Friday, December 21, 2012

Goodbye for Now

I've been home for almost two weeks now, so I suppose it's time to write a final post on this blog.

What an incredible experience I had this semester in Washington. I truly feel like I learned more about myself. I have become a more confident and happy person. I feel more prepared for life after graduation, and I actually look forward to working in an office some day.

While the program I was in certainly lacked luster, the people I met truly made my experience. Whether it was my friends from seminar, my American University Queer & Allies family or my intern friends, I met so many wonderful people. While I look forward to being reunited with my Wooster family, these people will always have a special place in my heart. Without them, I wouldn't have had the semester I had; I would not have become the more confident and able woman I am now.
Me, Emma & Casey

 My seminar class at our Professor's house for the end of the semester celebration 


I cried for the entirety of my last three days in the city. They were happy tears about so many things, ranging from how blessed I am to have worked on Meet the Press to the fact that I finally came to love and accept myself regardless of sexuality. I just can't express enough how genuinely happy I am after this semester of hard work and self discovery.

History of the LGBT Class, I didn't talk about it much on this blog but it was easily one of the best parts of my semester! 

Myself with three of my favorite people in world. Interning with these three was the best. 


 I am so ready to go back to wooster and jump back into academia for the next year and a half (YIKES.) But I will never forget the fall semester I spent in D.C. and I certainly would not be the person I am without it.


My AU Queers & Allie's Family! 




So this is good-bye for now! Thank you to my friends and family for reading my blog and keeping up with my adventures!






Thursday, November 29, 2012

Almost done?

I haven't been writing because there hasn't been too much to report!

I went home for Thanksgiving Break and it was SO good to see my family. Leaving was really hard, but the only way I got myself to step on the plane was reminding myself that I'd be back in two weeks.

Stuff here is winding down, and it all feels so bitter sweet. I am really excited to go home for the semester then back to Ohio. Yet, I can't express how grateful I am for all of the experiences I had while I was here. I know I have gushed 8 million times about the things here that made me happy, I mean it is my blog after all. But now that it's all winding down and I have even started packing, it's putting everything in perspective. I'll probably write a mushy post about this later. Actually, I definitely will.

Anyway, thats pretty much all I can report for now. I've had some really incredible developments in my plans for the summer, but I'll talk more about that when I know more.

Here are some pictures of my time at home.... also known as the Meredith Show.








Only my sisters child would love a light saber. 

 Wrapping presents for the Christmas parade!! 
My wonderful family growing more and more every year 

Baby girl's first Thanksgiving!! 




I'll be back to my beautiful city before I know it! 






On the set the Sunday after turkey day 


Casey & I 



Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo Essay of My Day: November 16,2012

For some reason I snapped a lot of pictures on my iPhone today. Here they are! 

Look it's Fall! 

Messing around on the old MTP set 



Playing anchor with a random set, an the old old MTP set 


Today Queers & Allies put together an event called Queer Thanksgiving! It's not different from regular Thanksgiving  it's just sponsored by us and there aren't any old conservative family members you have to deal with! 

I did crafts!! (Also I clearly miss my sisters. Crafts without theta just make no sense)

Prom?


Next time, maybe I'll try to photo essay my week


P.S Here's a cute picture of my niece 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Delayed Post-Election Post! (Also known as DPEP)



I don't know why it's taken me so long to write a post election entry but I think I'm finally ready to do it! Frankly, Tuesday night, well into Friday,  all I could think was "WEEEEE."

As I said on my pre-election post, I was hoping for a lot from this election. For what is probably the only time in my entire life, I got everything I wanted from a political event. Obama won, Warren won, Baldwin won, marriage equality passed in all four states and Sherrod Brown kept his Senate seat.  Both Florida AND Virginia went blue! I was so relieved. The streets of DC were electric for the entire night, but especially after the results came in.

 I started my nigh at Eatonville, the restaurant I had watched the debates at. Coincidentally, the HRC was hosting an event there, so the place was absolutely poppin. Eventually, it was popping a little too much, so I decided to go back to AU for their election party.

At AU, my friends from Queers and Allies and I were huddled around a table, everyone with their laptops out. Initially, they had CNN on the big screen, but according to twitter they were moving incredibly slow. So I got up in front of everyone who was watching the election coverage and staged a vote to change the channel to MSNBC. The vote, like many that night, went my way and  I got to watch Rachel Maddow tell me all of the good news.

