Week Five

My time in DC is running out but I think I can officially say that I’ve hit every museum that I hoped to see and have had an incredible time!

Monday: Bachelorette Finale
Monday at work I started with social media and worked on a number of documents for our Together We Remember campaign including an infographic, phone script, and email templates for ROs. Next me and my coworker headed to a meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The meeting was about Religious Extremism in Africa, a topic I am particularly interested in because of my fascination with religion. The meeting was a little over my head, however, and I left with a lot of questions and things to look up. That evening, I headed to my boss’s house to eat pizza and watch the Bachelorette finale- which ended horribly if you ask me.

Tuesday: Virtual Reality
Tuesday morning I worked on social media, made edits on one-pagers, and completed the Together We Remember templates including an RO FAQ, chapter FAQ, and more email templates. Then our partner organization, the Nexus Fund, came to show me and the other intern a virtual reality video on the Rohingya, a ethnic group in Burma who are being persecuted. The video was incredibly touching. They told us that they would hopefully allow us to bring it chapters so that other students could see this virtual reality story. I was so elated and was trying to think of any possible way to make it into a campaign.

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Wednesday: Books Not Bombs
Wednesday I looked over lobbying asks, did social media posts, and attempted to format some of the conflict one-pagers. That afternoon we had another conference call with the leaders of our partner campaign called Books Not Bombs (learn more at books-not-bombs.com). They told us some INCREDIBLY exciting news about a large (very wealthy) organization reaching out to help fund our campaign. As campaign coordinator, this was especially exciting for me! I am so excited for the upcoming semester! That night, my coworkers and I attended a vigil at the White House because it was the anniversary of what is considered to be the beginning of the Yazidi Genocide by ISIS. They had a number of wonderful speakers there and it was very moving.

Thursday: Meeting #4 and KYLE
Thursday morning I worked my work-trade shift in which I made a number of graphics for the office. After my shift , I quickly worked on social media posts and headed off to a meeting at Oxfam on the refugee crisis. This meeting was beyond exciting and engaging. I learned so much about refugees and was given specific tasks that would help the situation. It gave me so many ideas of what we could do in the upcoming semester.

After the meeting, I went to the airport to pick up Kyle. I texted him and told him the meeting ran late and that I wouldn’t be able to meet him there. I told him I would give him specific instructions of how to get to my apartment. I could tell he was bummed and nervous but the look on his face when he saw me at the terminal made it totally worth it. That night, we went to a local restaurant called Tonic for dinner where I opened the presents that he got me for my birthday. They were so fitting- it was everything that I loved all in one– sloths, feminism, cats, puzzles, and records! It was so heartfelt and made me so happy! After dinner we headed to my roommates friend’s house to watch Big Brother and eat popcorn which was tons of fun!

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Friday: Work & Play
Friday I left Kyle and went to work. Work was super busy and a little stressful. I did social media and drafted language for lobby leave-behinds. Next I tried to format some more one pagers which was pretty difficult. 15 minutes before work ended, Kyle came to visit and meet my friends. I was so excited for all of them to meet and was even more excited when Kyle surprised me with roses! It was so sweet.

After work, Kyle and I headed across the street to the National Archives where we saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta. I had chills the whole time! Kyle was hungry from exploring all day so we headed to Chili’s. After Chili’s we headed home to watch Ratatouille and sleep for as long as possible!!

Saturday: Museums-galore
Saturday we planned an extremely busy day. I started by taking Kyle to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, WWII memorial, Vietnam, and Korean War memorials. It was disgustingly hot and humid so it was a bit rushed but fun nonetheless! Next, I took Kyle to the Holocaust Museum, my personal fave, for the first time! We both loved the cobblestone road that was taken straight from the ghetto- it gets me every time.

After a trip to the museum cafe, we headed to the Hirshhorn Museum of modern art. I was told by my mom to be ready for something super weird and was not disappointed. As someone who isn’t incredibly educated in art, it was hard for me to understand what the artists were going for but it was fun to try to understand nonetheless!

After the Hirshhorn, Kyle and I trekked across DC to go to a dog festival called Woofstock. It was pretty much Kyle’s dream to be surrounded by dogs. One big Rottweiler in particular, Jasmine, took a liking to me and immediately laid on my lap. I fell in love with her! In addition to the dogs there were a number of food trucks and a live band! Also there was a humane society truck that had adoptable kittens (obviously super adorable)! That night we headed home after our busy day, made dinner, and immediately fell asleep!

