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I took an awesome trip to DC this past weekend, a quick trip to see fun friends for the annual Kegs for Kids party and far too much delicious food. Highly recommend The Mansion on O Street, a funky quaint baroque mansion with an unbelievable brunch. Literally everything you could dream of… and more. Including a whole room of dessert. We also managed to squeeze in the shockingly gorgeous Library of Congress, the serious and dimly-lit National Archives to say hello to the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court building, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (hello, Hope Diamond!) and the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Library of Congress

On the trip, I borrowed a GPS navigator from a friend of mine, which proved to be invaluable on the one-way streets and cursed traffic circles DC is famous for. Gertie, as I call the GPS, was fairly gentle in her directives, as long as I stayed on course. The minute I deviated, though, a flatly stern “recalculating” emanated from her voice box. If a machine could ooze scornful disdain at the idiocy of humans, that’d be the tone of voice to do it. We talked over dinner about Gertie and her kind, and how sometimes they’re just in a bad mood and you can’t do anything right. In which case, you are bombarded with an endless stream of icy and accusatory “recalculating”. And I swear, she gets more and more irate each time. One friend swears by turning her off and back on again – a hard reset. Another friend in Charlotte has hers set to the British voice option, and calls her Penelope –somehow much more elegant when she delivers the steely “recalculating” pronouncement. My roommate calls his “Karen” – she’s set to be an accessible Australian.

It made me think…. right now, for me, it’s all about recalculating. In life, as in spreadsheets. As someone who struggles to stay out of analysis paralysis mode, but who also likes to know the answers and make a Plan with a Capital “P”, finding the balance is tough. What should I do this summer for an internship? What type of job should I target/will I get/will I not get? Darden’s increased my tolerance for ambiguous, incomplete information, certainly, but I’d still like to know already. So I can make that plan, you know? One of the students here in NYC this week for the networking and interviewing was talking about what her plans summer and she shrugged and said “I don’t know – it changes by the hour. Guess you have to just get used to that.”

Wouldn’t it be grand to carry a trustworthy life GPS around, one that would yell at me at every wrong turn and help me to stay on track? Or at least let me know when I’m off track? Would that remove the fun in getting lost, you say? Or the adventures gained from wrong turns? Perhaps. I guess the idea of correct turns beyond geography might be optimistic in the first place…ask me after I spend 3 days here in NYC getting lost!