(People literally in the trees outside of the White House)
Elizabeth Warren winning was, obviously, a highlight in a night I will never forget; I was more excited then when Obama won. I may or may not have briefly cried because I was so happy that a politician I had so much faith in got elected, and I genuinely believe she will make a lot of change in the Senate.

It was an amazing feeling to have all of those hours spent on the campaign this summer become validated. I got phone calls, facebook messages and tweets from all of my friends and family congratulating me on the win; it reminded me that I did contribute and that her win was for me too.

Obama's win felt like it happened in seconds. Iowa was called, then Ohio and the entire place exploded. I was smushed into a three person hug with my friends Ray and Tyler; we were just so relieved. Within minutes, everyone was headed to the White House for chanting, singing and hugging in the streets. It was like everyone in the D.C. area under 35 came out to celebrate together in front of our President's home; everyone was friends that night.

Although I know President Obama has his flaws, I am really happy he won and I am hopeful for his next term. Without a re-election to keep him in check, I feel like he has more opportunity to make change. I am happy that we gave him another chance. I am also happy that Michelle Obama will continue to be the first lady because I love her the most. 

(After pushing through massive crowds,we made it to the front!!) 

So I think it's become very evident that I'm not straight. In fact, I identify as queer and I regularly date women! It's pretty awesome.  Although I haven't done the whole long facebook post telling all 947 friends I'm gay, I'm out to most of my family and all of my friends. The reason I am bringing this up is because as a queer woman, this election was huge for me.



When I was coming out, one of my biggest qualms was the fact I wanted to get elected to office some day, and I was worried my sexuality would limit that dream. But this year gay marriage passed in 4 states AND Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate elected to the U.S. Senate. More so then when I was coming out, I see my queer identity as something being celebrated and not as something that could hold me back. Just because I like to woo the ladies doesn't mean I can't be president some day. That, quite frankly, is a huge relief.

My semester working with Queers and Allies coupled with the success of LGBT issues in this election has made me more confident and comfortable with my identity as a queer woman. Although I'm not going to take the space on this blog to do an analytical break down of what my sexual identity means under the label queer, if you have questions feel free to message me on facebook or send me an e-mail.

ANYWAY.

Coming here this semester was definitely the right thing for me to do. Although it's had it's ups and downs, being in the nation's capital on election night made everything worth it. I can't believe I only have three full weeks left! It's crazy!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Pre-Election Day Anxiety: What I'll be focusing on tomorrow

So tomorrow's the big day. I can't believe it's finally here, but I am damn glad it finally came. I am both nervous and excited for what will unfold.

In terms of the presidential race I am all over the place with thoughts and emotions. Part of me is confident in Obama's ability to win, but then there's a voice in the back of my head that won't let me get too comfortable. All of the right polls have him up, which is great! But is polling reliable? I love me some Nate Silver, but there is a small part of me that just can't always put my faith in numbers. It's probably because I can't add.

What I am most excited for tomorrow is the Massachusetts senate race! I had the extreme pleasure of working on Elizabeth Warren's campaign this summer and I think I might get to watch her win. She is going to be such an amazing addition to the U.S. Senate. She is an incredible role model for women, and she will have the right people's best interest in mind whilst legislating. She is up in the polls, so it very well could happen. There is a good chance her winning will bring me to tears. And so could her losing. Bottom line: I'm going to be crying tomorrow.

Then of course there is all of the great gay things happening in this election!

Tammy Baldwin is fighting in a tight race for the Wisconsin senate. If she wins, she could be the first openly gay person to serve in Senate. For obvious reasons, I hold this kind of win to be very important. Her win could be hugely inspiring for queer women like myself who want to run for high office someday. She would increase the representation of women and the the representation of queer people. Essentially, she's the best and I really hope she gets elected.

Other exciting gay things are happening in this election as well; four states are seeking to legalize gay marriage! Maryland, Maine, Washington state and Minnesota voters are all voting on gay marriage. Again, for obvious reasons, this is HUGELY important to me. While gay marriage is not the biggest issue facing the LGBT community, more rights don't hurt. I hope we can get there in all four states tomorrow.

