Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First Week in DC!

Upon my arrival in Washington, D.C. to partake in the AAPD’s summer internship program, I encountered the same hot and semi-muggy weather I thought I had left behind in Atlanta. However, thank goodness there was air conditioning in the Marvin center where we all congregated. Aside from escaping the thick, heat stroke-inducing air outside, I have learned several things already in D.C. and have arguably never grown (personally and intellectually) so much in the short span of 4 days. To keep this first entry short and sweet—much like an introduction I suppose, I will write a few bullets (for I am quite fond of lists and blurbs) to ensure I cover the most interesting, eye-opening, or quirky things I have taken from my first FOUR days here:

-As a person with ADHD (combined type) I finally feel secure in identifying as a disabled person. Just like being an Asian-American and a part of the LGBTQA community, I have too taken much pride in my disabled identity.

-So, I’ve noticed that ever since my 3rd, I believe, day here I’ve been using my hands and facial expressions significantly more in conversation. I think it might have something to do with my roommate teaching me bits of ASL here and there…. This is just an odd point, but I feel like it’s at least worth noting and it’s at least interesting to me since I already thought I used my hands/ facial expressions too much when I talk! [embarrassed side glance] -Networking, networking, networking!

-The media is probably not the most neutral source to obtain news and develop your perceptions. After speaking with my mentor yesterday, I was shocked to learn that she had long-time friends on both sides of the political sphere. Something the media definitely does not portray: republicans and democrats are actually friends with one another! I will admit that before attending AAPD orientation week I thought republicans and democrats were at each other’s throats and I would hopelessly think “How will we ever get anything done in this hostile uncommunicative political climate!?!” –But now I can actually see that in many areas (and dare I say everywhere) there is at least the potential for successful and collaborative policy work.

Overall, the other interns here have been incredibly friendly and I’m surprised how “tight” I am already with my suitemates (or “Suities”). I absolutely cannot wait to start my internship and see what the rest of the summer has in store!

-Nicole Tay

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