Hands up high and proud if you’re spending valentines alone on tumblr.
Hands up high and proud if you’re spending valentines alone on tumblr.
Traveling the world and exploring varied cultures is a dream that everyone, to some degree, craves to fulfill. In my own country and during my journeys across the world, I have come across people who, after a brief conversation, could not resist from saying, “Oh! I wish I could live your life.” I It makes me think about what stops people from fulfilling their dreams, which, in this case is the dream of being a traveler.
1. Fear of the unknown - This is perhaps the biggest fear that people face. We are brought up in an environment, where, anything that you can’t see should not be trusted. We have our lives clearly defined — a settled job, a house, a car and a family. Being a traveler would require you to move out of your arm chair and walk into the unknown. A traveler may have to come across unknown circumstances, cultures, countries, cuisines and languages
A wakeup call: Mariellen Ward of BreatheDreamGo started when only a handful of people in this world could relate to who a traveler is. She works for empowering women to travel solo and safely at #WeGoSolo
SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY. MY DAD IS MY BEST FRIEND.
After a tip from a wonderful friend, I spent my Sunday at the Eastern Markets. I had no idea how close it was to work, and saw it is only one metro stop away from it. Thus, it made getting there very easy.
I arrived in the muggy haze, unsure of what to expect. Lining the streets were tents filled with people of all ages and pets of all kinds. It seemed like you could find or buy anything at the Markets! Need fresh strawberries, a fedora and new earrings? Well, you could get them all from the same vendor if your heart desired. A lot of the jewelry was similar from tent to tent, but the other accessories like wallets, scarves, hats, dresses and shirts varied. A lot of it was from local stores or hand-made from the vendor themselves. It was unreal some of the things people could design! One cool thing I saw at a vintage tent was a woman selling old pieces of luggage but refurnished with paint and stickers and pictures. I was obsessed with them, but did not think it would be a wise investment since I already have a lot of luggage with me.
I saw pieces of art that blew my mind. Like a painting of the DC skyline made completely with thread. It was incredible (and too expensive for me). I saw cute, cliche signs that made me smile. Some of the African tribal sculptures were so intricate and in such detail, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take to make.
And finally, last but not least, the food. Oh, the food! It was all freshly grown and for sale. I tried all sorts of peaches, apple slices, mustards, etc. They had an inside part, too, that sold fresh meats. It was very cool and made me think of the markets in Barcelona I went to. I tried a freshly made chocolate donut with marshmallow in the middle, and chocolate frosting and Coco Crispies on top. It was amazing and held me over until an hour or so later, when I had the gelato in the picture above. Pitango is one of the most famous gelato places in the area, and I am glad I got the chance to try it. My dad is coming down this weekend and I would love to take him there.
I have some photos of the Eastern Market I will be sure to try and upload soon! They’re general area shots, nothing too fancy. But, they will give you an idea of what the area looks like.
Pride 2013 in Washington DC
Photoset four from my day at the Newseum. By far, this was the exhibit that got to me the most. I cried the entire time. No copyright infringement intended.
Photoset three from my day at the Newseum. No copyright infringement intended.
Photo set two of my day at the Newseum. No copyright infringement intended.
Photo set 1 of the Newseum. No copy right infringement intended.
It’s already 11:30pm here, and I have SO much left to write and upload, but I need to go to bed. I have work tomorrow! I’ll do it tomorrow when I get home and have the time. For now, it is time to sleep.
Goodnight, and happy reading!
The quote in the title is from one of the exhibits in the Newseum, which is where I spent all day last Sunday. Literally. I was there from 12-5pm, which is when they close. It is six floors of pure awesome. It is legen-wait for it-dary!
I walked from my dorm to the museum, which was like practically walking to work so I was tired by the end of the day, but it was worth the tired feet. Each floor had such amazing exhibits and I cannot wait to go back when my parents come up to visit in a week. Each floor had different exhibit, and unfortunately, due to my timing, I did not get to enjoy all of the fifth floor so I will make sure I do that with my parents. Here are my favorite parts of my visit:
On the concave and sixth floor, they had exhibits on JFK. The concave was photography based, with photos documenting his home life with Jackie and Caroline while at their home in Georgetown. It mostly profiled his journey to the White House and had some stunning photos of them as a family and them on the road. It was so touching to see them in these photos, and the captions by the photographer captured their elegance so well. The sixth floor exhibit focused more on the day of his assignation and how the press covered it/the public reacted. It also had profiles on Lee Harvey Oswald, which I thought was pretty interesting to read. It essentially detailed that entire day, and I gained more insight to that day. A lot of the older visitors were visibly upset by this one.