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Sunday: Stamps and Shopping
Sunday we slept in and ate breakfast in bed. We took the bus to the Postal Museum where we read as many Post Secret postcards as we could. Then I introduced Kyle to Shake Shack and Auntie Anne’s- it was good and so filling! We headed back to the apartment where we took naps and then got ready to head to Georgetown to do some walking and shopping! Afterwards, Kyle made pizza while I had my STAND conference call and then we both took a walk to the White House to see it at night!

Week Four

Monday & Tuesday
Monday and Tuesday were business as usual. I began every day doing research on the latest news and updates in the genocide prevention world. I must say, by doing this religiously, I have learned so much about Burundi and South Sudan especially. No amount of studying has helped me learn about these countries like reading articles and summarizing them in 140 characters has!

Next, I finished up my thoughts on the Rapid Responders program and started to create metrics surveys that each Managing Committee member can fill out weekly. I reached out to a number of Student Peace Alliance chapters in order to collaborate with them on upcoming campaigns and then created a document in which I compiled online media sources that student activists could possibly submit to and get published in! Finally, on Tuesday we had a conference call in which we heard updates on the conflict in Burundi.

Wednesday
Wednesday we had a meeting on South Sudan which I was very excited about. Before we could go I did the social media drafts and compiled a list of readings that would be helpful for the incoming Managing Committee before the August retreat. At the South Sudan meeting at Oxfam, we heard updates on the current crisis and talked about a number of ways that we can help/get involved. This meeting was incredibly interesting and made me feel really good about myself because I was actually able to keep up despite being the youngest in the room.

Thursday
Thursday morning I had my work-trade shift at Impact Hub. I have to admit it was really awesome because my boss just presented me with a really messy cabinet and a label maker and told me to organize it which is probably my favorite task! Next I did my social media drafts, responded to a bunch of emails, and made edits on my blog post about Burma.

At about 9:00 I was lying in bed playing Fancy Cats on my phone when one of my coworkers sent out a mass text inviting her friends to her apartment to watch Hillary speak at the DNC. Feeling adventurous, I packed my belongings and took the hour long metro&bus ride to her apartment. A bunch of her friends were there- both Democrats and Republicans- and we all had a lot of fun providing commentary on the DNC and Bill’s love for balloons. Because I didn’t want to trek home at 12pm, I ended up staying over in her beautiful (I mean BEAUTIFUL) apartment.

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Friday
In the morning we ate breakfast and headed to the Impact Hub. I worked on my social media posts (for what seemed like a really long time), worked on a “Year in Review” poster for our Together We Remember campaign, and wrote up some language for our website about a future fall intern. Next, I edited my Burma blog post for the final time and posted it– which you can read here (highly encouraged. I’m very proud of this one)!

After work, two of my coworkers invited me to go to the zoo with them. Excitedly, I looked for all the sloths (who all happened to be sleeping in boxes(?)), and extensively documented the Orangutan named Kyle!

After the zoo we ubered to a cute coffee shop in Adams Morgan (which was the funkiest neighborhood) and then visited a friend’s apartment. All four of the girls there had done work in human rights so it was super exciting to talk with them about their experiences. At about 9pm we got on the subject of piercings and all decided to take the 5 minute walk to the tattoo parlor and get our nose/cartilage pierced. I thought about getting a second nose piercing next to my hoop but then decided against it due to the fact that I like to overthink things before I do them haha. However, I provided moral support to the 4 other girls who got their piercings and served as camerawoman to document the fun! That night I headed home and promised myself I would sleep for all of Saturday…

Saturday
…but then Saturday came. I knew I needed to get some work done so I went to Starbucks, ordered myself a refresher and settled in for some work. After about a half an hour my same friend texted me asking if I would like to hang out and swim at her BEAUTIFUL apartment. Of course I accepted and headed over! Her roommate and our other coworker were there to hang too! After doing some more work at her place, we decided to jump in the pool before the storm came. I had been dying to swim since it was summer and I had barely been in the water so it was really nice. After that, we settled in to read or do miscellaneous work which only lasted about 20 minutes before we all split up and took naps. I set my alarm for a 30 minute nap and ended up waking up an hour later…which was nice haha.

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Once we were well-rested, my friend’s roommate offered to make dinner. He made homemade baked mac and cheese, roasted baby potatoes, and salad, among various other appetizers. We talked and laughed and instagramed the fun- it was a really great night! Then we all snuggled on the couch to watch Forrest Gump. It was probably one of my favorite nights in DC!!

Sunday
After arriving home at 12am the night before, I slept in till about 12pm on Sunday. Because I was still tired I decided to abandon my plans to go to a museum and chill instead. It was much needed!!

Next week…KYLE!

Week Three

Three whole weeks in DC have already passed! Work continues to be interesting and engaging and DC continues to surprise me!! I’m pretty sure this week’s blog is a little longer than the rest but I had a lot of exciting events.

