Farewell For Now, D.C.

Farewell For Now, D.C.

The day is finally here. Check-out day. It's not nearly as hectic as check-in day. Between Commencement yesterday and turning in my keys this morning, I have said goodbye to my roommates, my fellow interns and my apartment. Now, I am preparing to say goodbye to D.C....for now.


Right now, I am sitting at my gate at Ronald Reagan National Airport - as I told you I would be in my last blog entry - waiting for my flight to Minneapolis, which will go on from there to my home of Los Angeles. I did not think I would be able to fit all my belongings comfortably into two suitcases and one backpack, and I was right. I definitely underestimated how much stuff I had, but I managed to stuff my backpack and a reusable Harris Teeter bag full of extra clothes and shoes. Flying classy.


Not to mention I left my one favorite pair of jeans in my dresser. Thankfully, my roommate checked all my drawers and found them before she left. It's kind of funny because I double-checked the top two drawers of the dresser and just thought, "It's fine, I got everything." So, let this be a lesson to the future TWC students out there: check ALL the dresser drawers before you leave. Just check everything at least 5 times for good measure.

 

Reflection

And now I suppose it's time for me to reflect on my experience in Washington, D.C. with The Washington Center. I've done quite a bit of reflecting in the last week or so. In the final LEAD Colloquium yesterday morning, my LEAD instructor asked us a series of questions: 1) what we're doing after this, 2) what we are looking forward to, and 3) what we were surprised by. So, I will answer these questions for you all, however many readers I have:


1) After this, I will be back in Los Angeles interning at the Republican Party of Los Angeles. Then, in about 5 weeks, I will be back in D.C. at American University, working as a Team Advisor for the Political Action and Public Policy program at the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). Basically, I teach a group of high school students about U.S. politics through a Senate and campaign simulation and other activities. Two years ago, I was an Assistant Team Advisor, so this is a step up for me, and I'm very excited.

 

2) There are two things I'm looking forward to upon returning home. For one, I cannot wait to have my own room again. I love my roommates and enjoyed living with them, but nothing beats the privacy of having your own bedroom and bathroom space.


The second thing I'm looking forward to is employing what I learned during these three and a half months from this point on. I learned so much about my own field, how to be professional, getting a job, keeping a job, making real life decisions and much more. TWC did a great job of teaching us these things in a thoughtful and engaging matter. I knew a bit about these things already, but this semester added a great deal of knowledge on these topics that will undoubtedly help me in the future, both professionally and personally. If any of this sounds interesting to you, you definitely won't be disappointed if you choose The Washington Center. I'm glad that I took advantage of all the opportunities extended to me, because I gained so much from it, and you will, too.


3) This semester, I was surprised at the culture of D.C. It turned me off at times, and several other people in my LEAD class shared this same sentiment. I've heard people say that people in/from L.A. are rude, but from the day I arrived, I noticed how blatantly rude people in D.C. were. The customer service is terrible pretty much anywhere you go.


I don't mind the fact that people in D.C. are focused so heavily on their jobs, because I find a strong work ethic to be a positive thing. Plus, there's some balance there with the happy hour culture in D.C.


However, people are generally not friendly, even servers at a restaurant. Maybe I'm just used to being wooed for tips, and they don't do that here. Regardless, I'm a serious person myself, and I still found D.C. to be a little cold and unwelcoming (that's saying something). Although I still love the city and everything it has to offer, all of this just reinforced what was said during Orientation, which was that, "You will never feel fully comfortable in D.C."

Final Thoughts

Looking back on this experience, the biggest gain I observed was that I grew professionally. This was a part of myself that needed polishing, and TWC helped me do just that. I now feel that I can nail any job interview and make a decision about graduate school with confidence. My resume is slammin' and I'm now on the "Expert" level on LinkedIn. Without TWC, it would have taken me a lot longer to accomplish these things, if ever.


My internship made me realize that I do not want to pursue lobbying as a career. This may sound like I had a bad experience or it was a waste of my time, which are both false. The course of my internship was unexpected, but overall I learned lessons that are imperative to succeeding in a professional work environment. Now, I can explore other great options while I still have time.


I will miss the wonderful people I met - Maggie, Delaney, Andrea, Caitlyn, and more - and I will always look back on these past few months fondly. And if you are set to intern at The Chwat Group and you are reading this, good luck!

 

Katie's Corner

For this final edition of Katie's Corner, I will share with you the top two restaurants that stole my heart this semester. One for dinner and one for brunch.


My favorite place to go to dinner was, hands down Medium Rare. This is where I took my roommates as our last hoorah, and they loved it. As I said when I first recommended this restaurant, the dinner menu is "prix fixe," so you get bread, a salad and TWO helpings of steak frites (steak and fries).


My roommate thought that the steak was going to be a thick slab of meat, but it's thinly sliced, cuts like butter, and is seasoned to perfection just like the fries. Here is a picture to remind you of the beauty:

 

 

If you're not salivating at this picture, all I will say is that the lighting was poor inside the restaurant.


I wish I could have tried more restaurants for brunch, but even if I had, I think this one would still be my favorite. This restaurant is Ted's Bulletin. I loooove the atmosphere of Ted's. The decor is so vintage, but not in a tacky or kitschy way. I also wish I could have gone here for lunch or dinner once because those menus looked divine.


I will not complain, though, because the brunch was delicious. The first time I ordered french toast and the second time I ordered the standard egg, sausage, hash brown and toast breakfast. Both hit the spot, and both times I started off with an iced latte. There are no words for this, just a kiss on my fingers like an Italian chef.


Here is another picture to spark your memory:

 

 

This french toast had an ever-so-slightly crunchy crust and soft middle. In short, it was perfection.

 

Farewell

Well, that concludes my 15th and final blog post for the semester. I've really enjoyed being an intern blogger for The Washington Center and being able to discuss this crazy journey every week with you.


Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I also hope you can take at least some of what I've shared with you, whether that be formal advice or anything else, and make some use out of it.

 

- K

 

Read Katie's previous blog posts here

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