A Travellerspoint blog

Weekend Wrapup

So this was a super busy week for me and the same will be said for next week.

Between WAIP events and wrapping up my projects at my American Councils internship, I was constantly moving and grooving.

Monday night was spent intensely watching the debate so that I could take notes for our debate analysis paper that was due last night for our policy analysis seminar class and doing some readings for my cultural diplomacy class.

Tuesday was spent at seminar discussing the debate and then bed because seminar days tend to be 12+ hour days as class goes from 6:30p - 9p.

Wednesday was my last day at American Councils so I was kinda busy wrapping everything up. They will be starting their Snapchat account this upcoming week to reach out to high schoolers! Wednesday evening was spent reading for my cultural diplomacy class and watching the season premiere of Criminal Minds. *Side note: I don't like that there is a new person flirting with Garcia. The only person that can flirt with Garcia is Derek!*

Thursday morning we had another constituent coffee which was better than the first one, but it didn't have orange juice :( This time we met with Ohio Senator Brown and we chatted about my major, Rose's adoption, and my involvement with the Chinese community in Pittsburgh. He found it interesting that Rose was Chinese on the outside and that I'm Chinese on the inside. After that, I went back to the apartment and took a nap before going to the Washington Nationals baseball game with a fellow WAIPer. We got tickets from my boss at Alion who happens to be the fellow WAIPer's mentor. The weather was crappy for a baseball game with the rain and chilly temperature, but it was fun nonetheless! My boss treated us to hotdogs because you can't go to a baseball game without eating a hotdog. Thursday night I spent finishing up stuff for my cultural diplomacy class so that I didn't have too much to do this weekend.

Friday we toured Capitol Hill with a fellow OSU and WAIP alumna and then met with other OSU alumni who work on the hill. After the Hill, we took the metro out to Crystal City to tour Lockheed Martin. I geeked out at Lockheed Martin when they talked about their national defense contracts because the stuff that we are capable of doing nowadays is amazing. At the end of the tour, we were given Orion Spacecraft models to build on our own. On my way back from the metro stop a few blocks from our apartment, I was passing the Supreme Court building and I saw a really familiar looking woman walking out to a car with two other women, one of them holding an umbrella for her. This woman had really cute shoes and as I passed her, I complimented her on her heels. I had already passed her by the time she said thank you, but as soon as I heard her voice I realized that I had just complimented Katie Couric on her shoes. No wonder she looked so familiar! You really never know who you'll encounter when you're in the nation's capital. Friday evening I wrote my debate analysis paper, did some retail therapy, and built my Orion Spacecraft like the true nerd that I am.

Today and tomorrow are being spent catching up on a few things and preparing for another busy week before I travel to Penn State next weekend to visit Jake and celebrate PSU's homecoming.

Today's motto: Just keep swimming.

And that's your Dailey dosage.

Posted by ruixueinchina 12:54 Tagged washington dc intern Comments (0)


Tortilla chips and mac & cheese

This will probably be my favorite blog to write because I LOVE FOOD!

I try to pack food as much as possible so that I can save on money and force myself to learn to cook. A lot of the recipes of the food I make I’ve found on the internet or I completely make up as I go.
Tonight, I realized my gallon of milk I bought last Sunday was probably going to go bad soon and I had a ton of tortillas but no chicken to make wraps. I had a ripped tortilla shell and decided that I could probably make tortilla chips out of it. So I googled a recipe for tortilla chips and they were saying to do all this fancy stuff and I didn’t have most of the ingredients so I decided that spraying pam on both sides of the tortillas would suffice and I’d throw them in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes and see how things went. They taste delicious and are super easy to make!

You’re probably asking what I did with the milk. Well, I saw an article on buzzfeed about easy 3 ingredient meals and one of them was mac and cheese. I decided that since the recipe called for 5 cups of milk it would be the perfect way to use up some milk, the cheese that I had for my wraps that I no longer can make, and some of the pasta that I have.

This is where things got messy tonight.

I (kinda) boiled my milk but it got this weird film layer on top so I just threw my pasta in and ignored the directions to stir constantly for 10 minutes because no one has the time or the arm muscles for that. A few minutes later I went to stir it and the milk came alive and frothed up so much that a bunch spilled over the top and put out my fire haha. Not sure what happened, but my milk had a life of its own tonight. I cooked my pasta in boiled milk for the 10 minutes it said and then put my cheese in and mixed which was almost impossible because the pot was way too small for everything.

The mac and cheese tasted okay, but the cleanup was worse. The pot was the most difficult thing to wash because some of the mac and cheese cooked to the bottom and sides of the pot and I really had to put some elbow grease into cleaning it.

Does the mac and cheese taste good? Eh, only if I have milk to get rid of. Would I make it again? No, because the cleanup wasn’t worth it.

What I learned: 1) Milk has a mind of its own. 2) Divide the recipe in half for anything I cook from now on because the materials I have aren’t big enough. 3) Don’t buy a whole gallon of milk for yourself.

