Saturday, August 10, 2013

All Good Things

Team Red, White, and Blue "100 in 100"
So I'm sitting at a gate in Baltimore-Washington International waiting on a plane to make the first leg of my journey home. I've got mixed feelings towards Delta Airlines at the moment; they contacted me at midnight to tell me that my first flight was pushed back three hours. This would have been news to celebrate if I hadn't already booked a ride with Super Shuttle from my apartment for 3:15 AM. I'll make it to my connecting flight in plenty of time still (there was a lengthy layover in the original itinerary), so I guess it's equally boring waiting out the time no matter which airport I'm at. And Delta offered its apologies through all-you-want cookies, pretzels, and juice here at the gate. It's like going to a blood drive, except there are no terrible needles, just the tasty snacks. Again, mixed feelings, but thee food is much appreciated.

Arlington Cemetery
But on to the real stuff: a final commentary on D.C. and my experiences here. I must admit, going into the internship and summer, I had no idea how important these 10 weeks would be for my future. As is the way with D.C., I made connections that have opened a number of doors for job opportunities. My internship helped me better understand the career field of emergency management, but it seemed like absolutely everything I participated in gave me new opportunities to network. At an event for my civic engagement project with veterans, I met another young woman who is an engineer in emergency management in the D.C. area. She had some great advice for pursuing a career in the field, and encouraged me to stay in touch as I built my résumé up with more experience and education. The career field is growing rapidly, so there are a lot of positions in both the government and private sector. In sum, I loved my internship because of all that it made possible, as well as the amazing office atmosphere at the Department of Interior. The other projects through the Washington Center made it a truly life-changing experience.

Braves @ Nationals
Outside of my internship and projects, there was a lot of fun to be had hanging out in and around D.C. One of my classmates from my semester in Wales visited this past week, and we explored Arlington (it was a strikingly large place) and watched the Nationals play the Braves. The game was even more exciting than the all-American pastime typically is; after Harper (a Nationals player) hit a home run, the pitcher pegged him with the ball the next time he was at the plate. Chaos ensued as players from both teams rushed out of the bullpens and dugouts, yelling at each other. The Braves' catcher was physically being held back by a team manager from punching Harper in the face, as Harper cursed the pitcher while standing halfway down the first base line. The game was two parts baseball, one part hockey. Two sports for the price of one and we had a great time sitting back with chili dogs and Dippin' Dots just watching it all play out. The Braves won.

Library of Congress
So that's about it. I turned in my Capstone portfolio and we had a commencement ceremony at the Washington Center Residential and Academic Facility, I loitered around the Library of Congress a few evenings, and I ate the most random assortment of food the past three days as I finished off what I had left in the pantry and fridge. There were a thousand and one things that made this summer amazing, but the greatest was easily the chance to meet a lot of passionate people who are out to change the world.

Until next time, D.C. Keep it real inside the Beltway.