Never thought I’d see the today. But, my last moments of at the Senator’s office provided retribution and continuity. I was given a last research project. The majority of my week was spent on this research. And it was in this process, that I had a moment to step back and look over the skills I had learned. Research had always been a big part of my Catlin Gabel education, but the practice of quick and broad stroked summary was honed in these few weeks. I learned how to quickly look at all sides of an argument and apply what I had learned on OPOV to an office setting and a government context. So that was the some of my work, one last project, one last chance.
Aside from the work I did, I had a chance this week to act as a guide for a former Marine. This quick and off the hand task, was given to me by a coworker and provided a chance to speak with a well-versed veteran on the nuances of security. As I recollected my amazement at the ID requirements and metal detectors, he scoffed. In this man’s experience, it was the least of security measurements. He then recounted all the layers of security he had dealt with over the years as a Marine. This final conversation, for me, brought things full circle. I began this internship with the surprise at daily metal detector checks and ended with a similar conversation and deeper enlightenment on the elements of government security. So the main points that I took away were that the practice of keeping information private is just as singularly important as the information itself. Government operations have usually come across as more shadowy than say, a bakery position. However, it was in this internship that I fully understood why so much was kept under wraps. I saw the steps involved, the people involved, and the work that was done. I was allowed no pictures and could not write on specifics of any of my research or tasks. From this I felt the importance in this secrecy, and was attracted to the work, more than a typical research assignment.
A few more tidbits, for all the discretion involved in work, the camaraderie that I got a chance to see was anything but. An example of this: one coworker in dire need of dental floss asked another. She responded to his question, “Sadly, I do.” The laughter and assurance felt in this moment, showed just how well some of these workers who have sat at the same shifts and swivel chairs, knew each other. He furthered, “If anyone in this office had floss, I knew you would be the one.” This was a shining example of how the office space embraces people in a familial sense. Furthering this end, one day, an office mate asked if I wanted a Coke. I responded, “Yes!” and from then on was considered her fellow addict, and received a fresh one each day. Little moments like this made the whole experience more immersive, enjoyable, and refreshing.