August 23, 2016
Last week was my final week as an intern with U.S. Congressman David Loebsack. This has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I have done everything from meeting David Copperfield to visiting the U.S. State Department.
Last week was mainly spent finishing any work that I still had to do while also packing up my apartment so that I could move out at the end of the week. Monday through Thursday was mainly spent doing what I had done every other week, doing things like managing the phone lines and responding to constituents. On Thursday, my parents came to help me leave D.C. for the time being. I had not seen them in over three months, by far the longest I had ever spent away from them. They were so proud of my accomplishments and all of the hard work I put into the position that the Cornell Fellows helped me achieve. I had a great dinner with them while preparing for their tour the next day. On Friday, I was given the opportunity to show my parents not only the U.S. Capitol but also introduced them to all of the people who I had come to know like family over the past three months. I am happy to report that my parents were very impressed with the sheer amount of knowledge that I shared during my tours. They had already read my tour-guide manual, but this gave them the full experience.
On Saturday, it was finally time to say goodbye to my gorgeous Washington D.C. apartment. Although the apartment was small, it gave me everything I needed to get through the trials and adventures of D.C. After moving into the hotel room that my parents were staying in, we decided to do something that none of us had ever done before: visit Mount Vernon.
Being a student of U.S. history means that I have always held great respect for the men and women who have built this nation, with a special respect being reserved for individuals like George Washington and Elizabeth Cady Staton who helped to build America and equality for all. This provided the perfect opportunity to visit the gorgeous home of President Washington. We not only got to see Washington’s gorgeous mansion that was on display for everyone to see, but we also went through the museum that told us the story of his life. The most humbling thing to see at Mount Vernon by far, though, is the grave sites of both General Washington and his beloved wife, Martha. I was in awe standing in front of not only one of the greatest military minds in American history, but also our nation’s third greatest President. I have always wanted to have the impact on people that General Washington did. Although I know that I will probably not be remembered like President Washington was, it would still be great to think that people would look upon me fondly.
Sunday meant that we had to return home to Chicago. I was forced to say goodbye to the place that I had come to know for home for three months, but I know that this will not be the last time that I will be flying in and out of Reagan National Airport in D.C. I know that my job will eventually take me to D.C. to work and live, but I would not have been able to do it without the education and opportunities that I have had through Cornell and the Cornell Fellows program.
Andrew is a politics major from Hickory Hills, Illinois.