In which I learn you can always use more sleep...

In which I learn you can always use more sleep...

After a great first week interning at Democracy Partners, a progressive political consulting firm, I had a big things in store for my weekend. There were a million sights to see, several friends to visit… but real life had other plans. Apparently my body had a hard time adjusting to my new schedule, because by Friday I was definitely sick. I wish I had a crazy, spontaneous weekend to write about but the majority of it was truthfully spent with a box of Kleenex and a half gallon of orange juice. It was certainly a lesson in pacing myself: D.C. has a lot to offer, but I can obviously only handle so much.

Just as I started to feel better, the weekend ended and had to jump right back into the swing of things. On Monday, as a part of the Simpson-Mineta Leaders Series, we had a lecture from the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, Larry J. Schweinger. Until earlier this year, I did not give much thought to climate change. Sure, I had seen "An Inconvenient Truth" when I was 13 and considered myself a crusader for the environment… for about a week. I always believed in the need for policy to promote green energy and curb foreign oil reliance, but had never considered myself an activist for the cause. After a school assignment this past semester where I had to debunk global warming myths, the issue recaptured my attention. Mr. Schweinger outlined the already visible effects of Global Warming. From record temperature highs last year to the alarming rate of Arctic ice loss, the evidence for climate change is shocking. Mr. Schweinger explained we are leaving the holocene and entering an era where "the abnormal will be normal." The talk was haunting, but an inspirational call to action.

Later in the week my supervisor at work informed me of the #NoMoreNames event hosted by the Newtown Action Alliance, a pro-gun control advocacy group.  The event was held all day on the lawn in front of the Capitol. From 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., volunteers read off the names of every death by shooting in chronological order since the Sandy Hook massacre. I began my shift at 10:45 a.m., shocked to see that they were still reciting deaths from January 1st. The event was a simple but powerful reminder of the deep wound that gun violence has left on our nation, a message that will hopefully resonate with lawmakers.

In 2012, there were more homicides in Chicago than US troop killings in Afghanistan.

 

As this weekend approaches, I am crossing my fingers that last weekend's cold was a one-time thing. All seems well so far and this weekend is shaping up to be a good one (hopefully less Kleenex and orange juice will be involved). Might be too soon to say, but I think I'm getting the hang of this.

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