Week 6: Something Worth Recording

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Sunday, July 9, 2023


Ruthie Vogel

Hey there! Welcome back to the blog. 

This week was the second and last week of recess, but it was definitely full even though I worked remotely the whole week. I was mostly editing transcripts again, along with a few other smaller tasks. The most interesting things this week weren’t on Capitol Hill – so for once, I’ll give you guys a rundown of all the things I did for fun this week before I jump right back into legislation on commercial space and fire safety.

So: Monday! I worked until about 3:30 before heading out to the Nationals game with all of the other interns! We got there really early and took a group picture with Brad before heading to find our seats. There was time before the game started – it got delayed because of some light rain – so I wandered around the whole park with some people before anything even got started. It turns out that I know a lot more about baseball than I thought I did, which was fun, and Jenna and I finally actualized our plan to get dip-n’-dots at the game, which was legendary. Towards the end of the game we headed up to the second level next to the scoreboard where we watched fireworks from when the game was over. The Nationals lost, but it was a great time all around. 


Tuesday was July 4th, so I didn’t work! I had a lazy morning and then headed to finally see Across the Spiderverse after a really long wait. Devin and Tiffany can attest that I really enjoyed the movie, and might even still be processing it to this very day (feel free to ask me for my thoughts!). The animation, music, and story were all incredible and I’m definitely going to have to see it again. When I got back from the movie I rushed to pack a bag with food, water, and other necessities and trekked over to the national mall to snag a spot to watch the fireworks! It was HOT and we were all gross by the end of the night, but waiting with everyone for the sun to set and the fireworks to start was a moment I’m glad I decided to be a part of. It was definitely cool to sit between the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Lincoln Memorial, juxtaposing memory with the current reality I was living. Devin brought backgammon and someone else brought cards and we just hung out listening to music until the government started playing music from a much larger speaker. The fireworks were beautiful and honestly I’m in awe of the fact that someone engineered them to spell out U S A – props to them! Science!

Wednesday I finished up editing the transcripts for a markup and started working on the transcript from the AI hearing I talked about in Week 4. Reviewing the transcript was honestly fascinating because I realized how much AI brings up conversations about ethics and the nature of humanity that don’t usually get brought up other times. People talk openly about the rights that workers have, intellectual property, what makes us human when faced with other intelligences, and other topics that don’t generally get spoken about so plainly. For the first time this summer, I went with MJ to work at a cafe and very quickly remembered why I don’t work at cafes: I get distracted waaaay too easily. Going to stick to my apartment when working remotely in the future. 

I’d never worked at ACP until Thursday, but I headed out with a bunch of people who regularly do at 7:30 AM (!) to work in the Niels Bohr Library and Archives until Jenna’s presentation for the Science Trust Project. The presentation was amazing, and I’m really glad I got to learn about the project – they’re working to combat science misinformation through a number of different strategies. This one was focused on active, or reflective listening, and it was a great time. I would love to be more involved with them in the future and hope the workshops really make a difference! After the workshop I traveled back to Foggy Bottom and finished up the workday from there before going out for a late dinner with MJ and Tiffany at a sushi place in Chinatown that uses conveyor belts and dancing robots to help deliver your food. It was so fun!! The food we got was great, and we all got Tayaki, a fish shaped pastry filled with red bean paste, and ice cream for dessert and it was one of the best desserts I’ve had, I would completely recommend. 

Friday ended up being a really slow day work-wise, but I headed home for the weekend to celebrate my dad’s birthday! I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family (and my dog) and one of my best friends from UMD, whose birthday was also this weekend. Over the weekend, I also finished a book I’ve been rereading for the past several weeks, called The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a story about stories, and one line I found myself returning to while writing this blog was this: 

“Everyone is a part of a story, what they want is to be part of something worth recording.”

It felt relevant to my blog this week for two reasons. One, because the fact that this wasn’t the most eventful work week meant that I was able to record other more subtle aspects of my life that might have been overlooked in a busier week. And two, I really do feel like this internship is the start of me making my way into policy that could help people live better lives; I want to do so much in this sphere that it’s a story worth recording. 

See you all next week!

Ruthie Vogel