Monday, August 10, 2015By:
Since returning to New Hampshire, I’ve had time to reflect on my experience this summer and have formed some final thoughts. First and foremost, D.C. is very hot and very humid. I had forgotten what it is like to go for a run and not feel like I am swimming! In about a week I am going back to Vassar to start my final soccer preseason and shortly thereafter my final school year.
The last week of my time in D.C. was a blur. Between preparing my presentation and finishing up some last minute assignments with the committee, I had no time to spare. The only time I took out of my work day was to see Nancy Pelosi give a lecture to all of the House of Representatives interns. A fellow intern and I also tried to get into the Iran deal hearing, but arrived too late and were stuck in a very long line. The committee ended the summer by sending seven bills to the house floor, a nice symbol of all the work the staff had done over the summer. All seven were totally bipartisan, and ranged from a bill funding stem cell research to a framework for online warranty filings.
The next couple days were rather crazy. The presentation rehearsal went very well, and later that night I met some of the interns from the committee for an end of the summer dinner at a delicious Peruvian restaurant. Finally, Friday came and it was time to share all of our work with the SPS community! I was really impressed with what everybody had done, and was proud to be part of the experience. It was nice to be able to begin to pay back the debt I now owe to all the people who played a part in my summer experience. My mentor Ryan and another intern from my committee were able to make it to the reception; it was cool to see the two halves of my summer life meet and engage in the kind of dialogue that I am working to foster.
I truly could not have foreseen how much I learned this summer. When I originally applied to the program, it was a mechanical, almost formulaic decision that made rational sense. I am a physics major and political science major, and I was looking for a position that would allow me to do a little both. I had no idea that I would meet so many interesting people or engage with the SPS community to the extent I did. This summer has reinforced my belief in my role as an architect of the bridge between science and civil society. Wherever the next years take me, I will have my experience as an SPS intern in the back of my head.