24 July 2008

42 days until I leave for Oxford. I don't believe that it is possible for me to get any more excited then I already am. That said, it still hasn't truly sunk it, nor will it until I am physically on the plane, flying across the Atlantic. Wow.

It also occurred to me today that I, quite possibly, have more days in the United States behind me than in front of me. If all goes to plan, I will have one more real year of calling Maryland home after returning from Oxford before moving overseas.


18 July 2008

As it turns out, I am absolutely horrible at keeping this updated. I have no idea how I realistically expect to use it as a medium to communicate with friends and family while abroad. Oh well. At least some updates are better than no updates. And, hopefully, life will be a bit more exciting (or at least worthy of writing about) whilst I am in England.

So, what can I say about this week (or, rather, last week)? A lot. I was an intern at the Third Annual ATHGO Global Forum held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC from July 9-11. I was perhaps one of five American interns, and the only one who actually lived in DC (or, rather, in the general area). It was an experience that was both thrilling and frustrating. At some points, I felt as if I were having the time of my life. At others, all I wanted to do was go home and lie in bed and never heard the word 'intern' again. By the time I left the World Bank to go home, I was always exhausted. With that said, I would do it again in a heartbeat.


After driving Mum to work in Rockville and then heading to HCC to take my microeconomics test, I drove to Greenbelt and boarded the metro. An hour later, I was at Farragut West, desperately searching for which of the World Bank buildings housed the Preston auditorium. Of course, I picked the wrong one and had a rather nasty run-in with a security guard who seemed to be convinced that I was a terrorist, for the questions he asked were quite suspicious in nature. I'd hate to see what would have happened had I decided to go past the main public lobby. Thankfully, I did find the main building (the big white one that practically screamed 'World Bank Group') and found my way to the Preston auditorium with few problems.

We did the typical icebreaker-type activities, which, of course, was extremely reminiscent of first-year orientation. However, I did meet some interesting people. We went over the various roles that we would be expected to fulfill throughout the forum, and I was initially assigned as a protocol intern. By the end of the day, though, I had been moved to journalism. :( To those who know me, I suppose that it is a bit shocking to find out that I hadn't wanted to do journalism. When I resigned from my post on the paper, I swore off journalism forever. Oddly enough, I always seem to find my way back into the journalism world. First this internship and then I am offered a position at The Point Independent as associate editor of the news section. What's next? Is the Washington Post going to ring me up with a job offer? (Not that I am skilled enough to write for such an esteemed newspaper, just that this would be right along with the events of the past few days.)

Wednesday was the first day of the forum itself. Interns were expected to report to the Bank by 730AM, which meant that I had to leave the house at 6. It was positively painful. It seems that my body has entirely forgotten that I used to wake up at 430 each morning for crew practice. (And because I am lazy, here is where things degenerate into bulleted form)


  • Moved boxes
  • Took notes on international development, anti-corruption, role of World Bank lectures
  • Manned registration desk from 4:30 until participants left at 6
  • Went with fellow interns to Local 16, a rooftop bar where the welcoming reception was being held
  • Ended up getting home slightly after 10, having missed five or six trains
  • Reported to Bank at 8
  • Grabbed tea from the World Bank Cafeteria (amazing, bigger than St. Mary's)
  • Took notes on lectures, panel discussions
  • Interviewed participants
  • Reported to Bank at 8
  • Started writing summary and article
  • Possibly hit the 90wpm rate during the innovative panel presentations, throughout which I had to record the main points of the group presentations
  • Attended closing reception in Atrium, hosted by World Bank and Embassy of Brunei
Other events of the past week:
Friday: Witnessed the death of my cell phone screen, thus necessitating its final retirement. (Even though I won't be getting a new phone until I get to the UK)

Saturday: Worked on article/summary all day

Sunday: Went to the National Museum of Health and Medicine with Jasy, completed article and summary.

05 July 2008

A long, long time ago I used to write for fun. It's amazing to think that such a thing ever occurred, but it did. Unfortunately, when I started to attend that strange place called St. Mary's, all inclination towards writing or reading disappeared abruptly. At the same time, all emails, blog postings, and Facebook messages began to take bulleted list form due to this forms convenience and lack of thought required. Why did this happen? Well, there is no time to write or read when you are assigned sixty plus pages of reading each night, or have to continuously work on twenty page papers. It just saps the life out of you.

Indeed, during autumn semester, I thought I was going to have a breakdown during the writing of my Historic Preservation lesson plan and my Cold War spy films paper. It got so bad that one day I panicked at the sight of thirty-odd books piled on my desk and almost drove home that night. Luckily, I managed to avoid any such episode during spring semester (although I did come close when I discovered that my entire thesis for my Econ Cultures paper was completely implausible) and was relieved when I handed in my Econ Cultures paper on the last day of finals. Normally, I would use the summer to relax and rebuild my relationship with reading and writing. Unfortunately, taking Macroeconomics and Microeconomics is preventing any such thing from happening. I have no idea if the month between ending Micro and going to Oxford will be enough to allow me to write clearly (or in a non-boring manner such as this) ever again.

Today was Independence Day (obviously) and so my father and I made the wise choice of going down to DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year's theme? NASA, Bhutan, and Texas. Yeah. Odd, right? Well, it turned out to be better than expected. Dad absolutely loved NASA (since he is a self-confessed science nerd) and I rather liked Bhutan. It's amazing to think that this small country is able to remain so isolated from the rest of the world. It will be interesting to see whether or not they will be able to continue to balance their traditions with globalization in the years to come. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me, however, is their policy of Gross National Happiness. (Wikipedia it.)

Ok, lost all motivation to even do this. Besides, I still have to read about 200 pages for my internship. Which is another problem entirely. Who even knows what is going to happen with that? I think that in taking chances I've managed to screw myself over completely.

02 July 2008

It is my birthday. I am 20 years old. Here's to hoping that I survive the next 20.