New Adventures and Mourning
June 13, 2016
This was an exciting week to be an intern on Capitol Hill. My week started as all weeks do. I was tasked with doing the work that I always had to do, specifically giving tours to constituents as well as answering the phone calls and letters that we received. This week provided me with a series of opportunities that I was unable to get in the weeks before though.
One of the first new things that I was exposed to this week was the world of Congressional hearings. These are hearings that are designed to inform other Congressmen and staff members about both important issues and upcoming pieces of legislation. The hearing that I had decided to attend was one concerning magic. Congressman Pete Sessions from Texas wanted to gain support for a resolution that he wrote that would declare that magic would be recognized as an art form as well as a “rare talent” by the federal government. While this may seem like a low-key hearing that would draw little attention, it drew a large crowd due to the special guest: world-renowned magician David Copperfield! David Copperfield is most well-known for his 21 Emmy awards as well as making the Statue of Liberty disappear back in the 1980’s. David Copperfield showed up to lend credibility to the hearing itself as well as draw attention to the issue. I was in awe of this legend of the magic world as well as the outstanding argument that was made about why magic should be viewed as an art form by the government. After the hearing, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Copperfield and getting my picture taken with him. Although I have met numerous famous people in my life, from Hillary Clinton to President Obama, this was one that would stick with me.
Last weekend, while it should have been filled with joy (which it was), was marred by the attacks in Orlando. I grieved with the rest of the nation for the families in Orlando and struggled to understand what could drive someone to commit this action. While I mourned the loss of life this weekend, I also took the chance to explore the great city that I live in.
On Sunday I attended the Eastern Market. This is a farmers market that is set up in Washington D.C. every day. People from all over the city come by to sell their fresh produce as well as other things that people may be interested in buying. By far, the coolest stand that I saw at the market was a company that put individual stamps into shadow-boxes so that they could be displayed. I probably would have bought quite a bit at the marketplace if I wasn’t so strapped for space in my apartment.
This was a truly great week for me. I continued to use the lessons that Cornell has taught me in order to improve my tours of our Capitol while also using the writing skills that I have used to make sure the correspondence that I write is up to my own personal standards as well as the standards set forth by the Congressman’s office.
I cannot wait to see what kinds of lessons and new experiences next week will bring me as an intern in one of the most exciting cities on Earth.
Andrew is a politics major from Hickory Hills, Illinois.