Today's motto: Be ware of the milk.

And that's your Dailey dosage.

Posted by ruixueinchina 18:00 Comments (0)

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Now I know why Jake always complains about his waders...

Just realized I never wrote a blog about Kenilworth!

When I got to Kenilworth, I found the smallest pair of waders that they had and they still ended up being too big. I sucked it up though so that I could do service for National Public Lands Day.

Once I got in the swamp, I realized how muddy and unstable the bottom of it was when I almost got stuck. Every time I walked I thought I was going to lose my balance and if you stayed in the same place for too long your boots would sink and you would get stuck. Every time I tried to walk, I had to lean forward to be able to trudge through all of the mud. Fortunately, I never fell into the gross smelling swamp, but we had a few close calls.

Our task was to clear out lotuses that the park rangers had chopped down the week leading up to the event. Each group had a boat that they took out with them to place all of the lotuses in.

A few minutes into removing the lotuses, I realized that both legs of my waders had holes in them and were quickly taking on water. For the rest of the day I was stuck with water filled waders and both of my socks ended up coming off. Yet I continued through it for the sake of National Public Lands Day.

After about 2-3 hours of lotus removal, we were treated with Panera sandwiches for lunch which was greatly appreciated.

I woke up sore Sunday morning from all of the different muscles that I was using throughout my time at Kenilworth.

Kenilworth was a super exciting, but exhausting day!

Today's motto: Just breathe.

And that's your Dailey dosage.

Posted by ruixueinchina 12:40 Comments (0)

Secretary of Defense Dailey

Study Tours 9/23/16

Today's study tour started off with a trip to Alion Science and Technology for a Lunch and Learn. I decided to walk to Alion by myself so that I would be able to do it in October when I start interning there. I found the wrong way to go this morning and found out that you can't cut through the one park like Google Maps wanted me to. So I had to reroute but eventually found my way to Alion.

They gave us Potbelly sandwiches for lunch and introduced government contracting in general and an overview of what they did. Being a Security & Intelligence major, I geeked out at this information, but wasn't surprised when the others didn't seem too interested. Although, one of my fellow WAIPers expressed interest in applying there after he graduates.

I got to see my boss's office and he officially wins the title of proudest OSU Alumni. His office is decked out wall to wall in OSU memorabilia that he has collected over the years. My boss is pretty interesting and I can't wait to learn more about him in the coming weeks.

After Alion, we went to our Pentagon tour which was AWESOME. Although our connection wasn't able to give us a private tour, the public tour was still pretty cool. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the building, but if you get the chance to do a Pentagon tour definitely take it. The Pentagon has four Starbucks within the building which seems excessive until you learn that over 25,000 people work within the Pentagon.

We got to go to the part of the Pentagon that was damaged in the 9/11 attacks which was very sobering. The construction workers vowed to have the repairs done by the first anniversary even though they were given three years to complete the project. They even had a 9/11 memorial chapel located at the site of impact that was very powerful to visit. Throughout the hallways near the impact site, they have quilts that were donated to the Pentagon after the attacks. There were many quilts donated by kids (who are my age now) and it was very interesting and eye-opening to see how the events were displayed by their minds. Overall, the experience was heartbreaking and I had to try to keep my composure. I may have only been seven years old at the time, but as a Security and Intelligence major it really impacts me.

Today was my favorite day of study tours by far and I'm even more excited for our service project on Saturday to Kenilworth Aquatic Park where I will hopefully get to don waders and clean out a pond on National Public Lands Day.

Today's motto: Never Forget

And that's your Dailey dosage.

Posted by ruixueinchina 19:53 Comments (0)

Networking: A Frenemy

Friend or Foe?

Tonight I got to go to a panel event hosted by the CATO Institute on making the most of your internship while in DC. One of the biggest points that they drilled into our heads was networking...

It seems like no one really enjoys networking but it's a necessary evil. The one panelist did make a point to emphasize how you should go to networking events with an open mind and not strictly for collecting business cards from as many people as you can.

She suggested leaving the event with three or four business cards of people that you ACTUALLY want to follow up with. It doesn't matter how many business cards you collect during your internship; what does matter is the connections that you made and maintaining those connections because you are genuinely interested in that person and their line of work.

I personally hate going to events that are essentially "forced networking". I'd rather send someone an email that I've met once or twice before and grab coffee with them (even though I hate coffee) and be able to ask them questions on a one on one basis and pick their brains as to how they got to where they are now.

One of the cool benefits of being a WAIPer are our business cards. I feel weird handing them out sometimes because I'm just a measly intern, but people are generally impressed that we have business cards.

Networking (and forced conversation) may be the bane of my existence but it will soon become my friend when I'm looking for a job after graduation.

Today's motto: Network until you drop. But network with a purpose.

And that's your Dailey dosage.

Posted by ruixueinchina 17:57 Tagged washington dc intern ohio_state Comments (0)

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