On the third floor, there was an intriguing exhibit on freedom of the press, and it decoded, by country, which places had the most and least freedom of the press. Unfortunately, it seems that in the past year, more countries are facing restrictions on what is and is not allowed to be published. This is generally observed in countries that are economically or governmentally unstable. Next to this display was a tribute to all journalist that have died on the job or executed because of the role they played in reporting on stories that people saw as a threat to their way of life. It was shocking to see how many names were on the list. They also had next to it artifacts from people who have endured violence while reporting on the jobs. Journalism can be a deadly profession, which is just horrible. People have a right to know the news and the truth. Those that report it should not have to lose their life because of it.
On the fourth floor was an exhibit about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Here, I lost it. I was crying as soon as I saw the wall of newspaper headlines, the broken pieces left from the North Tower, the video playing of the planes crashing. It brought me back to my scared 9 year old self, not having any idea of what was going on, but knowing that something bad had happened. I was brought back to my fourth grade self realizing that these teachers crying, and parents pulling their kids out of school meant something was not right. I remember walking in on my mom crying in front of the TV, and her sending me outside to play with my brother for a bit. It was, without a doubt, the scariest day of my life, and I had not even learned what happened. I learned, obviously, what happened, but each time I see things about that day, I choke up. I had an adult come up to me and ask me if I remembered it at all and how old I was when it all happened. Sadness appeared in her eyes when I said I was 9 and could recall details of the day perfectly. We then looked around as we saw groups of 9 year olds running around the exhibit, not really understanding what this was or why it was important. It was in this moment I really thought about how it is so important to teach history, and to teach it properly. How do you convey a devastating attack to kids who may not have even been born yet? How do you make them grasp the severity of it? I have a lot of respect for history teachers everywhere that have to do this when teaching kids about things like Nazis or genocide or anything that fills you with vile and disgust.
Anyway, this is all I can think of for now on this day. I took a ton of pictures which I will be sure to upload. Honestly, out of the all the museums I’ve seen so far, this is my favorite; this is probably because I have always wanted to be a journalist in one way or another and believe in the power of the written word.
I have not updated this blog since early June, which is completely unacceptable considering how much free time I have after work. I guess it is because after 8 hours of staring at a computer screen, my mind repels away from the glow of my MacBook.
However, no more! No more will this be the case! I will faithfully try and update this more frequently. Since I have so much to write, I decided it will be easier to update this with focused posts. So, this post will be “work” focused.
Since I last updated this blog, work was just getting started. In fact, I had not even had my first full week or work yet. The second week was shortened due to Memorial Day. I wrote a bullet-point list of the highlights of that week, and honestly, that seems suffice enough that I do not even need to explain more on that. It was a relatively low-key week.
I entered into week 3 not sure if my mind will be able to handle 40 hours of the high paced political atmosphere I was in. After all, I had only worked until 6pm twice up until this point. This was my first week of 9am-6pm, with the exception of Friday (which, like every Friday, is from 9am-5pm). I did not dread being up early as much as I had been the two previous work weeks because my summer cold was finally gone (my mom was right: summer colds take about two weeks to go away). With the extra energy, I mustered the strength and enthusiasm for work. I put on my fancy intern clothes (thanks J.Crew for making it so easy to mix and match all my outfits…seriously). I try to take a picture of my outfits for my parents so they can see me looking professional before I leave for work in the morning. If I wait until the end of the day, after a day of heat and humidity and eye-straining computer work, I look like a zombie. Ain’t nobody got time for that look. Especially when there are possibilities of me meeting/seeing famous politicians/my ultimate boss.
But enough about the material things of my pre-internship life. WORK. This is about WORK.
