Monday, November 28, 2005

A New Season

I received my Fellowship placement on Wednesday. I'm in Senator Bowen's office, which is a good fit for me. Her staff is bright, witty and polite, and I look forward to working with/for them. I'm also nervous about starting a real job in a real office know, being asked to do important work without screwing it up.

My life feels different in other ways, too. I spent most of Thanksgiving pondering a new holiday void that used to be filled by finals. I don't mind the change, but I'm very aware of it, and this weekend I think I finally grasped the size and importance of this very new chapter in my life.

Aside from my self reflection and other general day dreaming, I spent Thanksgiving with family and friends. It was nice to see so many good people at once. I know a table of 13 is still small by some standards, but it was the biggest holiday gathering I've ever attended. Devin made a giant Tofurkey to share with the group, but I was the only vegan/vegetarian in the crowd. It looks like I'll be eating furkey leftovers for weeks.

Devin and I spent Friday with my mom and my step-dad and left in the evening for Yosemite. The valley is in between seasons. The meadows have turned golden and there are small patches of snow on the ground. It was beautiful. It was also (literally) freezing. We spent Saturday hiking, and Saturday night trying to sleep in a tent in twenty degree Fahrenheit cold. My left eye kept swelling shut and the cold made my lips so swollen that it looked like I had cheap collagen injections. Devin did a good job of keeping me warm and was a pretty good sport about the weather, but I think he was cold too. Our Saturday hike was strenuous and it got much colder as we climbed up out of the valley, but the view from the top was breathtaking and made it well worth losing the feeling in my frozen hands.

I'm back in Sacramento now, and weather here is cold too. The change was pretty drastic. It had been hot when I left and now it's dark and wet. Watching the seasons change is fitting since I feel like I am changing. How convenient that the weather is a good narrative for my own life. It makes me feel like the center of the universe. What a ridiculous ego!! At any rate, I look forward to getting started in my office on Thursday and to enjoying my first Christmas season free from finals.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Senate Fellows

Well, half of us, at the top of the cupola. The ascent was pretty frightening, involving a metal spiral stair case that shook under our weight, but the view was completely worth it. The big guy in the center is Jody, and I am told that he knows everything about the Senate.
Writing, Waiting

So the academic component of the Fellowship is no joke. If I didn't believe before, last night changed my mind. I spent all of it writing a lengthy paper about media coverage of Proposition 77. Either I'm getting old or I just forgot how painful it is to stay up all night. I'm still recovering from chowing down the requisite pint of soy ice cream that I always need to make it until dawn.

I find out tomorrow what Senate office I'll work in for the rest of the year. I felt pretty great after my placement interviews. I realized that there are a lot of smart staffers in this building, and there are many people who I would feel privileged to work with. I turned in a list of top office picks that had as much to do with my interest in a Senator's staff as it did my preference for the Senator.

Now I'm really nervous about where I get placed because apparently my entire identity as a human being revolves around who I work for. Not really, but it's like picking a team, and it sure seems like there are more than a few Democratic Senators that other Democrats don't like. Oh well. I'm the only person that actually has to live with my placement.