Tears of Both Joy and Grief
June 26, 2016
Last week was my 8th week in Washington D.C. I cannot believe how quickly this time has gone by and that I still have over another month and a half left before I head home. Last week was filled with doing what I have been doing the entire time. I was tasked with answering phones, logging constituent mail, writing correspondence for the Congressman, and my personal favorite, giving tours of our beautiful Capitol to visitors.
Last week was the week that I finally got a picture with Congressman David Loebsack. Since one of our interns was leaving last week, the Congressman’s staff felt that it would be best to get a group photo as well as individual photos on the steps of the Capitol. That was a great experience.
One of the main things that set last week apart from all of the other weeks was the presence of a sporting event to look forward to. As anyone who knows me will be able to tell you, I never really enjoyed or understood sports. However, this was a special game. This was the annual Congressional Baseball Game, which was held at Nationals Stadium. Both the Democrats and Republicans would choose party members in Congress to play against each other in a game for charity. It was a lot of fun seeing these people who I have read so much about taking the field and showing off their athletic abilities. Although my team, the Democrats, lost, it was still a great time. The best part of the night was seeing the Race of the Presidents. This is a race about halfway through the game in which people in mascot suits based off of Presidents run around the field and race each other. It was very funny to watch things like Theodore Roosevelt go the wrong way and Thomas Jefferson falling over.
One of the other important things that I did this week was visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. This is a government run museum that works to inform the public about the atrocities that took place in the 1930’s and 1940’s during the Holocaust. This was a very difficult museum to go through since you see how feelings of true hate and discrimination are used to kill off entire families and create quite possibly the greatest violation of human rights ever. While going through the museum, I was constantly reminded of a single quote:
This quote is the last thing that visitors see as they are leaving the exhibits since it is presented in giant block letters that make it impossible to miss.
The final thing that I did this week was to go see the new film Independence Day: Resurgence. Being a big fan of alien invasion films, I was looking forward to seeing the sequel that had taken 20 years to create. I was disappointed by the result. Why I expected the film to be as great as the original, it was not. Instead, I spent most of them film analyzing all of the international political statements and assumptions that the film makes that would never happen. One of these statements was that the world had not seen was since the invasion. I found this to be untrue since the death of leaders and systems of government in the invasion would lead some countries to embrace civil war in order to establish and retain power. I would have never thought this way before my time at Cornell. Cornell has taught me that the world is not always as clear-cut that things like movies present it as. For this lesson I will always be grateful.
Andrew is a politics major from Hickory Hills, Illinois.