Preparing for the 4th
July 6, 2016
Last week was primarily focused on preparing for the festivities on the Fourth of July. All of Washington D.C. was abuzz with anticipation for the fireworks and parade that would take over this great town.
I was asked to go with the other interns from the Iowa Congressional Offices and help out at the announcement of the World Food Prize laureate. Created by Iowa son, Dr. Norman Borlaug, who discovered disease-resistant wheat that saved millions of lives, the World Food Prize is an annual honor that is given out to individuals or to groups who work to end world hunger. Seeing as how the award was created by an Iowan, it only made sense for each Iowa office to contribute volunteers to help out. I was honored to be put in charge of helping to sign people in, where I had the pleasure of checking in former First Lady of Iowa, Christie Vilsack, and members from several foreign embassies. The event was held at the gorgeous State Department headquarters. After the event, we were able to make connections with several of the dignitaries at the event, many of whom were powerful figures in the agriculture community.
After the event was over we had to return to our normal office duties. I was asked to give a tour to a family of five, and the tour started out normally. Once I finished showing the family the Statue of Freedom (a plaster model of the statue that sits on top of the Capitol), I noticed that two other people had joined our group. I had never experienced this before, but all of my time at Cornell has taught me to roll with the punches and always be able to adapt to changing circumstances. As a result, I counted the two individuals as part of my tour group that I have to present to Capitol Police in order to enter into the Capitol. I later learned that the two were a mother and son visiting from Seattle. The mother’s husband worked in the South Korean embassy in Seattle while the son was a student studying engineering. They were great individuals, and I was happy to add them to my Capitol tour.
The rest of the week went normally for me until Sunday. While I was exploring a street, I noticed signs advertising The Woodrow Wilson House. After some research, I found out that this was the house where President Woodrow Wilson lived after leaving office in 1921 until his death in 1924. Always being a lover and student of both history and politics, this seemed like the perfect way to spend my Sunday. The house was incredible. Not only did I get to learn about the things that made Wilson such a great President and a man ahead of his time, but I also got to see artifacts like the pen that he used to sign the declaration of war against Germany during World War I. After the tour of the house, I bought a biography of President Wilson to learn even more. This has been another thing that Cornell has taught me: always be willing and wanting to learn more.
Last week was a great week and it only got better with a three-day weekend in honor of the Fourth of July. I hope that my remaining weeks here will allow me to continue to apply the skills that Cornell has taught me.
Andrew is a politics major from Hickory Hills, Illinois.