The Capitol Impressions

When we visited The Capitol on Friday, I found that the trip was quite different than I had imagined. I never really thought about what the inside of the building might look like, and as I traveled through the building, the decor took me by surprise. The artwork inside of the building was beautiful and extremely intricate- almost like a museum. This setting within the building seemed interesting because, visually, it did not seem very much like a work place. Despite my feelings, as soon as I entered the Press GalleryI witnessed the seriousness of business handled at the Capitol. The room itself had beautiful, old-world decor and appeared very traditional. I loved the dark wood desks, but especially, the brass spittoons that, thankfully, Professor Perri said the senators do not use. This traditional feel of the Press Gallery and the building as a whole really conveyed and illustrated the nation’s history and the importance that the American political system has.

Throughout the visit, I had the opportunity to use a professional digital audio recorder. As I walked around with our group, I recorded the background conversations taking place both in and outside of our group, and I also recorded the explanations and conversations that our group held with our guides. Katharine Jarmal, our guide who taught me the use of the audio recorder, now interns at Free Speech Radio and has worked at both USA Today and The Washington Post. Learning from Jarmal was a really great opportunity for me because, as I recorded, she walked with me and explained her work as a reporter and the ways in which she did her job at the Capitol. For example, when we walked through some of the halls of the building, Jarmal explained the areas where she would wait to speak to senators after big meetings, and the fearless ways in which she would ask questions to get a story. Although principally I was unsure about what I should record, I’m glad I had the experience because I did learn very much about the importance of the kind of information that I choose and the importance of a relentless pursuit of my information.

Overall, I enjoyed the visit very much and learned a great deal about the Capitol itself and the importance of the different work done there.

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