Just thought I would shoot out an update about this weekend's adventures. I travelled with a group of classmates out to Washington DC for a trial advocacy competition. This would be a series of rounds for a mock trial we have been preparing for for several weeks. It was a long four days but overall a really great experience. I had two goals for the trip: 1) win the competition and 2) make best friends with people from other schools (mostly I've just always wanted a pen-pal all of my life but I've never been able to make it work and this seemed like a good opportunity to find some candidates. In large part, I'm still struggling from a bad pen-pal experience when I was ten and this kid in Ireland that got assigned to me at school sent a picture of himself eating cheese and then never wrote me again although I faithfully tried to maintain contact for months. I can still feel the cold lonliness on those days when Ms. Painter would hand out the pen-pal letters to everyone in the class on the day they arrived, skipping me because I was the one that got stuck with the dead-beat assigned friend. Never again). Unfortunately I failed miserably at both of those goals.

We performed well in the competition in large part thanks to my partner, Mary Beth, who turned out to be absolutely fantastic at trial advocacy. But we did not win the competition and were eliminated after the second day. On the bright side, we had some extra opportunities to get out and see the city a bit. Other than getting lost every three minutes and making no less than four thousand U-turns, we were able to get around pretty well.

On Saturday we hit up several museums including the Holocaust museum which I had been wanting to see for a long time but never had time to get to last summer. It was amazing and really sad. Naturally I had an old lady in a wheelchair behind me the entire time saying after looking at every picture, "well they sure were good looking some of them were" in the worst hillbilly accent you've heard since Green Acres was cancelled.

In regards to my second goal, I did make friends with a few people from a school in New York who were staying in our hotel but our friendship was short-lived after they disappeared on the second day never to be seen again (right before I was going to start hinting at the pen-pal idea). C'est la vie.

We rolled in very late last night and looked like zombies for much of today. Below I have pictures stolen from Mary Beth.

Washington Monument.

Me in front of the Ukrainian Embassy.

Ol' Whitey

Mike, Mary Beth, Nick, Me, Joseph (Capitol)

Mike, Mary Beth, Nick, Me, Joseph

Joseph and I on the metro.

Me driving around the most confusing streets of all time. This picture was probably taken both right before and right after a U-turn.

Mary Beth and I after our first round (we had been up for about 48 hours by this point and were only off the plane for a few hours).

Mike and I. Mike came along to act as our witness for the trial. He did an amazing job. At one point we thought he was even going to be able to work in a few tears.

Mike and I sitting the SLC airport early in the morning after finding out our flight would be delayed as our plane blew up (or something) moments before we were supposed to take off.

~It Just Gets Stranger