As I write this, it is now my second official snow day. As a California native who never really ventured too far from home, I must admit this is still all amazingly surprising and surreal, to say the least. The first time I saw snow was last week. I was so shocked I halted in my tracks in awe to watch the first little snowflakes fall from the sky. Little did I know those cute little snow flakes would turn into a blizzard that would trap us all inside for four days, but hey, I guess you should be careful what you wish for!
I spent my last night in DC eating Ethiopian food with my intern friends, and the weather was mild enough for my friend and I to take a stroll around Embassy Row, the Potomac River, and Georgetown. Between saying goodbyes to friends, working on term papers, and wrapping up my internship, it wasn’t until my last day in DC when I realized how much I would miss being able to walk around the National Mall everyday, live a few blocks away from the White House, stop by the numerous Smithsonian museums at a moment’s notice, and immerse myself in the DC atmosphere. Continue reading
There is something oddly terrifying about becoming a ‘grown up.’
As a kid, I aspired to it.
It is access to an unknown world and it is enticing.
With each year, I suddenly get closer.
My responsibility expands, my knowledge grows, my dependence shortens.
Yet, excitement soon evolves into fear as I realize that things don’t ‘just happen.’
By college, I diagnose myself with a phobia for change, stagnation, and failure.
D.C. is my chance.
There is a magic about the city, a flair that words cannot justly describe.
When walking the streets, purpose becomes evident – you are in a place of wonders.
A friend describes it as a movie set, it’s not real, and is meant to serve moments rather than be the place where one chooses to settle down…
It has given me the right moments to move forward in my life with a zest for opportunities and action.
I am terrified of adulthood.
But this is not an end, it is merely the beginning
Ozi Emeziem is a senior at UC Berkeley, studying comparative literature and ethnic studies. She is currently interning with the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Posted by Matsui Washington Fellow Brandon Wong.
Well, here we are. It’s now April 2015, the final month that I’m in our nation’s capital. Rather than recount everything that has happened to me in the past few weeks since my last post, I’d like to reflect on my time here and things that I’ve learned. But first, an obligatory aside about the cherry blossoms.
For the folks at home, Washington, D.C. isn’t just known for scandal, polarization, and drivers that honk their horns as if it were a necessary bodily function. One of the more positive aspects of D.C. is the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. If you’re really interested, you can learn more here. In a nutshell: our friend and ally Japan gave us a gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees over one hundred years ago to celebrate our relationship. Every year around this time (for only about two weeks at that!), the trees bare their beautiful pink blossoms and mark the arrival of springtime. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to D.C. annually to take part in the festivities and take selfies with the cherry blossom trees. I’m only half joking about that last part. Fun fact: picking the blossoms of the tree is illegal, so don’t even think about it!
The prolonged winter in DC is over. This past week, the temperature has consistently been around 60F. And the once chilly and aloof DC starts to strike people with its cuteness by offering thousands of cherry blossoms and magnolias. Yesterday, when I went to work in the morning, these cuties were greeting me in front of UCDC Center:
The Library of Congress was one of the biggest incentives behind my UCDC application. As my work at the Wilson Center is picking up, I have become a frequent patron of the LOC. A good thing about working in a think tank is the flexibility of your schedule. Unlike my friends who work, say, at the White House or at some Congressional offices, I usually don’t have to be at work from 9 to 5. As a research assistant, my job is mainly to, well, do research. So as long as I finish my work on time and keep my boss happy, I can read books, write memos and interview people from anywhere, usually a nearby library or a cafe. And sometimes, when the task gets tricky, a visit to the LOC is a must-do. Continue reading
Posted by Matsui Washington Fellow Brandon Wong.
The past few weeks have been a little rough. I’ve been trying to shake off a persisting cold, to little avail. On top of that, applying for jobs takes up a great deal of my time, in addition to scholarly pursuits here at the UC Center. Finally, I made an obligatory excursion to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum a few weeks ago. I say “obligatory,” because I believe wholeheartedly that everyone must eventually witness the tragedies of the Holocaust to honor the living and the dead. Reading Elie Weisel’s Night in high school was an emotionally exhausting endeavor, affecting me in a way few books have. However, even books about the Holocaust don’t fully capture the human suffering and cruelty; going to the Museum made that clear to me. One thing about the Museum that really stuck with me was the boxcar they had on display for museum goers to walk through. Of course, eventual victims of the death camps were transported by train in box cars. They were often packed to the brim, allowing very little freedom of movement. Walking through the boxcar sent a chill down my spine and made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Though I was technically alone in the sense that no one was in or around the boxcar with me, I did not feel truly alone. I doubt I’ll ever forget that. Continue reading