I arrived early at the Cannon House building today dressed in my best to find many of the other Congressional staffers and interns arriving late in sneakers and jeans. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself. This feeling was soon mitigated by the sweltering heat, oppressive humidity, and the moment of sheer panic felt upon realizing I had no idea how to operate a PC.
After spending a few hours manhandling my
mid-14th century Abacus laptop, I was assigned my very first brief: “Putting China’s Economic Rise in Perspective: Implications for the United States.” I headed off to the brief ready to learn, and hoped the growling in my stomach might be put at ease by the lunch I was assured would be served during the presentation. I had the privilege hearing Mr. Wayne Morrison, a Specialist in Asian Trade and Finance at the Congressional Research Service, deliver his analysis of China’s economy, which in 2014 surpassed the United States in regards to its Purchasing Power Parity, and it’s intricate relationship with the Chinese government. The lecture was very informative. However, there was no lunch.
I headed back to my office with every intention of writing up a memo to my boss on the China brief. However, upon returning I was immediately handed a list of names of members of Congress whom I was tasked with tracking down in order to obtain their signatures on a letter to the Secretary of State. I spent the rest of the afternoon becoming intimately acquainted with the bowels of the House office buildings and wishing that I hadn’t worn new shoes on the first day.
To summarize, on my first day I got literal hands on experience handling official Congressional correspondence, attended an briefing in the Senate office buildings, and visited the offices of 20 different members of Congress.
Today was a good day.