On the Inside

Posted on Thursday, Feb 21, 2019

This morning I was reflecting on my first few weeks working at the Texas Capitol, and I remembered the way I physically perceived the office on my first day.  It seemed so much different than the way I see it now.  The setup of the office is exactly the same, but I remember it just looking different for some reason, literally like a different office.  I think this memory is reflective of how different our first perception of something is, versus our perception of the reality once we are integrated into it.  Sometimes this is called a reality shock, but I wouldn't describe what I felt as "shock." What I felt was closer to feeling a bit star struck from the grandeur that accompanies the Texas Capitol.  I have been here for a month now, and I've settled in pretty comfortably. 

I do not know what I expected of elected officials, but I certainly did not expect them all to be quite so nice.  That is honestly how I could describe every Senator and Representative I have met this session thus far.  Everyone here is your best friend, but as I have learned, there are some friends that you like considerably more than others.  In the Texas Capitol, as I'm sure politics everywhere work, anything important that happens occurs behind closed doors.  It's basically just a game to see who can get behind what door, how fast they can do it, and how often they can do it. 

One thing I did not expect to receive was the warm welcome that I got during my first few weeks here.  I am a lowly intern, and despite that fact many of these people are actually invested in me and in my success.  I feel comfortable asking questions, and my coworkers certainly don’t mind explaining things to me.  In almost every new thing that we take on, we come in with an outsiders perspective about what we think the job is.  Our expectations may be too high, too low, or something a little bit in-between.  I truly wasn’t sure what to expect, but my experience as the Texas Capitol has certainly exceeded what I thought I was getting myself into. 

Grace Binger
Office of State Senator Dawn Buckingham
Austin, Texas | spring 2019