Monday, November 3:
I just finished my eighth week of work at Senator Hatch's office. I can't believe that I have been here for a month.
On Columbus Day, since I had the day off I decided to spend the afternoon on the Mall. I stumbled across the Navy Memorial, which was pretty cool because it was the Navy's birthday. If I hadn't noticed a woman taking a picture behind me I would have never realized it was there. In the memorial they had a spot for each of the armed forces, my favorite being the Coast Guard.
After the Navy Memorial, I decided to go where I had originally intended, the Natural History Museum. Since museums don't keep my interest for long I was only there for a half hour. I really had wanted to see the Dinosaur exhibit, but unfortunately it was closed.
From the first week here in D.C. I had noticed the red Capitol Bike Share bikes, so I decided to try one out today and ride the mall. Now that was the real adventure. Since they have to be turned in every half hour I found myself backtracking a lot to make sure that I checked the bike in on time. Bikes always make me feel as if I am flying. Back at home I could barely ride my bike for more than 15 minutes, but after straining my legs so much walking everywhere I was able to ride for 3 hours. It was a perfect day for a bike ride. It was cloudy and cool, but it wasn't cold. It was foggy so I occasionally had my glasses fog up.
Just after I had passed the Washington Monument, I saw this group of boys singing so I stopped. At first I thought that it was a proposal because this one guy was singing to a girl that was standing there.
It was just a singing group. I was there for four of their songs. For the last song they sang one of the soloists caught my eye and brought the group over to sing to me.
It was amazing and I was beet red. It was so funny. It really nice of them to sing to me too.
After the wonderful singing I went to the WWII Memorial. I liked the view of the Lincoln Memorial from the fountain.
Next I went to the Lincoln Memorial. One of my favorite views of the Washington Monument is that from the Lincoln Memorial.
If you are at the Lincoln Memorial you have to go passed the Korean War Memorial. It was great to see these statutes when it was a little more lit. I love this quote "Freedom is not Free." It reminds us that to maintain our freedoms, so many people have died and paid the ultimate price. "Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met."
The experience on the mall was amazing. It was great to see that I truly am not weak. Although I don't like to walk very far because of pain, I have found that I can bike and I can get around much faster and without the impact. Back at home I could have never imagined biking the mall. I probably covered enough ground that I would have gone from end to end of the mall, because I made a few circle backs.
Being here in D.C. I can see that I have so many opportunities to learn and grow. There are so many chances to stretch myself because there are few places where I am actually allowed to be in my comfort zone. What I have accomplished and what lies ahead of me, just makes me want to do the best I can. I can't always be perfect, but I can always strive for better than yesterday.
It was good to see Tim Sheenan this last week. Work is going great. I am still working on compiling the roll call votes for judicial nominations.
Monday, October 6:
I just finished my sixth week of work at Senator Hatch's office.
The last two weeks have been pretty quiet since we have been out of session. Unfortunately since it is an election year, we will be out of session more than we will be in. Although it isn't a typical semester in the Senate and much slower than usual, many have said that it has been the busiest out of session they have had in a while.
I am still going through tour testing, the only one who has not been signed off yet. Preparation for my tour testing sessions takes up about half of my time. Today I have been cleared to do my final tour test, where I will give a tour to a group of constituents.
I have been given the responsibility to double check and record the list of judicial nominations going all the way back to the first Congress. It has been interesting going through all of the names and seeing how Senator Hatch voted on each.
After I had gone to the Capitol building during my spare time at work last week I ended up getting turned around in the Senate office buildings. I decided to try a staircase in the Russell building, forgetting that it was only connected to the other buildings on the basement level, and found myself turned around and confused and eventually found myself on the other side in a similar corridor that I was used to. I was probably lost for at least 15 minutes. While I was lost I was able to see the beauty of the Russell building, which was built in 1909. Normally I only go through the basement portion of the building and see the building as brick and old, but going up into the other portions of the building I was able to see the beautiful staircases and hallways.
I love it here in D.C. and the adventures I have had. The time is going by so fast. I can't believe I have been out here for almost two months. This experience really forces me to stretch myself be diligent in my duties and really seek to learn and gather knowledge. The learning that I have done here at the Capitol is as much as if I was in classes back at home.
I was able to go to the National Gallery of Art and experience the beauty of art that bring on emotion. The paintings were beautiful and I was able to recognize a few of the names of the artists, I wish I knew more of them. It was surprising to me how many of the subjects of the paintings appeared as if they could leap from the canvas.
The seasons finally snapped and it is getting quite chilly, fall has definitely come to D.C.
I have been having a wonderful time.
Monday, September 22:
I just finished my fourth week of work at Senator Hatch's office.
The last two weeks have been interesting since we have been in session. While we have been in session the work load has picked up a little. I have had the opportunity to make 3 sets of binders for meetings and was able to attend one of the Markups. However, the time we have been in session has been short lived, we are going to be out of session until November, because of the campaign season.
Over the last two weeks I have had the opportunity to see Senator Hatch on two occasions, although I have not had the opportunity to speak with him. I saw him as he came out of a conference room up near the Judiciary cubicles and then later that week at the Markup. I accidentally didn't include everything that was necessary in the Markup binder and the Proxy letter was incomplete. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late to fix it, the only thing I could hope for was that Senator Hatch would actually be at the meeting. Luckily he did arrive, although he was the last to get to the meeting.
It was very interesting to be working on Capitol Hill on September 11th. There were moments of silence throughout the morning to remember the events that happened that day 13 years ago. I had just gotten to work at 8:46, the time that the first plane hit the north tower, when the message came across the PA system. It really put the events in perspective, about what time the events happened, to be working on Capitol Hill and realize that if I had been working in the towers that day I would have just gotten to work, like many others who died that day. That night I was able to go to the Pentagon Memorial again, someone had gone around to every bench and left one white rose.
I am loving the research and document preparation that I have been able to help with. I am going to be tour tested this week and possibly give my first tour to a constituent.
Well things are going great here in Washington, DC. although I haven't been able to get out and see many sites yet. The weeks go by so fast.