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  • Eleanor 2:03 am on April 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , filing, Green Eagles, , impact, , , public transit   

    Environmental Impact of Interning 

    Ok, I know I just posted. I just became a little aware that I can get compensated for 10 blogs,  but not fewer than 10… I doubt I’ll write 5 more blogs in the next week, but you never know.

    At the internship on Monday, I did a lot of filing. I made new files, took old ones out of the cabinet, and generally did a lot of organizing. It made me think a lot about paper and the environment. Some thoughts about the environmental impact of my day.

    8:20-9– Got on the bus. Feeling good about that impact, wishing there were more buses and fewer cars, as usual, because it takes forever to get down to M Street from AU, which it really shouldn’t. Also, less cars is good for the Earth.

    9-12– Filed so many papers. I must have taken 200 outdated files out of the cabinet, and asked my boss if I could reuse them to make some of the new folders. She said no, because it’s policy to keep those correspondences for a certain amount of time. Which I get. Nobody has time to scan that stuff, but all I could think of was taken paper in paper folders out of a wooden file cabinet, and into cardboard boxes. As my Green Eagle friend would say, “oof.” It was a lot of tree products, which is just going to be shut away an not looked at. Hopefully when it can be disposed of in 5-10 years (I don’t know) it will be recycled.

    12-1– Lunch break. I ate my seitan and rice out of the reusable container I brought, and drank water from a glass and used a plastic fork (which I’ve used before and I’ll wash and use again). That’s not too shabby for the environment. I spent some time on the computer checking email and reading the news. Also good. I also read the Post this morning in paper form, but I missed a lot of stuff, because I only read it for like 5 minutes while I made toast.

    1-3– Back to filing, and some computer work. I printed about 20 pages (oof again) and felt SO bad taking all 250 folders from the supply room. I mean, that’s what it’s there for, that’s not what I felt bad about. Many Congressmen/women will not ever correspond with IMLS. I hope when they leave office and another intern cleans out the file cabinet in 10 years, they can reuse the ones that were empty. The empty ones I took out (only about 15) I reused. Reduce, reuse, recycle. That’s the proper order too. Reduce is definitely most important.

    3-3:40–N2 is my favorite route, it drops me right at the corner of New Mexico and Nebraska Avenues. Wonderful, right on campus. Listened to music.

    3:45– Got an iced chai from the Dav. I did not need to do that, and I felt bad, even though the service was good and the drink was tasty. I try to avoid getting iced drinks because I can’t use a reusable mug. Sadness. But the Dav is good about using recycled goods, and I recycled my cup.

    And my life went on, non-internship related. I still think about it though, a lot… the environment is so important, and if I knew more about it, I’d go into the carbon footprint of my day. I guess I’m asking you, reader, if you exist, to think about the environment too.


  • Eleanor 2:01 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: better know a district, Colbert Report, Elizabeth Warren, filing, , Hillary Clinton, , , , representatives, senators, Stephen Colbert   

    Better Know a District 

    Ever watched Stephen Colbert’s “Better Know a District Segment”? Story of my life. Today, I had to clean out a file cabinet which was supposed to have 100 files (1 for each Senator) and 435 files (1 for each Representative in Congress). Let me assure you, it had a few hundred more than that, many severely outdated. I ended up having to make about 240 new folders.

    A little Colbert for y’all: http://www.colbertnation.com/better-know-a-district

    The file cabinet did have some bulging files from people who spent years of supporting the agency I work for  (The Institute for Museum and Library Services) and for having a lot of interactions with the office (every single correspondence is kept FOREVER… well, not actually forever) but a long time. My favorite files to see (and take out of the cabinet) were Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (stopped being a Senator in 2009), Representative Rahm Emmanuel (stopped being a rep in 2009), Edward “Ted” Kennedy (died in 2009 — what a big year!), and Representative Anthony Weiner (left office in 2011 because of that sexting scandal).

    A lot of the Reps and Senators were not on my radar at all, but reading their names, I definitely “better knew” a LOT of districts. I learned Alaska, North and South Dakotas, Wyoming and Vermont only have 1 each– a Representative at large.

    Ok, so this might not be a super clear lesson from my internship or anything, but this isn’t an episode of Modern Family (I know, you’re thinking “it’s not??”). I learn a lot from paying attention. I could have been daydreaming all day, but instead, I got to know my country’s government a lot better.

    Do you know who represents you? My Senators are William “Mo” Cowan (I found out it’s pronounced like cow(the animal)-ann (the name) when I spoke to someone at his office last week), Elizabeth Warren (I love her so much), and my Rep is Jim McGovern.

    Better know your district, and pay attention. You never know what may be important.

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