Author Archives: kurtzmas

About kurtzmas

Hey y'all! I'm a junior at Whitman College and this blog is dedicated to my semester at the Washington Semester Program in the American Politics Program and my internship. Join me in attempting to navigating metro stations, internships, and living in Washington D.C. during the 2016 election!

What’s Business Casual?

Hello again!

So after a few days- wait a minute. It’s been exactly a week since I’ve moved in. That’s pretty nuts. Here is the breakdown for what I’ve realized so far:

  1. People here are pretty darn nice.
  2. Buses aren’t as scary as they could be.
  3. Cooking alone in an apartment also isn’t as scary as I thought.
  4. I can make pretty good chicken
  5. I need to start reading more newspapers
  6. Internships are frustrating…like really frustrating.

I’m currently taking my seminar in Politics (which is what concentration I’m in in the Washington Semester Program). I also am taking a once a week elective in news media and production. These are great, love my classes, love my professor- but LOL @ the fact that I still haven’t found an internship, which is required with my program. Granted, I didn’t think it was going to be SUPER easy, but I at least assumed I would be able to find many that I was feeling passionate about. No such luck. Currently, I have interviews with the Interfaith Conference (my most exciting option), a middle and high school combination, and the National Cathedral. The political consulting firm I was most excited for is full for the semester, so here we are.

I am also fully accepting my new fate as an Ann Taylor zombie. I wear business pants that are slightly too big every day with some kind of blouse and flats or loafers. Unless I decide to go full “business attire” and wear my skirt suit and heels. On the first day of orientation, someone was asked during a fun get-to-know-you kinda thing- “Describe business casual” Does anyone know what this means? For some people it means a sundress and a cardigan and flats? To me it means a skirt/top or pants/top combo that’s not a full suit. This is all a big change from Whitman’s birkenstock, jeans, clogs, patagonia situation. And a big change from Houston running shorts, flip flops, and oversized Greek organization tee shirts. So, if someone finds flattering women’s dress pants that also aren’t too tight, hit me up.

Stay tuned to see if I’m even able to find an internship. I mean, really, this is the most dramatic election in history and nobody needs a dang intern?? Peace and blessings! And hopefully someday I’ll get to go tour around and take pictures to post on here.

Nerves or Excitement?

Today at four this afternoon, I will be flying to Washington D.C. to begin my semester program at American University. I’m freaking out, as I assume most people who are going abroad or starting college for the first time probably are. I’m not even going to another country! But, as the title of this blog says, I am trading one Washington for another. I am trading a tiny, liberal arts college in small-town Washington state, for a dynamic, large, politically swift city. Again, I am terrified.

Regardless of how old you are, or how many new starts you have, I think we all have the same thoughts: What if my roommate doesn’t like me? What if I get lost? What if my professors think I’m stupid? And now, I get a whole new batch of problems: What if I don’t know enough about politics? What if I get lost on the metro…a lot? What if I embarrass myself in front of someone important who could give me a job later?

All of these anxieties will probably stay with me until I step foot into my new apartment, meet my professor, and see what kind of internship I’ll be struggling my way through.

So, armed with my new work appropriate Ann Taylor wardrobe, high heels, and printed out resumes, I intend to have a life as exciting as one in House of Cards or Scandal. Or at least try and get lost as little as possible.