by Zach, a Patriot Blogger
What’s up everybody. I’m writing this post as I finish up refueling on a half chicken/half steak burrito from the one and only, so I’m pretty motivated to get writing. Just wanted to share a few details of the AWESOME weekend I just wrapped up and keep you updated with some of the things I’ve got going on (I guess “what a college student experiences”).
First off, I consider myself somewhat of a DC afficionado; I work in southwest and spend a decent percentage of my weekends playing the role of tourist and exploring just about anything that may be going on. This past weekend, the Department of Energy put on its biannual Solar Decathlon (more info can be found at their official website here ) in which a bunch of schools from around the world constructed environmentally-sustainable and somewhat “affordable” housing and put their prototypes up for judging. These things were so cool; I don’t consider myself to be too much of a green person, but the concepts and systems these teams had put into their houses were incredible.
The weather may not have been cooperating, but even in the clouds and rain these houses were generating more energy than they were using through their solar and geothermal systems. There was generally about a 10 or 15 minute wait at each house to get the walkthrough and explore, but it was definitely worth it. I actually think the University of Maryland team, repping the region proudly and with by far the largest crowds, wound up winning the competition, which took into consideration energy consumption, cost of construction, etc. Empowerhouse, the brainchild of a number of institutions, is being moved to northeast DC in the coming weeks to be reconstructed as the next project for the Washington DC chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Overall, an awesome learning experience.
Luckily, the day continued. My friend Joel and I spent a few hours walking around the area surrounding the Mall, exploring some new places and stumbling across the coolest fresh seafood market tucked away under an overpass, right off the Chesapeake Bay. Most importantly, I found George!! I had no idea, but George Mason was obviously so well regarded he was rewarded with not only his own school but also a peaceful little monument along the waterfront. Clearly I had to snap a pic or two; George was very understanding, and actually turned out to be a hilarious dude. We swapped a few stories, I told him about life as a Patriot and he shared his experiences building our country (mine obviously were more impressive), and after a few minutes we shook hands and moved on.
We spent Sunday poking around Georgetown a little bit and venturing into the city just to see what was out there, but unfortunately that was a whole lot less interesting and I won’t bore you with what details made it out alive. ANYways, just a quick update on where things are in school, I’ve got a couple of leadership seminars coming up this week at Mason, and this coming weekend I’m getting put up in a swanky hotel near Capitol Hill for the Tau Sigma National Leadership Conference. According to the schedule of events, we’re being taken out on a tour bus to check out the monuments on Saturday night, and that being right up my alley I’m way pumped. Luckily there are no exams or presentations this week in the classroom, so I’ve got plenty of time to catch up with some papers and big projects that are slowly creeping up. ‘Til next time! (Still working on that sign-off)