I really wanted to go to the event, so I invited my mom to go with me and we headed to D.C. on Tuesday. Tuesday night we checked into our hotel, went out for dinner, and spent the evening shopping in a fun area downtown. Wednesday morning I met up with the rest of the CLS group at Howard. There was a large crowd of Howard students waiting to get in to the auditorium, and then there were several groups in addition to mine with the State Department. We went through metal detectors, had our bags searched, and were wanded down at Security. Once we got through security, a woman who works for the Office of the First Lady asked if our group wanted to sit on stage behind Mrs. Obama as she spoke. Of course we agreed and began furiously texting our friends and family to let them know.
When we got on stage, I ended up in a seat at the very far right on the front row! We sat up there for about an hour before the event started. As it got closer to start time, more Secret Service began standing around the stage, by the doors, and even behind the curtains on the side of the stage - right next to us! I felt so legit sitting up there on stage, waiting for Michelle Obama, surrounded by Secret Service who, by the way, looked exactly like they do in the movies: huge, bald, wearing suits, speaking into the wrists, listening to their ear pieces.
|photo from the White House Blog|
CAORC took the CLS and Fullbright groups out to lunch at Bus Boys and Poets, where we talked about our different experiences in China.
The entire trip was great, from spending time hanging out with my mom to seeing some old friends to meeting the First Lady (!!!). I am so thankful that I had this great opportunity, and it is certainly an experience I will never forget!