Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some random things I learned and/or observed this summer, in no particular order

This summer has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have tried and failed for weeks to capture all the amazing experiences I have had these past few months into a few short paragraphs. In the end I decided to just start writing. And so, I present, some random things I learned and/or observed this summer, in no particular order:

Our nations capital shuts down after midnight. As someone who has now spent 5 years in New York, this always seemed odd to me.
Even if you leave plenty of time and plan ahead, a project will always hit a major stumbling block after you think your in the home stretch.
Congress is often boring but can get very interesting.
Paradoxically, interesting stuff is most likely to happen when you would least expect things to get interesting.
Never trust the expert/consultant when you can double check their work yourself.
The "if you live nearby you never visit tourist attractions" effect applies even if your only living somewhere for 2 months.
Never bother making a plan B. Map out your options beforehand and roll with the punches
Plan A is just a suggestion. Never hesitate to take a chance on an opportunity.
When life give normal people lemons, they make lemonade. When life gives interesting people lemons, they make strawberry lemonade, open a lemonade stand, or toss them out and make coffee instead.
Distance is truly measured by the availability of public transportation and how long you are willing to sit on a train or bus.
When dealing with a tough problem, first ask if anyone has had the issue before, then search the internet for a solution, and then ask for help.
People are far more likely to help with a hard but interesting problem than a simple but ordinary problem.
While there is no such thing as impossible, there is such a thing as infeasible. Knowing when to give up is a vital skill.

I could sit here for hours going on in this way, but something tells me this is a good place to stop. I wish I had time to go over everything I learned & all the things I experienced while I was in DC. I am terrible at keeping in touch, but I hope to keep up my relationships from this summer & to visit again soon. If for some reason I don't keep in touch, please give me a nudge on twitter (I am @MisterGlass). While I don't like posting my email or phone number in public, they should be easy to get if you ask around.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this internship such an amazing experience. The staff at AAPD, my coworkers at ITI, and the leaders of disability community who took time to come talk to us interns are just a few examples of great people I had the honor of meeting this summer. You have all contributed to a summer I will never forget.


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