Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farewell DC. Welcome Jersey City!

Okay everybody this is LONG overdue but I've been recuperating after fun times and stressful moving out times. Adjusting to life back home has been a relaxing one but full of work around the house. I invaded my living room with my crap! LOL

Anyway, last week was the end of my time in Washington DC. I honestly cannot believe the time went by so quickly. (Damn our parents and their advice being dead on.) At commencement I realized how many people at The Washington Center connected and had so much fun together. I guess if I could go back and re-do my experience I would try to connect more with the TWC interns. In reality I took my experience in the "dorm" as fun at the time but not permanent. So I probably focused more on networking and my professional experience as well as getting to know my surroundings more so than the interns. However, I do think I made some WONDERFUL relationship with the people in DC including some interns and front desk/TWC staff members who are very dear to my heart -  Alan, Nate, Tristine, Vivian, Tanya, Prof. Keaton, Kristi, Elo, Ari, Alejandra, Terranova, Sachico, Sandra, and so many more. Thank you so much for making my experience worth while :)

 Outside the RAF 
Upstairs at Sticky Rice - restaurant for roommate dinner

In addition to my nostalgia about the "dorm" life and the people who made that piece of my semester away from Elon special I also have to thank my internship supervisors. Mike and Kevin were some of the best internship supervisors. During my last few days in the office both Mike and Kevin mentioned how I was at first unwilling to believe I would be doing as much as they said I would be in and out of the office. As an intern I expected to do the grunt work but never expected to have the opportunity to challenge myself and learn more than I thought possible not only about lobbying but about my skills, my professionalism and most importantly learning more about me. The last day was such a great testament to how well I adapted in their environment and it was a bittersweet moment taking an awkward picture knowing I wouldn't be returning the next morning. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity that I hope to carry with me throughout my search to find a career(s) I'm passionate about and jobs that allow me to showcase my creativity and provide helpful feedback.

Packing up Daddio's truck was a piece of pie! It seemed so effortless. I feel like the move out was much easier than moving in. That might have something to do with the fact that I had a ton of stuff in the beginning of the semester versus now when most of the cleaning, food, household supplies were used. It was sad not getting to have a real "goodbye" with Elo (my roommate) but I was glad we shared a moment that morning when I gave her a little gift to say "Thank You" for being one of the greatest roommates I could ever asked for (next to Jay of course). lol. It was very calm leaving the apartment knowing that everyone would be moving forward in their lives to better and new things. I couldn't help but smile as I looked back in the side mirror of the passenger seat.

About four hours and forty five minutes we arrived safely to Jersey City greeted by none other than my cheerful Mom. It was a great reunion! As Daddio drove off I remember looking around the rooms in the house with all my crap from the move and thinking "wow, I'm a senior - this is it". I feel very liberated now having my last summer to spend how I want without any regrets! Its a first for me having absolutely no plans as far as work or internships or volunteering something planned for my summer season "home". This time I decided to make the most out of the time I have now before its gone. I'll have the opportunity to visit my friends in the US and perhaps go to Mexico or France or somewhere abroad to visit my pen pals. The options are endless and I prefer my last summer before I graduate college to be relaxing and carefree. Afterall I'm twenty-two...

Oh I can't forget my short trip to Elon for the Rugby (EWR) banquet on Sunday May 6th. Yep I come home for less than 32 hrs before I'm on a plane to NC. Ms. Elisabethe was a goddess and picked me up and hosted me for the night at her lovely (and cheap) apartment. Lauren and Elisabethe are a great duo I was so glad to spend the night at their humble abode. The banquet was elegant and fun x-ing the minor drama. And WHAT A PERFECT DAY it became - rainy and gray clouds to Carolina blue skies with bright sun. Pictures came out beautifully. See for yourself:

 Freshman rookies

 Sophomore players

Junior players

The Seniors

The WHOLE team

Elisabethe and I

I will continue to write on this blog (with the same title) exploring cities like Jersey City (where I live currently), New York and cities abroad as I travel to places in Morocco and perhaps other places around the world. Stay tuned for my next adventures.

Thanks for reading and joining me on my crazy journey called 'life'.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kingman Bluegrass and Folk Festival

What started out to be a very mellow day turned out to be a very long and exhausting day. After a comfy stay-at-home-to-watch-a-movie night with my buddy, Kristi (we watched "Almost Famous" one of my faves) I was unprepared for what happened next. As if the ride to get to the RFK stadium from New York Avenue metro stop wasn't taxing enough the walk over to Kingman Island was quite a hike. It was nice that I got there fairly early because I got the chance to see the farmer's market in action. I even bought a few apples which made me feel good - helping out the local farmers.

Another scenic stroll into the Kingman Island Park and through the woodsy brush I made it to a small clearing of land surrounded by the Anacostia. The trailer stage was already set up and tuning while the volunteer leaders were scurrying around to allocate jobs for everyone. It was quiet until about 1245pm when streams of people and food trucks came rolling into the clearing. My first slot was working at the "drinks" ticket booth. It was very busy throughout the shift so I was grateful to be relieved of duty at 2pm.  It was nice to have some down time to listen to the bands and people watch. I didn't have another shift until 6pm which I later regretted especially since the rain came down pretty roughly later on in the day. For the meantime it was nice to walk around and experience DC's version of a folk fest. My only other experience was Falcon Ridge up in New York state nearly three years ago. I was so delighted to hear from Daddio that we'd (him, me and Mom) would be going to Falcon Ridge this year! WOOT! But thats not until July so this is a nice buffer

I continued to come back to the booths to see if the volunteers needed any extra hands. The "drinks" booth and the beer tap booth needed hands but everyone was so busy it was hard to help. Sam, the coordinator, was bopping around with his own agenda so I just stayed close in case someone needed some time to relax. I'm glad I hung around because I met a bunch of nice people. It was especially nice to transition from my break time to the t-shirt booth since when I was taking on my 6-8 shift it started to downpour. Always good to be under a tent in that situation and boy was I happy. However, word to the wise - never wear comfortable shoes WITHOUT socks! My feet were frozen by the time I left around 730pm. So many people left due to the weather so there wasn't a lot of action at the booths. Getting on the shuttle back to the metro was my saving grace. It was especially nice to meet a fellow TWC intern, Adam Woods, who worked with LivingClassrroom the nonprofit organization hosting the festival.

All in all a good time at Kingman Island. 


 Demi the lovable dog

 Beer line after the beer truck replaced the beers on tap...didn't last long.

Let the heavens open.

Monday was our "graduation" and commencement for all TWC interns. It was interesting to participate in the closing ceremony for a program that just started. Time did blow by and I'm happy that I tried to make the best of every moment. I've put myself out there more this semester than any other semester in my life. I've made some great connections and friendships as well as create some new goals for myself. We shall see if I continue to reap the benefits of this program as an alum. Portfolio DONE, Class finished today (Tues. May 2) and Thursday will be my last day as an intern with The McGuiness Group. Its no wonder why I feel some sense of relief but also sorrow. Its the bittersweet syndrome.

Tonight after class and goodbye with some colleagues a group of us went out to Chinatown for drinks and dinner. It was nice to talk with some of them outside of business. I like getting to know them and it makes me feel like I've accomplished reaching out to others in return for advice, education and getting to know other cultures. As mentioned at our dinner our class was very diverse as far as country origin, race, ages, and backgrounds. It helped us realize how privileged we were to have had such an experience. It was great meeting all of you and I hope to visit most of you in the future! Good luck!