Thursday, August 16, 2007

Recess: Kindergarten to Capitol Hill

Recess is such a great concept. Most of us think of kindergarten or elementary school when we were allotted an hour or so a day, in between studies, to be kids. Well you're in luck if you were ever the kid who said your favorite part of the school day was recess.

As I walk around Washington, D.C. this month, I can't help but notice how much less traffic there is, on the sidewalks, on the Metro and on the roads. You know why? Because Congress, and just about everyone in D.C. that has a job that is closely linked to Capitol Hill, goes on vacation or leaves D.C. during the month. It's kind of like the American version of what the Greeks do every August.

I'm not sure if Sen. Barack Obama of Chicago or Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta are out playing in sandboxes or jumping rope, but you can be sure they're enjoying their time away from Washington. Washington is one of those cities where if you want to "be somebody" you have to "go, go, go" all the time, nonstop. Very much like Wall Street in New York.

That said, if you're looking for a role model that enjoys recess just as much as you do, look no further than Congress, where even the most-tenured public officials and staffers cherish their breaks. Only we're not talking about 2+2=4 and ABCs, but the U.S. Constitution and tax policy.

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