Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Week in the Life of Stephanie

I really wish I had something interesting or insightful to write about this week, but I don’t. So, I guess I’ll just tell everyone about the highlights and lowlights of my week. If you want to stop reading now, I understand, this might be a very mundane post.

Monday was the 10th anniversary of the Olmstead Decision, as I’m sure many of you know. A resolution from Senator Harkin went to the floor with a unanimous consent request. I am excited to say that I helped with the resolution and it was very cool to see it go to the floor. After work, Austin came to my apartment to catch up on some emails, but we really just ended up watching the devastating episode of Jon & Kate + 8 where Jon and Kate announced their separation. Believe me, I was upset! I don’t think Austin was as torn apart as I was.

Tuesday consisted of meetings and reading a recent Supreme Court ruling. Later that night, Peter told us that he would be leaving the program. It is never fun to see a friend go, all of us AAPD interns got Peter a card and signed it for him. Also, a couple of us got together to eat pizza and say goodbye. It was sad, but we all wish Peter the very best of luck. Oddly enough, the same night we were saying goodbye to one AAPD intern, we were welcoming another! I had the pleasure of meeting the newest member of our AAPD family, Nathan, after saying farewell to Peter. It was a bit weird to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” in one night.

Wednesday was actually pretty interesting for me. I was involved in a meeting with the GAO about a study on students with disabilities and their involvement in physical education and sports. This meeting was of particular interest to me because during my high school years, I was barely included in any PE activities and this has had an affect on my life. I strongly believe that being exposed to physical activity early on leads people to live more active and healthy lifestyles. Students with disabilities are found to be overweight or obese more often than non-disabled students. Involvement in PE can improve performance in the classroom, improve self-esteem, and prevent many health issues. Additionally, physical activity reduces the threat of heart disease, helps with weight management, and can prevent osteoporosis. Beyond health issues, playing sports teaches skills such as teamwork and goal-setting which are skills needed later in life. Since IDEA many students with disabilities have been much more involved in the academic classroom, but many are still being excluded from PE. It is my hope that the study the GAO conducts will eventually lead to more school districts realizing the potential and abilities of students with disabilities, thus leading to more of these students being involved in PE.

Moving past my rant on PE, you should know that Wednesday night did not include any reality television.

Today I am doing a lot of reading on the health care reform. There is A LOT to read, so I’d bet I’ll be reading all day.

While I am reading, I am slightly distracted because my mom is visiting this weekend and I am excited to show her around D.C. My mom is not into politics at all, so in order to prepare her for her visit (and to help her understand everything I talk about) I made her a “map” of how our government system works. Maybe it could help someone else too...

Well, I guess that’s all for now. I hope everyone else had a great week and is looking forward to a beautiful weekend!

Stephanie Woodward

1 comment:

  1. I love the Government Flow Chart! :) I would only add the Federal Agencies under the Executive Branch, because, as you are probably seeing, many governmental regulations promulgated by those agencies can affect Americans as much as (if not more than) a law passed by Congress. Plus the other half of our intern class is working in that sector of the government this summer! haha!


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