Monday: The Bachelorette
Monday morning started off as usual- social media posts for Facebook and Twitter, followed by editing the various blog posts that my coworkers added suggestions to. Next I worked to edit the Regional Organizer spreadsheets which keeps all the chapter information together and organized. This was a grueling task but it needed to be done! Finally, I began to brainstorm some ideas for our upcoming project the Rapid Responders. That is a project that I am super excited to get rolling!

After work my boss invited me and our other friend to go to her apartment to have dinner and watch the Bachelorette. At her apartment she made us pilau with Tanzanian spices- it was incredible!! We flipped on the Bachelorette, popped some popcorn and proceeded to make fun of every boy except Luke (#TeamLuke). It was so much fun!

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The cutest kitten!!

Tuesday: Work as Usual
Tuesday was an average work day. I began with social media, edited my blog post once again, learned how to use Mail Chimp and worked on the Rapid Responders project. I looked into how to use the software best and wrote language samples for: the national email, social media, text messages, and the website!

Wednesday: Another Day, Another Meeting
Wednesday I worked from in the morning so that I could walk to the PPWG (a working group focusing on the Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act) meeting a couple blocks from my apartment at 1. At home I worked on Rapid Responders and headed to the meeting. The meeting was interesting but a little disappointing with the final verdict.After the meeting we finished the work day at a nearby Rwandan coffee shop. There I did social media and Chapter Resource editing.

Thursday: MY BIRTHDAY!!
Thursday was THE BEST! I began my morning with a surprise call from my boyfriend wishing me a great day. The bus card machine was broken so I got a free ride, and I was able to take a break from STAND work by having my first shift at the Impact Hub, the office space where we work. I took inventory of all the furniture in the office and then settled in to do my daily social media posts. Just then the other intern showed me a giant cookie cake that said “Happy 19th. Love Mom!” I was so surprised! Apparently my mom worked with my boss to have it delivered to the office!

After all the afternoon excitement I worked on my Burundi blog post for the final time and posted it! You can find it here!! (Finishing that may have been my favorite birthday gift). After work, me and the three girls headed to Georgetown for my birthday gift- a trip to a cat cafe called Crumbs and Whiskers. It was incredible. I pet so many cats including the fattest cat I’ve ever seen named Gatsby. We ended up playing Cards Against Humanity with some really nice strangers who all wished me a happy birthday!

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Afterwards, we went to Chipotle for dinner, did some shopping at Forever 21, and headed back to our apartments. Noticing that my room was unusually empty, I turned on Netflix and watched some Parks and Rec. Suddenly my roommates arrived with a brownie pan with candles, singing happy birthday! It was so sweet and such a surprise! Obviously, it was a great day!!

Friday: The Capitol Building (& Mom!)
Friday morning I scheduled a tour of the capitol building with Senator Chris Murphy’s Office. The intern that led me around was super sweet and told me all about the building. It was really extravagant! I think my favorite part was the underground train that takes you from one building to another!

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This is the original House of Reps room where Charles Sumner was caned haha!

At work I did social media drafts, sent my Regional Outreach Introduction emails, and read a policy brief summer reading for our Managing Committee. I was so tired by that part (and it was so hot out) that I had trouble focusing on what I was doing. Therefore, when my mom offered to take me out to lunch at Shake Shack I was very thankful! After work I headed to the hotel where my mom was staying and took a break from the heat. Once we got hungry, my mom took me to the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday and gave me all the cards from my family back home ($$$)! After I ordered cake, we headed back to Farragut Park, right outside the hotel, and watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets in the park! It was so much fun. Needless to say, I slept incredibly well that night.

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Saturday: Museuming 
Saturday was set aside for some museum exploring. We started at the Library of Congress where I made countless National Treasure jokes. Next we looked around the Capitol and the Capitol gift shop, snapped pics in front of the Supreme Court, and went to the Postal Museum. I must admit I wasn’t expecting much from the Postal Museum but it was incredible! My favorite part was Post Secret- which was such a creative and interesting exhibit.

After stopping at Shake Shack for some snacks, we headed back to the hotel to take naps! That night we grabbed dinner at Fuel Pizza and went to check out the White House all lit up. It was beautiful!

Sunday: Chillin
After all the excitement of the weekend, we planned to abandoned all plans to explore and instead chill out. This, however, did not happen! We took a trip to the Mansion on O Street which I saw when watching Mega Mansion on Netflix about a month ago. The mansion is cleverly disguised as 3(?) townhouses but in fact holds over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors. However, because my mom and I could only find 6 (and we are smarter than most folks I would say), I am convinced there are only 6 secret doors. Either way, the mansion was really cool and housed the FBI at one point and then Rosa Parks but now is just full of (excuse my language) tacky shit that you can buy- like small Easter decorations- and then some cooler stuff- like a John Lennon signed guitar!

