Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rally the Troops

If you've been in DC at any point, DC United went on an impressive public relations campaign to get people to their home opener. It worked. But I'll come back to this.

What I've noticed with my internship is that work ebbs and flows a lot. This week has been mixed, and there was definitely some fluctuations in the amount of work I had/have to do.

On monday I went to another TWC programming event. On the way to the event, I met a campaign manager I used to work for on the street. Totally by chance too. I'll hopefully be getting a meal with him soon.

 The programming was pretty poorly planned with kids having to sit on the floor. The topic was Fair Trade, but the expert that was brought in did not know how to communicate or give a presentation. This wasn't just me, a number of kids said this. In addition, some kids were asking legitimate, not "gotcha" questions, and the guy totally avoided them. The questions were about if fair trade seemingly costs more to provide (the guy said it doesn't, but then why does fair trade items cost more? Never answered that ether), how do developed countries engage in fair trade policies without busting the consumer's wallet? Also how to companies make profit if their goods are priced so much due to fair trade that no one buys their stuff? If anyone can help me answer this, I would really like to know.

On Tuesday I had another TWC programming event, but I am not going to go into it, I have too much positive energy in me right now. :)

On Wednesday I had my meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of my bureau! She is a very intelligent and kind woman. I got to have a mock interview with her, and she also helped me by pointing out some potential State Department programs to apply for post-undergraduate. She has also offered to help connect me with specialists in the areas of international relations I am interested in. So I'll be having some meetings with non-proliferation and multilateral gurus in the next few weeks!!

My family also came in the middle of the week. They went around DC and took me out for some delicious dinners. Love ya mom.

Unexpectedly on Thursday I asked to help escort the UN Office of Drugs and Crime's (UNODC)  Terrorism Prevention Branch's (TPB)  new chief, Ms. Requena Huertas!! I sat in on a meeting between her and State Department officials - it was highly productive and extremely interesting.

Finally, Friday was a whirlwind day of meetings. The other intern and I went to a U.S. meeting about an Asian country (sorry, I just worry about the sensitivity of things), a brown-bag lunch about life in North Korea, and another meeting at USPS HQ. The North Korea lunch was sooo interesting. The officer giving the picture presentation was a U.S. inspector sent to see if the North Koreans needed food aid, and he took a ton of pictures. Case-in-point, North Koreans don't live a glamorous lifestyle, but they do have a society that's not in ruins. The Hermit Kingdom is not as worse off as we may think, though there are a lot of malnutritioned kids. At USPS, the other intern and I were given super hero stamps, star war stamps, and a Mr. Zip bobble head!! Its very cool, don't knock it. That being said, I have a ton of work to do next week.

This weekend Jordan Reed '09 came to visit and we saw alums on friday, which was pretty fun.

Now let me get back to DC United. They've been flooding the city with ads like this on bus stops and newspapers:

Phrases like "Rally the Troops" and "Join Olsens Army" were everywhere. Jordan, Josh Hicks, and I went to the game last night! We bought DC United scarfs and I also bought a pin that said "Olsens Army" on it. It's pretty sick.The game was a ton of fun between tailgating before and the game itself. DC United didn't play very well, and ended up losing to Sporting Kansas City in the added time at the end. However, it was great to spend time with my friends at my first professional soccer game.

Awesome seats


Just because I've made these post just about my week, doesn't mean I haven't been following the clown show you call this election year or international politics. For anyone who is unaware, I am a proud Democrat, and I really haven't been embarrassed more for my country than these Republicans who are running for the nomination. The stuff they have said in debates and elsewhere since the summer is absolutely appalling (except for Huntsman). If you haven't seen the Islamophobic nature of last summer, disgraceful rhetoric, an audience booing a gay solider, people clapping for the death penalty, absolute misunderstanding of how the world works, or just talk of going back to the same policies of which got us into this economic mess in the first place I suggest you do some research. Make an opinion on your own, through credible sources (not everything posted online is unbiased and true, this seems so simple but people believe anything.)

 What we need in this country are American solutions. Too often, our "leaders" are mired down in debate the problem, but do not offer any solution to fix it. I am going to offer some of my thoughts on this and 2012 next week.

Get pumped.


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