The Illick’s Mill Does D.C.

On Wednesday, May 19th, students of the Illick’s Mill Project (IMP) dropped their garden shovels, grant proposals, and finishing paint and embarked to Washington, D.C. After a debacle where the group was split into three different trains at three different times, the class made its way (in segments!) to the hotel. The students broke off into smaller groups to see the city, their stomachs full of pizza and their legs ready to walk. My group and I walked from the hotel and down about a million blocks to the Lincoln Memorial. Abe was on his platform, sitting just as deliberately as always, and I felt a pacific energy omitted from everyone at the monument of union (no pun intended!). My friends and I turned to see two separate groups of our class heading towards of us. The power of the monument was in full force and we all were united under its amity.

I, as well as several other students of the Illick’s Mill, left Washington D.C. with a piece of the city. Judging from the bright eyes
and exhilarated faces after speaking in front of Lisa Jackson and our congressional representative, many IMP members began to consider governmental professions.

The entire project enjoyed a swanky neighborhood, Adams Morgan, for a Mediterranean night out on Thursday night. The group broke into smaller sections to once again indulge in the city where many made first time trips to the Jefferson Memorial and other local attractions.

The next morning, through the blistering heat students maintained their smiles as they walked to the big white building hidden beneath the trees. The students giggled to themselves when they saw a volleyball on the front yard; it was our own private look into the lives of the first family, and seemed like a intimate encounter. What I remember most about the president walking up the hill was the presidential swagger unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When we met, the president was devoid of pretentiousness, as he showed that he was honored to meet us, a group of 60 dripping, lovesick kids.

Because of the trip’s balance of rich education and fun, students were able to gain an inside look into the wonderful city that is D.C. The most effective representation of our trip can be quoted from an IMP student, “Overall, the Illick’s Mill Project’s trip to D.C. was
educational, ephemeral, and unforgettable.”

About the author: Niharika Pendurthi is a Illick’s Mill Project Member of the Class of 2011.