American Politics DC Winter Seminar Day 7: Finding The Mushroom People

“Your Donuts Make Me Go-Nuts”

And now the man who needs no introduction: Me, Abe,

“I’m Bach”

Today was our last day, which is sad. Most of us started the morning walking to a Johns Hopkins University building. I spent my morning waiting for an Uber driver. When we finally met up, they were leaving the first JHU building and heading to the JHU building we were actually supposed to be at.

We settled into our room and awaited the arrival of our first speaker, John Lawrence, the former Chief of Staff for Representative Nancy Pelosi (D–CA). Mr. Lawrence was a phenomenal speaker, telling us about his job as Chief of Staff and specific stories about bills such as the Affordable Care Act and the role of Representatives in serving the greater public interest.

We broke for lunch at the Borkings Brookings Institute before coming back to JHU for class.

I laid provocatively on the table for a while, the buttons and seams of my clothes eating into me. I finally got up when our professor came in and just looked at me and shook his head.

We talked about the current tax bill as opposed to the 1986 tax reform bill for a while before breaking into a conversation about FairVote and Single Transferable Vote/Ranked Choice Voting. This particular conversation carried on for way too long. Way way too long. I don’t actually know if it’s over yet. It’s probably still happening. We delved into hypotheticals, complications, extensions, theoretically, practicalities, details, and technicalities. We asked questions. And then asked those same questions again. And again. And continued talking about the subject and getting sidetracked on tangents for way, way too long. It took about twenty minutes for me to get to talk, my arm killing me by that point.

Some of us had serious qualms with the STV system. Our professor seemed to enjoy our skepticism. To quote a girl from class: “to quote your enthusiasm with my cynicism.” To which Danny Boy (our professor) commented that he never thought he’d hear those words in that sequence (or something to that effect). Dr. Doherty explained the ranked system with pizza toppings. Unfortunately mushrooms were the least popular topping in this pizza-based universe, so he had to “find the mushroom people,” which apparently sounded like a game he’d play with is daughter. By that point a girl was confused about all of the professor’s writing on the board, to which our professor apologized and said, “I couldn’t find the mushroom people!” That too garnered some laughs. We strayed from our pizza talk into how it would work in the House when a girl decided to “bring it back to reality and not pizza,” as if pizza isn’t reality (little did you know that pizza is actually an illusion created by the Lizard Overlords).

The entirety of the class session was a riot. Here, see for yourself:

After class we went to the closing dinner, which was good. The food was good. There’s not really much else to say there.

Anyways, since this is my last post before I fall back into The Swamp™, I figure I should leave you with this cute doggo:


(“Abe” in the language of my book”)

Categories: Academics, Student Blogs, Study Away, W&M in Washington Tags: , , ,

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