Do What Moves You

Do What Moves You

The closer we get to the end of our time here in D.C., the faster every week ticks by. While I feel like I was just excited about October beginning, here I am in at the start of November. We have just a little over a month left, and everyone seems to be realizing that. This coming weekend I will be flying home to visit my Mom, and Thanksgiving weekend I will be taking a bus up to Connecticut to visit with my Dad. That means I only have three weekends left here in this city. Saying that feels so strange that I keep repeating it to myself. I think I’m doing this because I have to make sure I don’t let the time slip away from me -- there are still so many things I need to do before I close this chapter forever.

Lately, a lot of interesting things have been going on with programming and civic engagement. On Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of finally meeting my Senator, which had originally been cancelled due to the shutdown. A group of us from all over the state of North Carolina met at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on The Hill and attended Senator Kay Hagan’s Carolina Coffees constituent meeting. Senator Hagan is kind enough to host these meet-and-greets every Wednesday morning and they are entirely open to the public. Senator Hagan, with very limited time, is there to say hello, shake your hand and take a picture with you. Our group of Washington Center students, being our political selves, pushed our luck a bit and engaged Kay Hagan in a (brief) discussion about the recent health care developments. She only let this go on a few minutes before our turn was over, but that was okay. Before I came here to D.C., I didn’t have a bullet on my bucket list for talking policy with a Congresswoman - and now I can say I did. More opportunity for interaction came later when one of the Senator’s legislative aids sat down with us and gave us an overview of everything the Senator and her staff had accomplished, or were currently working on -- this was a good chunk of insight -- straight from inside the walls of the Senate.

 

Meeting Senator Hagan

 

As far as my civic engagement project, I have been so happy with my selection of Education Improvement. Tutoring with Reading Partners has been such an enjoyable and feel-good experience. Brianna and I have increased the frequency of our tutoring sessions, so we have had the pleasure of working with a couple different students consistently. Our Education meetings have also grown more interesting; last week we viewed the documentary “Waiting for Superman” that was in theatres back in 2010. The film follows the stories of five different students, and their individual fates within our education system. “Waiting for Superman,” by David Guggenheim, illustrates why our education system is disgustingly failing our students even after we declared “no child left behind.” Finishing this film in the privacy of my own room, I’ll easily admit to you that I cried during the last half hour of the film, and as I lay in bed that night, I felt sick to my stomach. How could I not know these statistics? Why didn’t someone tell me it was this bad? What are we going to do? What is the future of this country when these schools are failing beyond belief? Watching this film made me want to go outside and stop every person I saw on the street and say to them: “TAKE the time to watch this, it will challenge everything you think you know about education in America, it will change your life…you could change someone else’s life.” So of course, I will preach it in my blog as I have preached it to my peers -- you must watch this film. This isn’t any ordinary documentary; this is about every kid in America, this is about your brother, your nephew, your granddaughter, your kids, your co-workers kids -- this is the future. I’m not simply asking, I’m begging you to watch.

Just because my tone is already quite intense, I might as well give an update on TWC’s HiiT (high intensity intern training) workout group -- because it has absolutely been INTENSE. This week we were all pretty pumped because our t-shirt orders finally came in! Now, we already have many spectators while we are on the Capitol lawn doing insane exercise, but now, with our team jerseys -- we are a sight to be seen, separate from the magnificent dome behind us. I’m really not kidding, this Saturday we had tons of tourists actually stop, pull out their fancy lensed cameras, and capture us in the midst of sprints, army crawls and jumping lunges. I told you it was intense -- Tanya, Tim, and James don’t mess around, they want to almost kill you and they do just that. If you haven’t joined us yet, please don’t be scared -- I am not and have never been an athlete. However, meeting these other crazy kids outside on Saturday mornings has been a blast -- and everyone gets an awesome t-shirt after they come twice! If you wanted to be completely insane like me, you could take personal training sessions with Tanya Flint, who is a certified student here -- and totally hardcore. Tomorrow morning before work, me and my friend Lydia, will start our first session with her -- I know my already aching legs will be screaming at me.

 

 

The Group in our New Shirts

 

Things here have slowed down since the passage of midterm tests, assessments, and assignments. I think we will have a short couple weeks of down time before everything starts picking up again -- to prepare for the very end -- Commencement. This Friday I will be flying home to Raleigh, North Carolina and I couldn’t be more excited. I have crazy plans to lounge around my house eating home cooked meals and a date with my cat, Tucker, who I’ve missed dearly. I’ll be back in The District to check away at my bucket list before I know it.

 

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world"

-Mahatma Gandhi

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