Friday, May 6, 2011

A little late on the draw

So I feel like I should probably blog about our last day, even if it is a bit late, just to be safe.

The ladies of room 606 and I packed up our crap and lugged it downstairs and into the room behind the front desk. Then we marched through the rain and into the metro station (most of us were able to make it without jaywalking...) We were stuffed into the train, and some small people that got on after filled in the spaces between us. That was truly a great bonding experience. We made it to the Division of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and started our tour. To be honest, this wasn't one of my favorite things. They are an amazing organization, and I was floored to find out how involved they are in every bomb, violent crime, and arson investigation across the country. But the presentations just seemed to drag on. They really do seem to be like a secretive background organization that no one really knows much about. But the last presenter really brought everything together, and brought a lot more energy to the day.

We had been planning on trying to go to the Smithsonian with our free time in the afternoon, but the ATF presentation took nearly two hours longer than we thought it would. So instead, we just headed back to the hotel and changed and went to lunch. After that, we left for the airport. The Baltimore airport was a much better experience than St. Louis, and we checked in and made it through security (all of us were body scanned,) in less than thirty minutes. So we had several hours to hang out in the airport. We wandered around the shops for a while, then settled in to wait. Again, I would like to apologize to Mrs. B. for my comment about Dallas's personal business.

The flight back was a little late, but uneventful, and we made it back to campus just before 1:00. Overall, it was an amazing trip, and I am so thankful I was able to go.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Washington D.C. Trip Day Four

The last day in Washington D.C. we visited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This bureau is very interesting and definately one that needs to be in existance in this country. I really enjoyed aspects of explosives and firearms because this area really interests me. The very last speaker that we heard from really kept my attention because he showed us all of the equipment that he used and really interacted well with the students. My favorite aspect of the visit was the show and tell of the equipment and being able to handle the guns. Of course they were not loaded and completely safe, but still very cool.

After leaving the ATF, we went for lunch at Ted's Montana Grill. They had the best burgers that I have had in a very long time. Kudos to them. I reccommend that restaurant to anyone. The restaurant not only had great food, but also used green and recycled products in their establishment. That is definately dedication.

The flight back was also very interesting and the pilot made it all the more entertaining. It was the best flight I had ever been on and I would request that crew any other time that I flew Southwest.

Overall, the trip to Washington D.C. was great and I really enjoyed it. Thank you to all of those that made it possible. Especially Professor Bradshaw, Trish Bradshaw, and Judy Abbott for putting up with all of us. It was great way to finish a semester at Culver-Stockton College.
The last day in Washington. We went to ATF and had a tour of th building. There was a memorial outside the building with those that have been killed and they recently discovered a Native Indian that was involved a long time ago and added him to the wall. It sounds like a really dangerous job. The inside was really pretty, it was all mostly made of glass. The ceiling was plastic so that if there was an explosive it would blow up rather than out. The tour guides talked at each one of the displays in the building. ATF started with the alcohol prohabition. They talked about arson investigations and tobacco. After the displays we saw the auditorium and then talked to three different people. One talked about the history of ATF, bombs, and then the group that is basically a SWAT team. He brought all of his equiptment and explained how it is really similar to what the military would use. He explained what it takes to become someone like him and what he and his team does. After that we walked back to the hotel and had lunch. We waited around until it was time to head back to the airport. Overall the last day went well. We got to tour the ATF and have free time to look around until we left. It was long day of traveling and although the trip was fun, it is also nice to be back.

last day, final thoughts

Unfortunately, I was unable to blog yesterday (on the actual last day), but today seems more appropriate because I've really had time to step back and think over my time spent in DC.
Yesterday, our group visited ATF. It was very interesting, but, in my opinion, the tour and lectures seemed to drag. The building itself was constructed in a way that it itself is prepared for any number of problems that the 'company' itself is trained to fight against. It was very clever on their part. I wish that we could have seen a little more of the building. The lectures, I'm sure, were very educational, it just seemed to drag on and on. It wasn't until the last person (the firearm expert) began his discussion that I really was able to focus and pay attention. It wasn't the fact that he was in firearms, because the previouis lecturers had given us a history of the ATF and an explosives expert talked about his job. He was just energized and to-the-point. I think it was the fact that he was in the military. He always got to the meat of the discussion and cut everything else out. I also found it interesting that our tour guide had been a part of the INS like my father before he moved on to work as a special agent for the ATF.
After that, we all ate lunch/dinner and went to the airport. The flight was very fun and the pilot was SO much fun. He was cracking jokes left and right and I loved it!
I had an excellent experience in D.C. and I hope that classes in the future are able to go there again!

Mike Aleksick Day Four

On our fourth day in D.C. we took a trip to the ATF headquarters. We started the tour by looking at some displays and telling us about how they are involved in the different thing that they do. They talked about how they were basically started because of alcohol and Prohibition. Then they started getting into tobacco because people would buy tobacco in different states and sell them for a profit in another state. The ATF also deals with firearms. They talked about how they delt with arson and explosives and that something i found interesting because the ATF's name is alcohol, tobacco, and fire arms so that's what i thought they delt with. So i learned something new. The last part of our tour was the best i personally think. They had a guy come in that was basically in the swat team for the ATF. He pulled out all his equipment and showed it to us. He had like 8 guns he showed us. Along with all is suits and equipment. Once he was done with his presentation he let us touch and hold on to all his equipment. He let some of the people suit up in his protective gear which was really cool. He also let us hold he guns and see what they felt like.
Once he got done explaining what he did i think i found my dream job. It would be amazing if one day i was part of the task force he is part of. This trip was amazing and i would tell everyone who is thinking of going to D.C. for vacation to do it because its somehting you will never forget.

We're home

What a great trip with a fantastic group of young adults. Thanks to all of you for making my boss (Trish) feel welcome. I want to also send a shout-out to Prof. Abbott and Deanne Whiston for all of the advance planning and work they did to make this trip possible. I had such a great time with all of you individually and it was super getting to know you better. It just reinforces my opinion about what a super bunch of young people we have on campus. Thanks for the mementoes and special thanks for the memories which I'll take with me into retirement!

Prof. B.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

jeremy Warning

I had a wounderful time touring the FBI academy and the monuments. Then I went on to see my friend at her deaf collge. It was interesting and different way their college is set up. Only thing that scared me was that it was in the bad neighborhood.