Friday, November 21, 2014

The Chinatown Gang Speaks, Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part series, in which Nicole, Maryl, Charlotte and I talk about our experiences in DC so far, and what we have learned. You can also get a feel for our normal conversations from this. See part two below, and make sure to read all the way to the end!

Group Interview:

Maryl: “What is something that you’ve learned since coming here?”

Nicole: “I’ve learned that the Hill is a weird place. I had heard that it was fast paced and filled with young people, but I had no idea how accurate the description was. The Hill is filled with a large majority of 20-30 somethings who are working all the time, constantly busy. I definitely think I fit the mindset of getting things done very well, but it can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting at times. Especially in session. When we’re in session I just want to come home and go to bed.”

Maryl: “I find it interesting that we’re watching partisan politics evolve right now. We talk in class about the Republican Party become more partisan by just appealing to their far right base, and we are living these ideas first-hand.”

Charlotte: “But there are definitely also weird realities, like politics and government is all about winning and you have to pick a side.”

Emman: “Self-promotion is a plague. People network harder than they work.”

Maryl: “I think the best part of networking is just working. Just doing what you do well can get you a long way.”

Maryl: “Okay, who is your favorite politician and who is the most frustrating politician?”

Emman: “Elizabeth Warren is probably my favorite politician because she’s wonderful. The most frustrating for me was probably Mark Udall. I thought he needed to change his campaign and he didn’t.”

Nicole: “I am also a huge Elizabeth Warren supporter, and I don’t know if I have frustrating politicians as much as frustrating election outcomes. Kay Hagan? Didn’t see that one. Steven Horsford either.”

Maryl: “Who is the most attractive politician?”

Emman: “Hill-dawg.”

Nicole: “Beto O’Rourke. Hands down.”

Maryl: “Joe Biden. No wait, maybe I should choose a Jewish politician because we would have more marriage potential... Just kidding, it’s definitely Joe Biden.”

Charlotte: “Does Michelle Obama count?”

Maryl: “Oh yeah, we should include women. Why does this have to be heteronormative?”

Charlotte: “Michelle Obama is an icon.”

*conversation continues about Michelle Obama’s great characteristics*

Maryl: “Where would you ideally work next time you come to DC?”

Emman: “Senate office. That young Liz Warren Senate office though.”

Charlotte: “Senate Committee.”

Maryl: “EMILY’s List, National Partnership for Women and Families, or the Feminist Majority Foundation. In the Claremont bubble I don’t really hear too much about reproductive rights around the country, and now that I do, I am realizing how much those women having access affects me. I’m really passionate about that issue.”

Charlotte: “Being on the Hill would be a cool experience. I’m a hamster and I need to be on a wheel.”

Nicole: “The State Department. I feel like my personality lends itself well to that type of structured environment, and I would be able to succeed.”

Maryl: “What is your most important policy issue and how has your time here changed that or informed your enthusiasm for that issue?”

Emman: “I realized how much I care about economic policy and issues. Getting a more big-picture view in DC has shaped that a lot. Especially with my race policy research, I can see how central the economics of an issue are.”

Charlotte: “Criminal justice stuff. If you want to go into government, you do have to understand a variety of areas. It’s good to focus, but you need to be able to talk about everything.”

Maryl: “Reproductive rights. I’ve become more aware of the limited access around the country. One that has arisen while I’ve been here is the issue of voting restrictions. States are essentially instituting poll taxes! It’s so disturbing. And why do we have these laws? Voter fraud. VOTER FRAUD DOESN’T EVEN EXIST.”

Nicole: “Probably reproductive rights, but not necessarily because of my time in DC. That has always been a constant, and being here has actually allowed me to see the whole picture and how things get done, not just the lack of improvement that I see at home. So that’s pretty cool.”

Maryl: “We’re towards the end of the semester now, what do you think will be the biggest thing that you will take away from this experience?”

Emman: “Girls are funny.”

Maryl: “I think how to live on my own. How to work, go to school and still feed myself. How to budget, cook, what to do when appliances break, what to do without an RA. It’s made me appreciate all that I have at Scripps, but I also know that when I graduate next year, I will be fine. I also met 11 CMC people who are not bad.”

Nicole: “Mine is similar. I feel like I can rely on myself much more for life, I’ve become closer to understanding how I work, and how that fits in a professional environment. I’ve also learned that I have a decent internal map and actually do have the ability to not starve on my own. And not eat gluten.”

Charlotte: “I don’t know I’m not done yet.”

Hilariously Irrelevant Extras:

Charlotte and Maryl: “Scratch the ham, leave the chicken, and add fish.” “And keep the Joe.”

Charlotte: “The CMS volleyball team is in Virginia right now?!”
Nicole: “I don’t care.”

Charlotte: “I’m like the cuddliest person on Earth.”
Emman: “No I’m the cuddliest person on Earth!”

Charlotte: “American geography is confusing. Maryland…. Where does it start, where does it end? I don’t know.”
Charlotte: “YEAH!”
Emman: “Delaware is a good place to have a start up apparently.”

Everyone: “Guys, being an adult is hard.”

And this concludes our two part series! I hope you enjoyed our conversation as much as we did. See you in a month!

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