slid all the way into the window seat and was only there alone for a few seconds when three women swooped down on the table and asked if they could sit with me. They were from Cincinnati and were traveling home from New York City...two sisters and a daughter. They were alot of fun...you meet the nicest people on the train.

I spent a few hours gawking at the Gorge and then returned to my two new lady friends to get ready for dinner. They didn't know the drill on the train as this would be their first train trip...so we all headed down to the dining car. You know, the food on the train is remarkably good. We all ate a nice dinner and sat and chatted until the dining car porter ran us out to give our table to another party. We had sat and schmoozed for hours and didn't even realize what table hogs we had become...you meet the most interesting people on the train...

We rocked and rolled all nite in our sleepers and were an hour and half late coming into Chicago...I told my friends to follow me down the platform into the Metro lounge so I could show them how to make their connection on the Empire Builder to Minneapolis. We exchanged email addresses...hugged goodbye and they were off in a few minutes to a family wedding.

My lay over in the Metro lounge was about 5 hours till the Zephyr took me down to Quincy. Ran into an old former nemesis (defense attorney) in the Club car...can't say I have missed him...but he actually told me he had missed me because he always looked forward to trying cases with me....I frankly was shocked hearing that...My husband met me at the train and Mickey, my dog, met me at the back gate.

Our trip to Washington was amazing. The kids were a congenial bunch and I was able to spend some time with all of them...which I enjoyed. My biggest surprise on this trip was Javan. I have had that student in class with me for the last two years and he has barely said two words to me. During this trip he was always around me helping me up and down because of my broken ankle. He and I had many, many good conversations and those will be excellent memories of this trip.
This is one of the many benefits of a Culver education. These students have the opportunity to experience unbelievable things in an educational setting and their professors get to experience them in a very different setting....it's a win/win all around...

I am happy to report that my ankle survived all the walking and all the steps up and down. Tuesday was a killer because I think we walked a million miles through Arlington National Cemetery, the big three monuments and then onto dinner. But, I survived....I can't wait until next year. A big thanks goes out to Professor Bradshaw, Trish Bradshaw and all the students who made this year's trip so memorable.


Well the trip to DC has come to an end. This has been hands down one of the most amazing and moving experiences of my life. We visited the capitol, the monuments of Washington, the Holocaust museum, the FBI, and the ATF. I have to say the Holocaust museum and the ATF were my favorite experiences. Matter of fact I believe I have changed my career path because of this trip.

While visiting the ATF we talked to a SRT agent. SRT stands for Special Response Team, basically he works full time as a member of SWAT. After his presentation, I was so moved I asked him simply "how do I become you?" after a lengthy explanation I am now very for sure that THIS is what I want to do with my life.

The trip home was surprisingly quite painless. We made it through airport security in about 30 minutes and the flight attendants on our flight were absolutely halarious which made the flight home quite fun, after the flight I rode with one of my good friends "theater guy" and we had some good laughs talking about the trip and talked seriously about our next moves in our career paths. We arrived home at around 12:30.

All in all, this trip was absolutely amazing, and because of the people I met on this trip, I will make sure, I end up there again someday, only next time, it will be for a career.

Ryan Javan

Today was are last day in Washington D.C. and its to bad. We finished up our trip by visiting the ATF last. The building was unbelievable when we arrived. The tour guides also first explained the structure and how it was designed in so many ways for protection. However though the tour had its ups and downs. It seemed that the guides were not allowed to show us very much because all we were able to see was the entrance to the building, the outside, and their auditorium. We sat in a class room which I would say was the best part of the trip. There were three people who presented different things the ATF does. Two of them just used a slide show with some interesting photos but the last one was the best. He brought in all the guns they use and all the gear the special ops have. On top of that we were allowed to hold and feel all the stuff. Overall though this trip has been one of the best times of my life. We experienced so many things I never have thought I would have in my lifetime. Its to bad we had to leave because I can tell there is still so much more we could have done with maybe a little bit more time.

Scott Baker

Yesterday was the final day of our D.C. excursion and during the day, we went to see the ATF. while at the ATF, we learned a little about what the ATF does as a government agency. We learned that the ATF does most of the arson and explosion investigations and that their special forces unit do a lot of covert missions. While at the ATF, we learned many different fun facts about the agency and we also learned the process of how to get into the ATF. After that, I was able to visit Union station before I had to go back to the hotel. On the whole this trip was a fun and educational experience for me that will leave many lasting memories and impressions of the city.