“Sometimes Things Don’t go as Planned and There’s Nothing You can do About It.”

Going off of last week’s blog, the motto of my life recently has been: “sometimes things don’t go as planned and there’s nothing you can do about it.” When I wrote this, I was sitting on my bed under the covers, where I stayed most of that day. After feeling awful this past Monday for various reasons, my roommates “strongly encouraged” me to stay home and take a sick day from work the following day. It’s been interesting as my head hasn’t been congested that much, but when it is, it is predominantly on my left side of my head and I constantly have a throbbing on the back of my left side of my throat. So, after deliberation with family members, I decided to wait it out a little more and if it stays the same or gets worse, then I’ll get checked out.

Despite this drawback, I had quite an eventful past few days. It started off with attending a Press Conference at the National Press Club in the National Press Building regarding Charlie Gard’s situation. Because I have worked some with Arina on pro-life issues, I was fortunate enough to have been asked to tag along around our lunch hour for this Press Conference. As the Family Research Council touches on many religious freedom issues, Arina, our Director of Center for Human Dignity, was asked to speak among countless other pro-life organizations, including the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women for America, The March for Life, and Americans United for Life. It was so exhilarating to witness representatives and leaders from these organizations rally around a mutual cause, especially since I had knowledge of all the organizations, and had applied to most and had been accepted to intern at one of them this summer. All in all, it was rather impressive, especially of one of my bosses, as she found out that morning with under an hour before it started, that she was supposed to speak on behalf of the Family Research Council. However, she did such a great job constructing about a 1200-word speech, pulling in quotes and other cases of children with the same condition and how they have been treated. It was nice to be one of the helpful interns to grab her speech off the printer as she was preparing herself to be presentable in front of the press. There were countless news stations present, including CNN and FOX NEWS, and she even engaged in individual interviews after the group panel. Overall, this was such an awesome experience, and I am so thankful that Arina allowed me to be there.

The following evening, after struggling to find an available date, Aundrea, Alex, and I were invited over to Matt Caruso, a former Capital Scholar, and his wife’s place. There, we had a lovely evening of laughs, playing with his dog Rocket, an AMAZING, homemade meal of salad and shrimp and pasta and fish, and fun dessert of ice cream. Additionally, it was cool getting to know one of his co-workers who happens to play rugby in the area as well. While it was so nice of Matt to have this second group of Capital Scholars over, who had missed the first dinner, it was also comforting to know that even his Capital Scholars group had a few issues and not everything is always going to be “cupcakes and rainbows” in college and in “real life.”

Saturday was the Capital Scholars’ volunteer day, and most of us spent it manning the sustainability booths at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival surrounding the entire mall. While some booths had more traffic than others, the one that Mustafa and I were at was not that busy. However, we did have a man take a picture of our booth and be very happy that it existed. It was nice that the volunteering organization gave us “monopoly-like” money to spend for lunch, and afterwards, because Alex and I had missed this excursion, we, along with Claire, visited the National Museum of the American Indian. This was really interesting to me, and I especially was reminded of my family as my mom in particular loves Native American culture and beaded jewelry and actually makes, teaches classes on how to make, and sells her own jewelry. Afterwards, Alex and Claire volunteered to go with me and meet Aundrea at mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. Although this mass didn’t have music, we were having fun trying out new pretty churches every week. Later, eight of us Capital Scholars, met up for dinner at Medaterra, a cheap restaurant down the street from us, and had a great time. This was just the start to spending the entire weekend together.

Sunday was the day for our big summer excursion, and I could not have been more excited! As some of us decided to metro and then bus over to the National Harbor, as opposed to ubering/ lyfting like most, we left fairly early for the commute. After taking fun pictures with the others once we got there, Suzette was kind enough to buy me a warm, soothing drink at Starbucks as my throat was starting to act up. Also, for a group that has had so much tension in the past, all of the Capital Scholars were seemingly getting along for the benefit of the whole group. The boat ride over to Mt. Vernon was beautiful, as it drove past scenic views of million and billion dollar residences along the Potomac. Once docked at Mt. Vernon, some of us walked up a path to George Washington and his family’s tombs. Next, we ventured through the tour of the Mt. Vernon Mansion and the surrounding buildings. I found it rather interesting that experts informed us that the paint colors in the rooms were the original colors of the house. I loved that tidbit of knowledge as the house was decked in vibrant shades of blues and greens, some of my favorite colors. Aside from the actual property, I was totally in awe of the Mt. Vernon Education Center and Museum, so much so, that I had lost our group that was just ahead of me. I conscientiously read almost everything in the Education Center and think it is one of the best museums in the D.C. area. While I vaguely remember touring Mt. Vernon years ago with my family on a rainy day when I was either in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, I did not remember that much in detail. Thus, I highly encourage all to visit the District of Columbia’s landmarks when they are older most especially so as to truly appreciate our country’s history and the environment. Here, I was reminded of my family again as my dad absolutely LOVES George Washington, and who I believe my awe, admiration, and respect for the man was probably inherited from. To give you an example of how much my dad loves our first President, when I was younger and my dad came in for a “bring-your-parent-to-school-day,” he did not talk extensively about his cool rocket engineering/ program manager role at Orbital, but read to children from a book discussing George Washington. Thus, it wasn’t surprising that I had become distracted and lost the rest of my group after venturing through the gift shop. This actually led to a rather stressful time as my phone was quickly dying with 5% left and I had to make it back to the dock in twenty minutes for the boat back to the National Harbor. As my roommates were calling me frantically, my phone was not working and we could not hear each other on either end; however, I was able to make the last bus down to the dock just in time as my phone completely died. After safely docking back at the National Harbor, most of us grabbed dinner together and ubered back to our housing. This was such an eventful, fun day, and thus, I am glad that I missed some of the negativity that apparently was in the air as I explored the Education Center, Museum, and gift shop by myself.

Aside from continually being reminded that sometimes things don’t go as planned and realizing that you have to adapt with it, I learned that one can have a relatable, personable relationship with one’s bosses. As I had never encountered that with previous jobs, most notably after working four summers for a former strict Marine, it was rather refreshing. Because the Family Research Council is a Christian organization, we typically start the mornings dwelling on Biblical passages and praying for each other and worldwide situations. Thus, I felt somewhat more comfortable discussing something that had been weighing on my heart recently with my internship coordinator. Then, he recommended me to speak with another staff member to receive advice. Being able to share and obtain guidance from my bosses was more helpful and relieving than they know, and I’m so thankful that they took time out of their busy days to talk to me.

As this amazing internship and adventure is quickly drawing to a close, I am narrowing down my list for the “must-sees” and am trying to embrace every last second of it!

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Brigette Maggio

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