Saturday, July 16, 2005

Washington DC: Where my Final Resting Places Lies

When you step inside the Beltway, you step amongst the institutions and people of power. I learned that early when I ate my first meal at the National Student Leadership Conference in the summer after my junior year of high school (2001). I had just gotten on to the campus that Sunday evening before many of the conference attendees arrived. I sat down with my bowl of cereal and began to ate. Three or four others joined me after a few minutes and one of the girls looked very familiar. It was in fact Christy Romano of the famous Disney Channel Show “Even Stevens”. So talk about weird and inherently awkward. I asked the guy across from me when she left if he knew who she was. He had no clue. I can’t remember what I said to her but it was clear the rest of the week that I was there that she definitely thought she was “the shit”. Who would have known that Hollywood had invaded Washington. Others at the conference were not famous TV actors or actresses but they boys and girls of privilege from across the country and the world. The main demographic were sons and daughters of wealthy doctors, lawyers, and businessman who had the parents that would fit the $3,000 dollar bill for the conference. The experience was amazing in that not only do they have a wealth of experiences and knowledge (meaning many of them had traveled a lot and attended strong schools) but that they cared about what was going on in the world and could easily converse for hours about it. I was on that campus with future political, business, and societal leaders that will shape the country in the future. Years later I would return back and be blessed with an even more amazing experience in the summer of 2004.
After getting my acceptance into the JPSM Junior Fellows Program, I was ecstatic about getting to live in Washington for the summer for free and experience the city in whole new way. Getting located at George Washington University near Georgetown, the Mall, Dupont Circle, Rock Creek Park, etc. put me right in the heart of the city with hundreds of other interns. Throughout those 3 months last summer, I made many great friends from throughout the country including Ron, JPSM buddies (Steve, Hardcore, Gerry, Paul, others), Grant, and many others. Some of my most interesting conversations were not with my friends but with random people I talked to on the subway, at a party, or random interns and citizens I met through playing ultimate Frisbee. The greatest thing about DC is the diversity of the people whether that be geographic, ethnic, or political and their obsession about making an impact on our society. In one instant I may be hanging out at a Regan appointed Mormon circuit court judge’s home in Virginia and the next night I may be drinking beer at a row house downtown with a bunch of bureaucrats discussing urban planning policy. The amount of intelligent and interesting people doing intriguing and exciting work is infinite in the DC Metro Area.
Spend enough time in Washington DC and you’ll bump into senators, make connections with popular writers, and surely get a better taste at how diverse and exciting the United State people are. While the city may not be the most beautiful place to live, have the nicest weather, or have the glamorous appeal of say NYC, Miami, or San Francisco, the area stands out to me because of its diversity of people, its political and powerful connections, and its host of athletic, cultural, and intellectual opportunities. It may not be where I end up next year, in 10 years, or by the time I’m 50 years old, but I intend to spend my final days in Washington……


  • What was your experience as JPSM fellow like? What statistical agency did you intern at? I recently got accepted and would like to hear your experiences. Thanks :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 AM  

  • Tim thanks for the props and listing me as your #1 friend in DC during 2004. You obviously remember that I hooked you up with some housing out in Fairfax during the final week (sorry I gave you the wrong phone number). That was a pretty awesome summer. I'm still in Miami for a little while (until June/July '07). If you can break away, you should check it out. There are topless women on the non-topless beach!!!! Ron

    By Anonymous Ron, at 4:44 PM  

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