Today is my last day at the Washington Examiner and I will definitely remember it since I had to trek through Southeast DC for most of it in hot weather because I absolutely can’t stand waiting for Metro buses that don’t come on time.
I walked for more than a mile or so on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., passing a number of housing projects and this gigantic abandoned & boarded up mental health facility called St. Elizabeth’s. One guy called out to me across the street saying, “Hey I’m not trying to let you walk all the way up there,” though I doubt the guy actually knew where I was headed, but he was either trying to creepily escort me or was generally concerned that I was willingly passing that mental health building without being within the confines of a vehicle.
I had my headphones on while he was yelling, trying to drown him out but finally I acknowledged him because he wouldn’t shut up and yelled back for him to not worry and that I was fine.
Then like 2 minutes after that there was a police car that pulled up right alongside me, with a woman in front passenger seat who asked me “Why aren’t you in school today?” While trying to suppress laughter, I told her I was a college student. I offered to show her my student ID but she said that was okay. Knowing that I frequently get mistaken for high AND middle schoolers, and asked her again, “Are you sure you don’t want to see it?” But she said it was fine and she let me on my way. I’m sure the kids that were in the backseat of the car were wishing they had used that as an excuse.
Finally I made it to my story destination: Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. I smelled horrible no doubt and I don’t think it was my best reporting job. But the good news is I didn’t have to walk or even wait to catch a bus back because one of the Examiner photogs, Greg, was assigned to shoot at the school and he gave me a ride back to the office. Phew.
Now I’m sitting her trying to figure out how to say goodbye to people in the office without it being awkward. I’m never good with goodbyes.