It’s been a week since I arrived in Washington, and my main thought still is: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
I came from Miami, and my obsession with “The Wizard of Oz” and “Wicked” probably made my subconscious call myself Toto. But the point is, new things are exciting, and I feel like my perspective changed from sepia to oversaturated full color.
It might be obvious to say Washington is not Miami, but I can’t help the pleasure of seeing something I would never see in South Florida.
My first week with the short course program with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire reminded me “eternal novelty” is one of the reasons I decided to be a journalist, and the capital is an endless fount of novelty.
I picked up my own press pass to the U.S. Congress – it even has a nice photo – and covered a story about an immigration bill in the House of Representatives.
While doing camera training by the White House, we saw a free concert by a band from Boston named D.C. Wonder. After 10 minutes of music, some 200 cops riding horses interrupted the show to have their photo taken in front of the House. It was Police Week, and cops from everywhere were in town.
On day four, I finished my first story at about noon and decided to go for a walk to find some street musicians. I plan to do a feature story on them, so on my way to the National Mall, I passed by the White House and an activist group, Code Pink, was protesting about how prisoners are being force-fed at Guantanamo Bay.
There was my second story and first video.
What was the main lesson learned? The best stories are not in front of your computer, they are out there. And if you stand in front of the White House for a couple of hours, wild things happen.