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Week 3 already???

Name: Gizel Gomez

Date(s): 06/10/24 - 06/16/24

Monday & Tuesday: 06/10/24 - 06/11/24
Navigating Identities & USDA Reception

After finally trying the infamous Georgetown cupcakes, we are now in week 3 of the internship, and time is flying by quickly. This week began with the one and only Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) programming. Our day began with Professor Bartels and her identity, ideology, and activism presentation. The first question to be asked was, "What are you?" It was intended to spark a debate about which term we prefer when describing our community. I'd say the activity was eye-opening for me because I had never been asked to distinguish Hispanic and Latino. When asked, I'd always refer to myself as Mexican-American or Hispanic without thinking about it. As we dove deeper into the origin of these terms, I understood the difference between using Hispanic versus Latino. We also talked about using Latinx versus Latine in terms of inclusion. It was a long and meaningful conversation that a lot of people had deep feelings about. After we came back from lunch, the presentations continued, and we learned more about emotional intelligence and public speaking. Talking about emotional intelligence allowed me to strategize when I find myself in complicated scenarios and find positive ways to navigate the issue. The public speaking presentation was the most helpful, in my opinion, because we worked on our elevator speech and how to praise ourselves. 

On my second official work week, I began Tuesday with the White House Hispanic Initiative (WHHI). It was my typical morning routine as I got ready and made my way to work. Since I had programming on Monday, I missed a lot of information regarding weekly updates. I immediately started reading through emails and mapping out my schedule for the week. Also, I was able to connect with Javier, one of the interns on my floor, and grab lunch. It was a very nice experience. We went to a deli right across the street and shared more about ourselves. After we got back, I had a meeting upstairs with the WHHI to discuss our interests and upcoming events that we may be required to write memos for. The meeting ended, and I got to leave early to attend the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reception, where we met Latino officials. I struggled to find the building, and after "hours" of walking, I made it! Overall, the event was great; the staff members and presidential appointees shared their stories and inspired us to believe in ourselves. 

Wednesday: 06/12/24
Baseball with a Twist

Wednesday started well. I continued my task about the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) members and looked for any posts on FAFSA. The interns and I had to make a small list, in which we put the dates and mentioned any relevant posts we could find. We also had to take screenshots of any relevant information on their website or social media and then print them out to refer back to them later. I had to pause that and read over the UMOS memo since they were going to meet with us later that day. Thankfully, I was asked to attend the meeting, and the work they do amazes me. We met with Silvia and Jose, two of their members, who were very passionate about the work they do for the Latino community. It was amazing to hear them talk about the organization and how it's become one of the largest multi-state Latino non-profit organizations in the country. They work to recognize the unmet needs of migrant and seasonal workers and assist individuals of various backgrounds. Silvia and Jose were very nice; once the meeting was over, they took some time to get to know me and another intern and encouraged us to share our stories and advocate for ourselves. 

After I left work, I made my way back to my dorm to change for the baseball game. We all got tickets from NVG to go watch the Congressional Baseball Game at the Nationals Park! We initially thought there wouldn't be many people, but as we got on the metro, we quickly realized everyone was headed there. When we arrived, the line was quite long, so we just had to stand and wait. The other interns were lucky because they just arrived and went with us in line; they didn't have to wait much. At first, the game was kind of boring, or so I thought because I don't really like baseball. After a while, it was depressing to see how the Democrats were getting absolutely crushed. They didn't have much going for them and would immediately get out. We finally left and came back to our dorms. The ride was tiring and irritating since I just wanted to go to bed.

Thursday & Friday: 06/13/24 - 06/14/24
Another Day, Another Meeting & Virtual Fridays

My Thursday was somewhat packed with meetings; I say that because I'm not used to attending that many. I had about 6 meetings, and most of them were back-to-back, which was stressful. Some of them involved talking about upcoming tasks, and others were ones I had set up with the staff members so I could get to know them. There was a brown bag event that the department put on for the interns to go and hear from political appointees. They shared their stories, how they got to their positions, and some words of wisdom to keep us motivated. I always love these conversations because you get to hear the good and bad about their career, and it keeps you going; it serves as a way not to give up. After that, I joined a couple of more meetings and worked on the given assignments. I put together a Good News PowerPoint involving HEP/CAMP programs and some of their accomplishments for the 2023–2024 year. Once that was done, I moved on to checking the HEP/CAMP websites for any faulty content, and before I knew it, it was time to leave. I finally got back to my dorm, went to the gym for a while, and that concluded my day.

After seeing everyone in my office work from home, I finally got the chance to do it too. My supervisor had asked me if I wanted to work from home on Friday, and of course, I said yes! I didn't have to take the metro anywhere; all I had to do was wake up and open my computer. My day started with a Kaffeeklatsch meeting, an informal meeting that the interns are invited to so they can have a conversation and share any upcoming plans. The day wasn't too busy; I joined a couple of meetings, checked in with my supervisor, and continued with my assignment from Thursday. I would say, though, that I'd much rather be using the desktop computers at the office because I can easily move from site to site. For my task, I had to go back and forth from websites to Word documents, and it was a bit complicated. Thankfully, I managed to cope with it and nearly finished working on it. Throughout the day, some of the interns and I were making plans to go watch the one and only "Inside Out 2" movie, so we bought tickets to go. We picked the latest showing for some reason, but it was worth it. Since the theater wasn't too far, we decided to walk there, but it started raining and no one had an umbrella. We were forced to speedwalk, and after walking in the rain for a bit, we made it. The movie was really good. I enjoyed watching the new characters, laughing at everything they did, and seeing them argue about who was right. 

Weekend: 06/15/24 - 06/16/24
Days off

The weekend was much needed, to say the least. On Saturday, I didn't do much. I woke up around noon and made some breakfast for myself. I cleaned up a bit and watched Netflix pretty much all day. It was a day to lay back and relax, which I very much enjoyed. On Sunday, I woke up around 10 AM to get ready to head out to the museum. We had been wanting to go to the Holocaust Museum, and we finally got tickets. We walked to the metro station and made our way to the museum. They checked our tickets, and we got on the elevator, where they explained the layout of the different floors and gave us access to the exhibitions. Everything was very unfortunate and upsetting to see; the exhibitions built off one another. There was a section with pictures of families affected and a place where you could scan an image and hear the story behind it. I had never really taken the time to read about the Holocaust, but this museum made me aware of the horrible situations people were put through. It was not easy to go through it all, but overall, it was quite informative. 

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