It’s so hard to say goodbye to DC. I can’t even explain how much growth I’ve gained since I been here but will do my best. After reading the poem called “Two Tramps in the Mud”, written by Robert Frosts. I came across three stanzas that were relatable to my experience. I’m not sure if this is the correct interpretation of the poem, but it is my interpretation. In the Second Stanza of the poem it says:
“Good blocks of oak it was I split, as large around as the chopping block; And every piece I squarely hit. Fell splinterless as a cloven rock. The blows that a life of self-control. Spares to strike for the common good. That day, giving a lose my soul, I spent on the unimportant wood”
From my view, the speaker is describing his passion for wood chopping even though others might not see it as important. To him continuing to chop at the wood to perfect his craft is ideal, despite what others may think. When spring semester is over, and you’ve submitted your final exam, most college students are thinking about what they’ll be packing for their vacation. Instead of packing to relax; I packed to work 40 hours a week, stay up for countless nights working on projects, memorize multiple bills and what they do, reading academic articles focusing on my policy research and stressing over deadlines. All of this was to gain experience in my craft and learn about the development and implementation of policy. Although this trip was stressful for me at times, it was a well invested one.
The sixth stanza stood out to me as well, it says: The time when most I loved my task, the two must make me love it more. By coming with what they came to ask. You’d think I never had felt before. The weight of an ax-head poised aloft, the grip of earth on outspread feet, the life of muscles rocking soft and smooth and moist in vernal heat.
This stanza refers to the two tramps wanting to take over his job of wood cutting. This stanza made me think about how blessed I am to have been placed in the position I’m in. Most duties given to hill interns consist of answering phone calls, making coffee and responding to constituent letters. With my internship, I was given the opportunity to assist my staffers in conducting research, draft policy memorandums and develop highly imperative and transferable skills that will make me competitive in the workplace. It really wasn’t until I spoke with the ranking member about everything I’ve learned that truly made me appreciate this whole experience. This program is highly competitive and with so many qualified applicants, I am very humbled and honored to have participated.
The last stanza that stood out to me was the final stanza of the poem, it says: “But yield who will to their separation, my object in living is to unite. My avocation and my vocation as my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, and the work is play for mortal stakes, Is the deed ever really done? For Heaven and the future’s sakes.
The lines that stood out to me the most was “My avocation and my vocation as my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are one, and the work is play for mortal stakes”. This internship gave me my first taste in policy-making and as stressful as it was – it was also a blast! My goal is to land a career where work can feel like play at the same time. Nothing made me happier than to see the final product of my work and reflect on my process. I can see myself pursuing a career in policy and I look forward to overcoming all the struggles that come with it.
Overall, I’ve learned so much being a Capital Scholar. I learned about the power of networking, different career pathways and other professional skills. The Committee on Education and the Workforce taught me the necessary skills needed to work in policy and helped me decide on exactly which policy area I want to pursue. I will never forget this experience and I can’t wait to see what opportunities await me.