After the mansion we took a walk in the 104 degree heat to see DuPont circle, grab some lunch, and check out Krammerbooks! And after an incredibly eventful weekend, I slept so long I didn’t post this blog until Monday!!

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Personal hero

Week Two

I don’t know how I possibly could’ve forgotten to say this on my first blog post but thank you to everyone who has helped me make this internship possible. Especially my parents and Kyle- you guys support me no matter how much it sucks for you, and I am eternally grateful! I love you guys!!

The Week:
This week was a typical work week. I began every day as usual by making social media posts. I learned how to use Tweetdeck and posted my first STAND tweet and was officially able to post to the STAND Facebook!

Next, I was put on website duty. This included editing the “Our Take” pages on each conflict area, and drafting new formatting and content for the Resource tab! I created a giant Resource Folder which included everything from How to Write an Op Ed and How to Lobby to A Chapter Events Guide and Social Media; Best Practices among many many other things. This took me a number of days to complete because I had to either edit existing documents or create my own. Altogether I created/edited 17 documents which will hopefully be on the website soon!

Along with creating these resources, I also completed a number of other tasks. On Monday, we stayed an hour after to meet with a partner organization who created the Together We Remember  campaign in order to discuss the best ways to pull off the name reading event in the new semester! On Tuesday we had a call with a number of organizations that work on similar issues to discuss matters in Burundi and also had about an hour in the middle of the day where we tried to reach 10,000 likes on Facebook by furiously inviting people. (This following the Student Director’s promise to get a tattoo if we did so.) In less than 45 minutes we had over 10,000 likes so I guess you could say that was a success!

Throughout the week I also worked on editing some posts and writing my own. I helped edit; a petition urging the AU to prioritize Burundi at their summit,  a blog post written by a STAND alum on South Sudan, and the Regional Organizer Spreadsheets for each region. Next, I felt ambitious and decided to write my own post on Burma, which was just named one of the worst countries for human trafficking along with other countries including North Korea and Syria. The next day I felt even more ambitious and wrote a blog post on the current situation in Burundi. Hopefully those will be up on the website soon as well!

Friday was a lot of fun! Our Student Director’s family was in town and they offered to take us out to lunch. They were so sweet and took us all to Shake Shack which was a great time to bond! We also made tons of plans to visit a national park one weekend and have a Bachelorette Watch party on Monday (v excited about that)!

The Weekend:

This weekend was TONS of fun! Saturday I planned to go to the National Museum of Women in Art (skillfully planned for this weekend because 18 year olds get in for free and next weekend I’ll be 19!!) So aside from the Holocaust Museum, this is hands-down my favorite museum in all of DC. The feminist that I am was so empowered and had chills the entire time. The temporary exhibit, called She Who Tells a Story, was compiled completely of photographs taken by women in Iran and the Arab World and was so incredibly well done and interesting and thought provoking– I must’ve spent an hour on that floor alone. Also, in the modern art section there was a collection of doilies with little cartoons drawn on them. I immediately recognized the style from a woman named Peregrine Honig who was on a show that I just recently re-watched. It ended up actually being her art! It was so incredible!

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A really awesome piece in the collection.
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Peregrine’s piece!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My favorite piece in the collection entitled “Mother, Daughter, Doll”

Next I headed over to the American Art Museum which I found INCREDIBLY boring (maybe it was just compared to the Women’s Museum…). However, I noticed that they were screening the movie Frida within the hour and decided to see that. After getting Chipotle for lunch, I sat and watched the film. I must admit it wasn’t my favorite but it was really well done overall.

Sunday I knew I had a lot of chores to catch up on. I woke up pretty early and went to the farmers market at DuPont circle. It was a bit of a walk but it was so amazing- they had everything from flowers and fresh fruit to homemade blueberry pancakes and chocolate pudding. I couldn’t resist buying fresh greenbeans! Next I did some shopping at Trader Joe’s and CVS, worked out, did laundry, took a nap, and wrote this!!

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I am so excited for the upcoming week and am having so much fun in DC!