On a less gay note, I am also keeping my eyes on the senate election in Ohio. Sherrod Brown is being seriously challenged by Josh Mandel. According to polls, it is less tight of a race than predicted but I already explained how I feel about polls. Brown has been a really amazing liberal voice in the Senate, losing him really would be a huge loss.

So we'll see what will happen! I'm nervous, I'm excited, I probably will not be sleeping! Till tomorrow!


P.S. I dressed as Rachel Maddow for halloween this past Saturday night. It was great.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SANDY!

So unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard about the massive storm that hit the East Coast. Her name is Sandy and she is a wild lady.

My friends and I thought it would be an excellent idea to document our tango with Sandy via documentary. I have decided to share it with you all.

Enjoy!



Note: I understand a lot of people were negatively affected by the storm and I am in no way trying to downplay their misfortune. This is just my experience, and I was fortunate enough to be in a less dangerous place during the storm. All I'm trying to say here is please don't take offense to the fact that I use humor at inappropriate times.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"If It's Sunday, It's Meet The Press": RACHEL MADDOW

Today was the best Sunday I have had at Meet The Press because Rachel Maddow was on the show.

For those of you who don't know, Rachel Maddow is a political pundit on MSNBC. Along with her self titled TV program, Maddow has been the face of tons of election coverage this year as well as years past. This summer, she published a book called Drift, which looks at the history of American military spending and how we got here. Rachel also lent her time to a documentary called Miss Representation, which looks at the over-sexualization of girls and women in the media.

In short, Rachel Maddow is everything I want to be and my primary role model. She is a strong opinionated woman who stands up for what she believes in. If I am half of the person she is when I am her age, I will have led a very successful life.

I've been waiting for Rachel to be on the show since day one. I figured it had to happen eventually, so each week I would hope and hope with no luck. Then, this past Wednesday, I got a text from my intern friend Matt saying he over heard the MTP booker saying Maddow was going to be on the show. Once it was confirmed, I literally squealed and jumped up and down.

Everyone at work thought it was hilarious that I was so excited. There may or may not have been a couple of conversations in which I devised how to approach Ms.Maddow. My initial idea was to  write her a fan note and hand it to her, but this was eventually kabooshed. And actually, I'm glad that it was because I got to say what I wanted to her in person.

So the days go by and I am getting increasingly excited. Last night I actually straightened my hair so it would like nice in the morning. I had a specific blue dress that I bought before I left for DC that I was going to wear if the president or Rachel came. I even wore heels! I never wear heels on Sunday but today I just wanted to look my best.
(My Rachel Maddow Dress!) 

I managed to work myself onto guest duty so I could greet her, and she happened to be the first guest to arrive. I saw her through the window and I literally jumped up and down, then pulled myself together to greet her. I said 'Hello Ms. Maddow welcome back to Meet The Press' and we proceeded to walk to the greenroom.

I asked her if she got in okay and she basically said it's like she's not even sleeping anymore because its just go go go with the election. Then somehow the hurricane came up and we were talking about how it could seriously affect early voting. Meanwhile, the inside of my head was screaming with excitement.

Afterward we parted ways, I was struck by the fact that she managed to turn a weather story into something that could affect the election. It is totally sensible  I just hadn't thought of it, and I think it is an excellent example of how Rachel eat, breaths and lives politics.

Our second and last encounter was after the show. I walked her from the set to the green room, and on the way she was like the mayor of the place, she said hello to everyone. She went into the green room for about 10 minute while I awkwardly hovered outside. As ridiculous as I felt waiting there, I did have to walk her out AND I really had to tell her how much I adore her. And I did just that.

As I walked her from the green room to the exit, I thanked her for being such a wonderful role model for me and how much it meant to me that I got to meet her today. I told her what she is doing is important.  I managed to talk about my parents and how we watch her together and how we all love her. She was very gracious and said thank you and patted me on the back (it's less awkward than it sounds). She asked where I am was  from, where I go to school and what my parents do. Then she realized she didn't know my name, I told her, we shook hands and she left.

Then I had to get another intern to call an EMT because I had gone into cardiac arrest from all the excitement.

Just kidding. But I was super excited.

Meeting Rachel Maddow has definitely been the highlight of my semester. I got to meet my hero, and it turned out she was better in person then I ever could have imagined. I hope someday I can give back to her and her show, because she has provided me with so much.

I've been done with work for almost three hours now and I can't wipe this dopey smile off my face. I suppose there are worse things. :)