The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind

A little over two weeks ago, I moved from Arlington, VA to a place north of Columbia Heights in D.C. Before then, I was couch-surfing at a friend's place in Arlington, Va.  While I appreciate my friend for accommodating me for so long, it is great to have an actual bed and some privacy; dressing/undressing in a living room can be very awkward. Now I can finally settle into D.C. My commute has cut down from a bloated hour transit to a slim 15-20 min bus ride and walk to work. By the end of this week, my bike will have arrived (hopefully in one unbent piece) after I spent $60 to ship it here. Why would I waste money to do this, especially with such reliable public transportation? Simple: cost and comfort.


$60 probably seems a lot for sending something over for temporary use. Well it isn't much when you consider I have spent nearly $30 for commuting in less than a week. This is just the price for getting to work and back home every day. Presuming I am not slammed into by a car/bus/semi/other cyclist/pedestrian/skate boarder/Segway (I think that covers everything), the bike will pay for itself in two weeks.

Beyond the money saved, I'll gain some comfort in knowing that I can travel to almost anywhere at any time. No more having to decide whether I can get to a location in the time I spend waiting for the bus. No more sprinting through a closing Metrorail door so I don't have to wait 15 minutes for the next train. I'm not deriding the D.C. public transit system; I love the metrorail/bus system. I'm just really impatient at 9:30 in the evening, lamenting my decision to buy late-night groceries as I wait at the bus stop.

8-to-6With my commute shortened, I can sleep in a little more. I'm working with an up-and-coming youth service/civic engagement non-profit, which, in my humble opinion, is the best organization to intern for in D.C. With a few staff (no guys, except for me), the group relies on interns. To give us a taste of what we would do, my supervisor gave my three co-interns and me a project for the first week. We had to compose a press release, a project summary, current events summary, and a social media strategy for one of the ongoing programs at our organization. It was research and writing intensive, and a great teamwork exercise. We all had to rely on one another for information and figuring out how to do basic things (such as connecting to the network printer) as we settled into our new workplace.

Now we are each working on our own individual, long-term projects--I'm putting together a newsletter due next week. My organization's office culture is relaxed, yet very productive. Two Fridays ago, we celebrated the birthday of one of my co-interns, during which I endured jocular complaints about guys being able to go on the "eat everything" diet. Hearing stories about intern experiences at other places, makes me grateful for interning at ICP. I know only four weeks has passed, but work has been fulfilling so far. This week promises to be intense as we host several groups from Pakistan participating in one of our initiatives.

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