Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Washington DC Interning: Press conference on the Affordable Care Act

 Leader Nancy Pelosi with Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius celebrate and 100 day countdown of the Affordable Care Act. Wednesday press conference includes speakers who were affected by the ACA.  

On Capitol Hill supporters of Same-sex marriage gathered as they waited for the Supreme Court decision.

Same-sex supporters on Capitol Hill

A reporter during his live shot on the DOMA act

At least 300 supporters

Reporter getting her quotes from supporters.

My pass for the press conference

Friday, June 21, 2013

DC Summer: It's My 22nd Birthday

It's Friday, I don't intern on Fridays and it's my birthday. What shall I do? I went to Columbia Heights and I stumbled upon  The Museum of Unnatural History. I found out it's not a museum, but it's a center for kids to learn how to read and write. The high schoolers short stories are published in a book. It was amazing! I wished I knew about this in middle school or high school when I was still living in New York. The museum has a New York location as well. I thought about volunteering, but I was limited on funds to go to Columbia Heights on fridays. I spoke to the lady at the front desk who was a former journalist and during her graduate days she interned at the International Journalism Network. She was in Africa for a few months. I'm really interested in international journalism and ways to impact the public around the globe through fitness, wellness and motivational speaking. She told me if i go to graduate school it would be beneficial if I signed up for a fellowship. 

I told her about interning with American Public Health Association and my interest in health. She said I had a great aspiring for being so young and that's when I said, "Well today is actually my birthday, I just turned 22." She gave me a blue spider, the kind your art teacher gives you in elementary. Then she bought me a cupcake from  Sticky Fingers Bakery. I bought a carrot cupcake and it was delicious. These tasty treats are 100% vegan, dairy and lactose free. It was really nice of her and the workers at Sticky Fingers put a candle in it. I had my first birthday wish! 

                     Photo, Google Images

 The "Birthday Queen"Phoenix                                

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Intern Weekend: Krav Maga

On Thursday, my day off as I was heading back to Maryland a women handed my a flyier. Usually when I'm in Tallahassee I throw them away because it's never something off my interest. But this was self-defense and kicking boxing. My mom's voice entered my head you need to learn self-defense. It was a open house workshop. I had nothing to lose and I could meet new people. Krav Maga is located in Chinatown right next to the MetroStation. 

If you're in the DC area and you'll only be here for the summer take the classes. They're only $20 for one month. It's a student summer special. You can take classes up to three times a week. That's 12 classes(one-hour sessions) for $20. It's a good deal. A great way to learn how to protect yourself and stay in shape.

This was my first time kickboxing. I'm sorry I have no pictures (tears) of me kickboxing. I'll ask someone to take them when I start classes. There were three sessions at the open house: kicking boxing, women's self defense and self-defense against weapons. 

The kick-boxing session was with DJ Stephens. He's highly energetic and played club music while we kick-boxed. It's good because it gives you energy and changes your state of mind as you punch the bag, squat and do push-ups.

The second session was women's self-defense with Carol Middleton who is the director. Middleton has been a guest in TV shows such as Good Morning America and the Today Show. We talked about prevention and the importance of deescalating an argument. 


1. Walk with confidence and awareness
2. Wear you purse across your body opposed to on the shoulders


1. Talk calmly
2. Do not tell the person they're wrong
3. Provide suggestions to make the situation better

*There's an acronym but I don't remember it at this time*

The last was self-defense against weapons. Guns, knives and sticks were apart of the demonstration. We only practiced with knives. It was a lot of fun because Krav Maga takes your initial instincts and changes them into a way to protect yourself. I'm really excited to go back and because the class is interactive you'll remember the moves.

The "Self-defensing" Phoenix    

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Intern Day Off: Touring DC without Internet

So maybe this is barbaric to people with 4g and the latest iPhone, but I don't have internet on my phone.  Yes! you read it correctly, it's not a typo. Yesterday I was trying to get to this networking event at the Eden Lounge on 1716 I Street. Looking back I should have just asked someone at the station. I was on 900 and I street thinking I wasn't far. Umm, yeah I was far so I proceeded to take a cab which never stop for me because other people were quickly getting in and driving off. It was getting hotter and was agitated. I called the club and no one answered. Sigh. I had missed two meetups which were mapped out from google on my laptop for a spur of the moment networking party. I don't know what's worse missing both or not having internet. So, readers I give the question to you. Should I 

A. pay for internet this summer 

B. Just ask at the train station every time I'm lost.

The "No I Don't Have Internet"Phoenix

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Intern Day Off: African American War Museum

I was off today because the American Public Health Association follows the work schedule of the federal government. They would be bad storms so no one would be coming to work. 

