I’ve been working at the Coast Guard for two weeks now with my supervisor Chief Warrant Officer Wes Wallace. My roommate, Peter Jensen, also interns there. Wes has offered to take us to a Nationals game, which sounds fun. The office here is pretty informal, and Wes has encouraged me to quote “Family Guy,” which he says is common practice around there. I’ve told Wes that I’m willing to do any type of work from filing to working the Xerox machine. So, iIve done a variety of jobs around the office, such as affixing instruction cards to computers, data entry, measuring, and filing. I guess you could call it typical intern work, but I’m happy just to be helping out. I was lucky to even get into this program in the first place.
The big news on Wednesday of course was the shooting at the Holocaust Museum. I actually only found out about it at 2:30 in the afternoon when my supervisor said I could leave early to beat the subsequent traffic jams. The shooting really scared me. If the crime had occurred on a weekend instead of on a workday, there’s chance that I would’ve been at the Holocaust museum. For the past two weekends, I’ve gone to museums with Mitch (one of my fellow interns), and seeing how we are both part Jewish, it’s very likely we could have chosen the Holocaust Museum. And knowing how much Mitch likes museums, we probably would have stayed there all day as well. Finally, it only makes matters worse that the shooter is being treated at the George Washington University Hospital, the place where I board the metro to work every morning.
The weird thing is that I never really felt vulnerable to violence when I was growing up in the city of Oakland, California, which has a high crime rate. I remember walking to the Goodwill store once with my mom and brother when suddenly one guy pinned another guy against our parked car and started punching him in the face. My mom and brother immediately ran towards the store to find protection, and I remember how she was too discombobulated to even dial the police on her cell phone. I however felt detached, and all I could think was how my mom should turn on our car’s panic function. Even when my house was robbed three months ago (we weren’t home at the time), I never felt any sense of danger or fear. I guess it’s weird now how this one event scared me even though crimes happen all the time in Oakland.
Maybe its because when I lived in Oakland, I never really felt that connected to the city, or at least the notion of it as a criminal hotbed. I lived in a secluded suburban area up in the hills, so I was not exposed to many of the harsh realities of my hometown. What I did know about crime in Oakland I had found out from watching TV, reading the newspaper, or hearing commentaries from friends and family. The second hand nature of my knowledge may have even desensitized me to it. On the other hand, I intend to visit a D.C. museum every week this summer, and I’ve never thought of Washington, especially the National Mall, as a dangerous area.
Random thought: You know what sounds interesting? Network certification and accreditation. I only know what turned up from a quick Google search, so don’t take my word about it, but it appears to be the computer version of accounting, which I’m also interested in. Instead of going over books of company finances and expenses, you go over reports of network usage, accessibility, and security.