Although “Foggy Bottom” still sounds like a neighborhood straight out of Harry Potter, I’m getting pretty familiar with it. The old and historical buildings and landmarks decorated with street vendors, frozen yogurt, and young professionals determined to appear content under their suits and ties, high heels and stockings in the sticky humidity. I’m enjoying the constantly changing weather. However, I am still keeping an eye out for talking toads and letter delivering owls, and I’m pretty sure that some of these statutes are portals to another world.
The AAPD summer internship orientation week was full of new people from several backgrounds. It has been an honor meeting all of them. Two were people I knew before I came here. Jess and I met at The Evergreen State College where we were part of the founding team that set up a group called Barrier Breakers. We functioned as advocates, educators, and supporters of a diverse group of students with disabilities. Jess is an incredible person and I am so lucky we cross paths again. We both feel very fortunate to be here. A good friend of both of ours has been stuck in patterns that has kept him from being successful in his pursuit of disability rights advocacy. He is just as experienced, intelligent, and persistent as any successful person I’ve met. However, there is something holding him back. He is such an asset to the disability rights community, it saddens and frustrates me that he does not see his own brilliance. However, I know that when he does it will be a privilege to watch. His friendship has given me so much and I can only hope that I can return the favor. I don’t come from a culture which believes in individual success. It is as individuals we survive, but as a community we thrive.
I love you, Phred