Thursday, August 28, 2008

From the RNC - Xcel Energy Center and fieldwork - Hilda

The enthusiasm increases in the students attending The Washington Center seminar as the days go by. Today there were two important events. First, the students got fieldwork assignments. Second, we got a special tour this afternoon of the Xcel Energy Center.
First, let me tell you about the fieldwork assignments. Each student will give several hours of volunteer work to this convention. Students will be working with the Republican Party, with the media or with interest groups. These jobs provide great opportunities for students to network, to make a good impression that in the past has resulted in internship or job offers. It also provides the excitement of working hands on with those who will be reporting the news (CNN, Washington Times, Fox News and many more) to the nation, or in receptions given to dignataries attending the convention. These are just two examples, but the list of jobs and the list of benefits from giving our time to the volunteer work is long.
The second thrilling event was the tour of the Xcel Energy Center where the convention will take place starting next Monday. Those in charge started workin on the center July 20th. The amount of work that has gone into it is astonishing. A giant screen, second only in resolution and size to the one everyone saw during the Olympics in China, is behind the podium. The Xcel is a well-designed building with nice view from just about anywhere in the center. Just being there built up our excitement. We all could imagine how it will look next week and cannot wait to be there.
We walked from the Xcel Energy Center to the Landmark Building to attend a lovely reception offered to us by The Washington Center. The park between the two buildings has sculptures of the Peanuts characters honoring its creator from Minneapolis, Charles Schulz. Around the corner is the Fitzgerald Theater (named after Scott Fitzgerald, also of Minnesota), where Garrison Keillor's Praire Home Companion shows take place.
Starting this weekend there will be a number of events, parties, and of course, the convention itself, all of which promises excitement and fun. We will continue to keep you posted.

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