Getting to know the government

Getting to know the government


The summer is winding down but that doesn’t mean I’m slowing down! This week was full of exploring places in the government, which is something I’d never be able to do at home.


Tours galore!

I went on two more tours this week: one of the White House, another of the Department of State (yes, again, but different). I wasn’t able to get a tour reservation through my Congressman but I was invited on a White House tour and I’m so glad I went! I got to tour the East Wing of the White House, where I saw the China Room, the library, the State Dining Room, the Blue Room, and other interesting rooms. I didn’t get to see President Obama (he was in Africa) but it was still extremely interesting.


the Blue Room at the White House


My second tour was at the Department of State with a desk officer, who took my colleagues and me through her office. We discussed career options with the Department of State, which I found incredibly helpful. For some time, I considered pursuing a Foreign Service Officer position, but I wasn’t sure of it; now I know there are other options out there.


Working or Having Fun? Why not both?

If you’ve been following my last couple of posts, you’ll remember that I’ve been conducting public policy advocacy on the Hill. Well, my colleagues and I are finally done with the House of Representatives! 435 offices, all visited.


I gained lots of insight into the inner workings of the legislature. People work nearly non-stop in Congress, unless Congress is out of session which means the halls of the office buildings are deserted. I’m fairly certain that the number of interns is equal to the number of employees and they all seem to come to the cafeteria at Longworth between noon and two. Also, the cafeteria at Longworth is inexpensive and surprisingly delicious. “Out of the office” or “in a meeting” are euphemisms for “I have no time to meet with you.” And, every office decorates differently, like this one:


Art at a Representative's office


But I have to admit, it was fun! The best part was getting the snacks at some offices. Apparently Hill interns frequent the offices with the best snacks. New Jersey offices, for example, have M&Ms. K and I went into one office that had ice cream and beef jerky (we both got ice cream and ate it in the hallway). I collected Rice Krispie treats, candy, and orange juice. We even found an office with small bags of rice!


Homework, homework, and more homework

As all end of semesters, there’s tons of work that I have to finish. I have my final and my portfolio, each of each requires lots of writing. Unfortunately, my last weekend in D.C. has been a bit spoiled by my cold. I was going to go to Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday, but considering the amount of work I have to finish and my inability to breathe through my nose, I just have to save Arlington and a few other museums for the next time I’m in Washington. It gives me another reason to come back!


Hopefully I’ll be all better by my next post!

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