Week One

I’ve only been in DC for a week but I’ve done TONS! As you may have seen on Facebook, I’m writing this blog for two reasons. One, a lot of family was telling me to keep them updated on the things I’m doing and I figured this would be a good way to do so! Two, Clark recommends that, in order to fulfill the requirements for my funding, I keep a blog so that I can remember what I did when it comes time to give my final presentation. So there will be a little bit about the fun things I do and a little about the work I do. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

I guess I should start by explaining exactly what my internship is (as if I haven’t posted about it every day haha). So the organization is called STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities. We focus on a number of conflict areas including Burma, Central African Republic, DR Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria. We work from DC with the Managing Committee to coordinate various campaigns and actions with our grassroots chapters in about 100 high schools and universities across the US. I personally am Campaigns Coordinator, meaning I work to organize campaigns throughout the school year! I absolutely love working with STAND–from the history of genocide to modern day advocacy, it is everything I hope to do in the future!

Sunday: The Flight
Sunday was SUPER exhausting. I woke up after 2 hours of sleep, hopped on a flight, and landed in DC! My mom flew down with me to help me move into the apartment and shop for food. After miles of walking (on 2 whole hours of sleep), I ended up falling asleep in a Dunkin and then in Lafayette Park. That night I slept really well but was missing home quite a bit. What I really needed was a long nights rest.

Monday: The Fourth in DC
Monday was much better. I took advantage of my day off and slept in (happy fourth!) Being lazy all day felt super great but I needed to get out of the apartment . I decided to go see the legendary DC fireworks but couldn’t decide where. I ultimately decided to take the short 15 minute walk to the Lincoln Memorial where I sat on the steps for hours despite the on-and-off rain. The fireworks were incredible and a nice family sat next to me, offering me a poncho and an umbrella and wishing me luck at my internship.

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(If you look closely, you can see the Washington Monument)

Tuesday: Work from Home
Monday night my boss messaged me and told me she was sick and wouldn’t be in the office on Tuesday. She gave me a list of things to do which kept me busy for the whole day. I made a STAND Facebook post for Elie Wiesel, created a resource folder for our Regional Organizers to make the transition easier, and began making a slideshow for chapters about how genocide prevention fits into the context of human rights!

Wednesday: First Day in the Office
So the distance from my apartment to the office is about 32 minutes- just over a mile. I decided to take the walk and was simultaneously amazed and sweaty. I ended up walking past the White House, Washington Monument, and Ford’s Theater. However, it was waaaay too long of a walk (especially in the 91 degree heat). At work (in the AC) I  finished the human rights PowerPoint, made a second PowerPoint for chapters to present at their first meeting, edited a document for our Student Director , and helped make a social media post for the Enough Project.

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Thursday: Out and About
Thursday we had 2 DC meetings! (I felt so fancy in my business casual outfit). The first was with PPWG (Prevention and Protection Working Group). One of the major speakers at the meeting was a chief peacekeeping adviser at the State Department :O. I wish I could tell you what we talked about but it’s confidential haha. After the meeting, we went to a Panera to get some work done in between meetings. There, I worked on one of my projects– STAND’s Book and Film List. The next meeting was a little hard to follow (but still p interesting) as it was about mediation in Syria. Next, we went to Front Page restaurant where we brainstormed some ideas for our Managing Committee (MC) retreat and met some STAND alums for dinner. We were there for almost 3 hours and it was tons of fun! I walked home, watched Psych and called it a night.

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Friday: The Bus
Friday I woke up early and attempted to figure out the DC bus system. After tons of research I finally figured it out! I was super busy at work and completed a lot of projects. I started the day writing TONS of social media posts and created an application for our Communication Task Force. Next, I researched senators from certain states, got their contact info, and paired up our MC members to lobby them– it sounds easy enough but let me tell you it was rough! At the end of the work day I created a partner organization list which I will eventually use when organizing campaign strategies. Finally, I edited our Burma one-pager and downloaded Adobe Illustrator to finish the job! My roommate asked me if I was going out for the night and my response was (and I quote) “Definitely not”. There was no doubt I was staying in and watching Big Brother.

Saturday: Museums
Saturday I slept in and decided to take advantage of the free DC museums. First I went to the Anderson House– a mansion built in the early 1900s. Next, I took a walk to the Phillips Collection, a modern and contemporary art gallery, one block over. I was pretty bummed to learn that this was not free like I figured it might be but decided to explore anyways. There were masterpieces by incredibly well-known artists like Monet, Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeffe, and Pollock! My favorite was called Magnolia of the Night by Karel Appel. After Phillips, I grabbed lunch and walked down O Street to see a mansion that I once saw on an HGTV show, snapped some pics, and headed back to the room to rest after my long day!

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Sunday: Laundry

Today is super boring. I slept most of the day, worked out, and am currently doing laundry. Pretty relaxing though after my busy week!

If you read this far, you’re a trooper. I’ll be posting these hopefully weekly so check back next Sunday 🙂