And honestly, I love where I work. I work with bright individuals (staff and intern wise) that inspire me to challenge myself. I felt like at Marist, because I somewhat followed the news I knew more than some people and that gave me a false sense of confidence that I actually knew what was going. When, in actuality, there were so many other issues that I was blatantly ignoring. Sure, I would read the New York Times health and environment section in economics on my laptop, but what about the business section? Or technology? I was missing information. Now, hearing my peers discuss such a wide range of current events and issues, I am constantly reading various new sources and watching C-SPAN throughout the day so if something major happens, I am able to contribute to the conversation. Something I’ve learned from this, though? Being informed takes a lot of work and a lot of reading…this may be contributing to my tired eye syndrome. Being the only girl (or at least I was until this past week when one new girl started!) for a while made me feel like I also had something to prove. It is definitely a male-dominated place and I want to prove I deserve to be there and know what I am doing and am GOOD at what I do. I commute with one of the guys I intern with so each morning and evening, when we are on our way to/from work, it gives me a chance to practice my newly gained knowledge out.
(I am trying not to use names of my coworkers/other interns out of respect for their privacy. I am sorry if this is confusing).
My day’s assignments are generally pretty routine: in the morning, I do some research for the consumer affairs department and then sort mail. In the afternoon, I answer phones, and work on a special mail assignment and help out the consumer affairs, health care and environment areas. I get to attend briefings and take notes for them or pick up information. I’ve done research on the latest health care and consumer affairs news as well. Doing work for them is probably my favorite part of the day. I would explain in more detail what I do, but out of ethical respect for my job and coworkers, I will not divulge that information. Sometimes during the day, we get to sit down with staff members and hear about what they do in the office and it really helps me understand the importance to each person that is there. I have so much respect for them because their jobs are hard, they deal with a lot and they are just so smart. And yet, despite their schedules, they made time for us interns and talked to us about what we wanted to know!
One neat thing that happened in my third week of work was my lunch date with one of the members of the staff and other interns. This staff member focuses on energy, environmental and transportation issues. He sat down with the other intern and myself and told us his story, how he got to where he is and gave us tips/advice on how to network in this city. He also answered any questions we had about this business or anything, really. He was so nice and it was really nice of him to sit down with us. Also, I made a new friend out of this meeting, because it turns out I have a lot in common with this other intern. It only took me three weeks to realize this, but I am glad I did! It has made work a lot better. Anyway, this week, I plan on asking the other environmental person to get coffee so I can pick his brain and hear about his start.
A small part of my job entails running errands for the staff in my office, as well as answering phones and sitting at the front desk. I prefer running errands to the phones, because I panic about giving out the wrong info on the phones. Plus, they are really complicated and people like to yell. A lot. And it’s always about things I cannot help them with: it’s them upset with my office and they just want to sound off about it. Most of the time I just take notes on what they said and do the polite speech I have been instructed to give. If only the person on the phone knew I was sweating and had a pit in my stomach, then maybe they wouldn’t yell at me. I think these nerves stem from me having a fear of being punished or messing up, when in actuality, this whole experience is about learning about the different jobs and roles in the office. That’s something I need to remember when I sit down to cover phones tomorrow.
As I mentioned in my week two overview, I was tour trained so that if asked, I could readily give accurate tours. This past work week, I had to escort one set of visitors to their proper location and the following day, give a tour to a different couple. I got the escorts lost (lol my life is a joke) and I apologized profusely but they were kind enough to shrug it off and laugh, saying it happens and as long as we ended up where we needed to be, it was fine. But, as I found out later, these were important people that I got lost and while I did not get in trouble, I felt really guilty. So for my upcoming tour, you bet your sweet bottom I reviewed my tour guide book like my life depended on it. And, it paid off in the end because the tour went swimmingly and I had such a wonderful time showing them around. I clicked with the couple and we had a very easy-going time. I definitely want to practice the tour route more on my own so I can ensure that I am the absolute best tour guide I can be!
One unique aspect to my internship is that I am allowed to attend lectures/briefings if I find one that sparks my interest. As long as I ask for permission with my internship coordinator and set it up in her calendar, I am allowed to go. So far, I have attended a few lectures that have not necessarily been assigned to me, but thought would be worth my time. I went to a lecture by Chuck Todd, as well as a few health care ones. I also went to briefing on Gulf Coast restoration, in which my boss made an appearance at which was very cool. This past Thursday before my tour, I was also able to attend a fascinating one on education, an issue that I think is not discussed nearly enough. Sometimes I do not find out about the lectures until the day before or day of it, so they can be pretty last minute. But, that sometimes makes it so much better because it can be fun, unexpected part of the day!
Anddddd I believe THAT is all I can get myself to write about my internship work life. I will definitely be sure to write about more cool things that come up as they, well, come up. Right now, this is all I can think of!
Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery