A New Classroom

Posted on Friday, Mar 03, 2017

I was sitting in a foreign affairs committee hearing on terrorism in Syria taking notes- a pretty standard activity for my internship- when it hit me. This is my new classroom. I sit in a beautiful room with Congressmen and experts in their respective fields on a near-weekly basis and learn about American policy in nations like Iran and North Korea.

And it is so, so, so surreal. How am I going to go back to Texas A&M for another year after this?  How am I going to sit in a plain classroom after sitting in a room with mahogany and vaulted ceilings and gold stuff? I’ve been on CSPAN.   

How am I going to adjust to leaving the Hill bubble and not being in the thick of things and “in the know” 24/7? I’m really curious as to how I’m going to adjust to another year of undergraduate classes after being a part of the working world. I’ve lived the life of a notorious procrastinator in College Station for the past two-and-a-half years, but am able to be productive for hours on end at work. I’m definitely hoping to carry that over into my last year in undergrad.  We’ll see.

While working on the Hill I haven’t had to actively search out news and current events, because it surrounds me. Constantly. I learn the names and numbers of bills backwards and forwards. Someone mention the EPA being terminated? H.R. 861. H.R. 356? It’s the Protecting Our Democracy Act.  I’ve never been more aware of the state of politics and policy and current affairs in our nation. I can also give you a sweet Capitol tour, but that’s less important to my future career as a foreign affairs analyst. I know that after this semester my strong knowledge of policy will enable me to kill it in the classroom back in CStat- even if I’m still a notorious procrastinator.

Caroline Russell
Office of Congressman Michael McCaul
Spring 2017 | Washington, D.C.