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This is the news from 2009 for benturner.com.

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news from 2009...

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I got about a month and a half off after graduating to relax, although finding a job is not really all that relaxing. I did eventually manage to get a full-time Gov 2.0 job, took a short trip to the Bahamas (which was wonderful, and quite different from Jamaica), and also moved to the Logan Circle/Scott Circle area of downtown DC.

It's a wonderful neighborhood, better than I suspected at first. Rice is up the street, with the best mango sticky rice in town, and I'm going to RCIA at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle down the street -- soon I'll be undergoing the Rite of Acceptance to begin the formal process of becoming a Catholic!

Map of Dupont Circle/Scott Circle

And yesterday I joined the YMCA on the same street, just re-opened from fall cleaning. I had to join a new gym since my Georgetown gym membership expired. The YMCA is quite an amazing institution now that I read more about it -- the facility is quite nice, and much better than the paltry Washington Sports Club on the main Connecticut Avenue, and the over-priced glitzy Vida Fitness up the street. Not that YMCA is dirty or anything, but it's sort of like Rocky going to train at the local gym in Rocky III to find his heart again.

So I'm settling in to my new neighborhood, and am now living downtown in the most powerful city in the world. Plus summer is flagging, and the chills of fall are almost upon us.

I certainly didn't expect to be where I am now, but I'm definitely enjoying it. I'm just glad I chose to try something new instead of staying with what was familiar and safe to me.


Okay, so since I've been playing with a lot of cool stuff at work, I learned how to make my RSS feed work for these news entries. So if you already subscribed, it should update again whenever I post new news here (which isn't that often, I admit). It's nice to have a job where you get to keep learning. =)


Two long years of researching and writing came to an end this month when my class of a little less than 100 brilliant people graduated from the Georgetown Master's of Science in Foreign Service program. My mom (pictured below) and dad came up to see the beautiful ceremonies.

Graduation from MSFS!

What a feeling to be done! What I will miss the most is the camaraderie we have had as a collective group. The major task at hand now is to keep us all close and regularly seeing each other.

It's been a while since my last post. Since then, I completed my first marathon, in Charlottesville, with the assistance and motivation in training from wonder-girl Dina and wonder-guy Dan. Thank you both!

For now, I'm staying in DC, enjoying the early summer, and looking for a job.

I snuck away to Jamaica for a few days with some classmates and my good buddy MonkeyPope. We had a blast. You can see videos and photos on my Flickr.

A final note: I am still building the prototype for my online reputation ecosystem, but for now you can get more details about it (Galapag.us) and self-quantification, at its Facebook fan page. Do participate, and advocate for the cause!


In case you didn't know about it, I have a blog that I write to more frequently than I do here. It's at http://benturner.wordpress.com/.

Well, it's been a very long few days here in DC. I went to the inaugural concert on Sunday, then watched the inauguration on Tuesday from a restaurant in Dupont Circle to avoid the cold, crowds, and boredom. Then that evening I went to the Unity Ball at the Russian Cultural Center.

With at least 1-2 million people attending this weekend, clearly a lot of Americans who were turned off by waving a flag after the "War on Terror" began are now proud to be patriotic again. It's a significant point that not enough people have written about. Thank you, Obama! And good luck.

People watch Obama's inauguration from Nairobi, Kenya.

This is my last semester. I'm taking comparative democratization, policies for poverty reduction, international negotiation, and business operations in emerging markets to conclude my time in Georgetown's MSFS program. I'm also sitting in on a class on creating a culture of innovation and one on social media in government, business, and development.

Coming soon: orals exam, final Yahoo! fellowship research paper, and finding a job! Happy New Year.


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