Midterm Evaluations

Midterm Evaluations

I saw this type of post in a blog from one of TWC's students from last semester, and since I'm getting to that middle of semester slump when I can't come up with any new ideas because all I can think about is going home for 9 days to sit with my dog and get caught up on Glee by watching the same 4 episodes twice a day for a week--oh wait, we don't get a spring break!--I have decided to copy that model.


Here are my "Midterm Evaluations" for my experience in D.C. thus far.



Grade: A-

Comments: I really like my internship. Even before I had my phone interview back in December, I knew that working at the USCHS was just what I'd been looking for: a mix of historical research and writing opportunities, along with gaining experience at a U.S. history-related non-profit. I'm definitely more interested in 20th century history than the 19th century, which is what I've been focusing on at USCHS (and especially 1816--let's face it, it wasn't the biggest year for the history books), but I'm enjoying getting to research a part of U.S. history which I haven't learned about since high school. The fact that I can walk over to the Library of Congress any day I want to look through books in the main reading room or browse the LoC's online newspaper databases is a huge plus. At the beginning of the semester, I was a little disappointed that just about all of our research focused on straight up political history--names, dates, facts, and Congress--but since I've started writing for USCHS' blog, I've had more opportunities to look at 19th century social history, which is very cool. My grade for the internship is a little short of full marks just because... well, it's still an internship, and I'm still not totally used to sitting at a desk all day without a whole lot of (some days, any) human interaction.



Grade: A-

Comments: I love my class. While my roommates are sitting through Non-Profit Management and most other TWCers have similar pre-professional, business-esq courses, I have Media and the Movies, a course taught by an editor at the Associated Press on the ethics of journalism, as seen through American film. So yes, it's a film class... and a film class in which we watch the movies in class, and not as homework. So far, we've watched The Pelican Brief, Ace in the Hole, All the President's Men, and Absence of Malice (aww yeah, Sally Fields), none of which I had seen before. At the beginning, our class discussions focused on the ethics of journalism, and why the U.S. can't have any strict laws enforcing journalists to tell the truth, act independently, or minimize harm, etc. (Thank you, first amendment rights!) But we've also debated the use of anonymous sources and whether journalists should be required to divulge their sources if necessary. Along with teaching about journalism, the class also focuses on common perceptions of journalism in America and how these views have changed over time/for what reasons, which, as an American Studies major, is definitely my favorite aspect.


Civic Engagement Project

Grade: A

Comments: Read my previous post! It's nice to take off your J Crew slacks and help people one in a while. Also, I got an excuse to make a giant vat of minestrone soup!


Monday Programming at The Washington Center

Grade: B

Comments: Monday afternoons aren't usually my favorite at TWC. Our internships only meet four days a week (or, for some people, four and a half) so that we have Monday afternoons free for "programming." This block of time usually encompasses some sort of pre-professional training, information session, tour, or lecture on... future opportunities that I am both unqualified for and disinterested in? Wrap it up in the required Business-Professional attire on the one day we don't have to go to work... and I'm usually a little grumbly. When the programming is specific to my program, Advocacy, Service and Arts, then I'm usually a much bigger fan. Last week, Josh, my program advisor, took us to the US Green Building Council, which is a national organization which ranks buildings on the size of their ecological footprint and teaches them how to become and remain sustainable (the same organization that's given Dickinson all of it's LEED gold certifications--go Dickinson!). In February, our program went on a tour of the Kennedy Center, which was a great introduction to some possible D.C. excursions that aren't memorials or museums. After I went, I spent about an hour looking up the Kennedy Center's upcoming shows, but my mom still hasn't given me a definite answer about seeing a ballet of The Sun also Rises on the weekend I move out.


D.C. Livin'

Grade: A

Comments: I love living in an apartment, I love living in a city, and I love, love living in D.C.! Not having a meal plan was an adjustment for roughly the first five days, but since then, I am thoroughly enjoying being in charge of all of my own meals and not using a tuna melt from the Snar at Dickinson as my go-to dinner three nights a week. I love being able to walk to visit my good friend Harris T. (the grocery store) any time I want. And, best of all, I love having the opportunity to visit any of D.C.'s millions of museums or memorials (yes, most of which are free) just by jumping on the metro! And considering getting out of small-town PA was on the top of my list of reasons for signing up for this semester, I'd say this grade is pretty important.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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