Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Dress Code for All Occasions -- by Alec Frazier

During the course of this internship, I can tell what kind of day I am going to have by what I am going to wear. Choices are: casual, smart casual, business casual, and business formal.

Alec Frazier Presents on Chapter 5 of "No Pity"

Orientation week went by rather quickly in the long scheme of things. The first day was a smart casual kind of day during which we discussed topics essential to the internship while still having fun. The next day was also smart casual and although fun, was labor intensive with breakout sessions to discuss our presentations on “No Pity.” The next three days however, were business formal. We met at the very posh offices of K. & L. Gates where we made presentations, met disability rights pioneers, and had lunch with our supervisors. By the end of the day on Friday I had toured my office, and headed home after seeing the National Portrait Gallery with my tie in my computer bag and my dress shirt unbuttoned.

Alec Frazier Poses with the Famous Australopithecus afarensis Skeleton "Lucy"

The next three days of the long weekend were casual days. On the first I went to Mount Vernon and only got about half of the sightseeing done. Washington’s estate is a really big place more befitting the title of Hamlet because of its size and all that goes on there. The next day I went to the National Museum of Natural History with my roommate and fellow intern Michael Grant. As is true with Mount Vernon, the museum is simply too big to see in one day. The next day I met with my mentor, Mathew McCollough, and over sushi we discussed my learning objectives.

The following week was mostly smart casual with one exception. Wednesday was business casual because I had a meeting with her Honor the Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of John F. Kennedy, former peace brokering Ambassador to Ireland, and founder of the Very Special Arts (VSA), the premier organization for integrating people with disabilities into the arts. Ambassador Smith was a very kind and surprisingly casual woman who took down notes as me and others suggested concepts to improve the marketability, image, and reach of VSA. When the meeting had closed I said, “Your Honor, the work you and your family have done for people with disabilities makes life all that much more worth living.” I got a standing ovation from Ambassador Smith. She literally stood up and clapped. It is a moment unlike any other in my life and will most likely never be equaled again.

As I have mentioned the week was mostly smart casual with the occasional casual thrown in. Because I work for the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, there is never a need to be too formal. Some of my duties include seemingly mundane tasks like burning audio files and shelving them, while others include making presentations. Every Saturday, the DC Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has an adaptive technology seminar where other things may be addressed as well. On this past Saturday, I spoke on cross disability outreach and introduced my internship. I find it vital that people know about the AAPD and what it does for its clients.

Alec Frazier Poses in Front of the US Capitol

I had this past Friday off, during which I went to the US Capitol and the Library of Congress Jefferson Building. The US Capitol is arguably the most iconic building in the world and in my opinion, the Jefferson Building is the most beautiful. Today I again went to the National Museum of Natural History with Michael Grant, and we still aren’t finished. Some things just take their time. For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you should check out the beautiful images in my photo albums from my trip to Washington.

Take care!

My Mountainous Lunch One Day
I'm sure there's a hot dog in there somewhere!

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