The 4th of July has always been a holiday I have looked forward to. In AZ, there would always be fireworks right outside my house, so the main cross streets would always be closed. Washington DC took it to a whole new level though as block after block was filled with tourists and closed off to vehicles. Independence day here felt a lot more different and empowering. To put it into perspective, the only other time I felt this empowered was day one at my internship job where I had to swear in and raise my right hand to defend the constitution of the US. DC truly has another type of feeling to it as it is the nation’s capital and a long and rich history of innovation (shout out to ASU) and being one of the premier melting pot cities of America.
In terms of planning for DC, I knew I had to get patriotic clothing. After a long deliberation session with the 504 and B100 boys, it was decided that we would wear chubbies. I don’t think I have been in that many snapchats of other people before, I just felt really patriotic and better than everyone else matching with my roommate Guillermo and Alex. In terms of day activities, we as a group did not have a specific plan in mind, but just explored the Capitol and national mall area. Although there were a lot of people during the day, it was not really that packed. We ended up learning that the best time to go to the mall was around 6-7PM to comfortably find a nice spot in the mall grass. We ended up hanging around the mall area for a bit exploring, but then went back to WISH to hang out and play games as a group. To be honest, this day was one of the most fun days being here. I got to get to know other capital scholars really well and we all ended up bonding over our pure silliness. After playing some games, we all headed to the national mall, where we actually got to meet some ASU students not part of the capital scholars program but still here working for other internships or just visiting. The fireworks were some of the most amazing ones I have ever seen: there were smiley faces, hats, and even chests representing the Boston Tea Party (at least I think). The fireworks ended up lasting for a solid 20 minutes, and I sincerely think I have not seen a better firework display.
Something that I have learned this week is to know your limits. Sometimes, your supervisors are overwhelmed at their jobs. It is very common, especially in this era where there are incoming anticipated budget cuts. Especially since I work on the budget team, my supervisors and myself have been working under general high stress conditions to try to make a case to increase OIG funding. Although I am just a student intern, I am glad to have eased up some of their loads, but at the same time there is a place and time to be nosy to keep asking for more work. Sometimes it is just better to give your boss a little free time and just check in time to time to make it seem like you are there to help, but never force yourself into being a liability to your peers. All in all, this 4th of July has been a life changing experience, and I am glad to have been a part of this program to experience this.