It was my first day off so I had to find something to do. I decided to go to the African American War Museum on U Street. I learned so much and I appreciated the strength of these  African-American soldiers who fought for their freedom. One of the tour guides explained this exhibit is for people to see the Emancipation Proclamation is not the only reason  African-Americans are free but they demanded and fought for themselves.  
A poster when you first walk in 

The museum is an overview from Africans in the Atlantic slave trade to the reconstruction era. It's amazing how slavery is depicted as evil and that's not the only thing. Slavery was a business and that's why there was a civil war. If you free the slaves then you affect the economy America was built on and a great example would be immigration. The tour guide gave this example and it fits perfectly. If you free the slaves then they will do the work Americans refuse to do and they'll do it at a cheaper price. This affects the economy because now Caucasians are losing out on jobs. 
The beautiful followers at the memorial

Also, African-Americans were fights for the Patriots and the Loyalists in hopes of freedom. If you fight you will be free but you might die! Now that is life or death. About 620,000 soldiers died according to African-American were treated as property and many were in contraband camps where they would wash the soldiers clothes. There's a lot of history in this exhibit and if you're a history major you will really appreciate it. It's right next to the metro station. Make sure you visit if you haven't and it's free so you can go again.

This is the opening of the museum

These are the varies types of shackles 

The navy ships that African-Americans sailed on

A drawing of the contraband camps

A poster to get African-Americans to join the army

The uniforms and drums of the soldiers

Harriet Tubman and I were about the same height!
In front of the sign

The "Traveling DCist" Phoenix

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Pre-Movie Conversations: Strangers

So I was waiting to see a movie after interning. I sat in Haagen Dazs as it rained and it was pouring. Trains were delayed and the movie started at 5:10 and it was 5:30. I sat there hoping the rain would stop and a questioned pierced my ears, "Are you Ethiopian?" the stranger asked. I turned around thinking I think I looked African wearing my headscarve, which I don't wear while interning. He was fair-skinned complexioned with a long neck. He talked with such excitement, like a little kid. I was taken back by the questioned and thought maybe this was how he made a connection with women. No one has ever asked me if I was African but I have heard you look Haitian or Dominican. We had an interesting conversation about him not having African-American friends. I thought of the movie Little Senegal about the relationship between Africans and African-American and how they disrespected each other. He said his name was Mike and that he's been living in Maryland for two years now.

 He said, "They listen to that garbage, you call that music." 

He spoke to me like I wasn't African-American but he was insulting my heritage. His ancestors are mine. 

How can he look down us? I asked which genre of music "Was it Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap? They're are different." 

He looked at me baffled and said, "They're the same."

 He said, "Well maybe they're[African-Americans] different because my culture is older; it goes back thousands of years." 

I wondered did he think about slavery. Or did he think about a nation of people being mentally and physically stripped for 400 years of their culture. Did he ever think of that. Malcolm was right when he said we are generation X. We are not connected to Africa because some of us know nothing about the continent. 

He wasn't opened to learn yet he acted as though I wasn't in the stereotypical category. 

He said, "My friends look at me strange if I talk to an African-American woman." 

Then he said, "Can you be my friend?"

It was weird he seemed pushy as he moved on to another subject saying he liked my bag and pulling my arm as he said, "Come on let's get ice-cream!"I thought I don't know you why are you so pushy and how can you act like you know me. 

It was almost as though he erased our previous conversation about him insulting my culture and covered it with something pleasant like ice-cream. You cannot do that. 

He said, "I don't want to talk about this anymore."
 I said, "Do you not want to talk about this because it's getting too deep."

He asked for my number and I took his but I had an uneasy feeling. He was still a curious, but pushy stranger.

The "I'm of African Descent" Phoenix

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer DC Intern: Weekend, Writing and Dancing

So my mom has told me about Meet up in the past and I went on there but it looked awkward. It felt like Facebook yet creepier. Based on my assumptions I never went on the site again until this morning. I wanted to meet like minded people and hang some friends hang out with in DC. I found a writers group because I'm a poet at Florida A&M University. Voices Poetry Group to be exact. I made it there but I was late and they still welcomed me so I didn't feel as awkward. This social networking world it's so strange yet exciting and slightly creepy. But the writer's group was cool I did some exercises that made my writing look foreign to myself. There were a lot of experienced writers, very seasoned. 

CentroNia community center 

Art project by the kids located outside the elevator

After I left the writers workshop at CentroNia and headed to the Kizomba Meet Up at Bloombar's in Columbia Heights. It's really small place which makes meeting people intimate because everyone is on top of each other. 

Vimeo: Picture of Bloombar 

Group picture with dance instructor Adoree from Canada and Zindze from DC.

Kizomba is a dance from Angola, Africa. It reminds me of salsa and merengue but it's more sensual. 

I'm really glad I went and after I went to a Mexican restaurant called Alero Mexican Restaurant on 14th street near the Columbia Heights Metro Station. They have good plantains and the chips will fill you up., outside of Alero, inside Alero 

The lighting is dim and it reminds me of a hookah bar. Waiters are very attentive and food is a reasonable price.   

The "DC Traveling" Phoenix

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Interning in DC: Day 2

At 2:27 you can see me in the corner taking notes on the hearing! 

This morning I took a different exit and it was much closer so I might take that exit from now on but it was not the exit I was looking for. It great discovering things on your own by yourself and being independent. I love that in DC I have to rely on my instincts and I feel as though I'll become a better person. 

Rayburn Office Building,

I arrived to office around 9am because there was a 10am hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building in Capitol Hill. Hearings in the Capitol happen from Tuesday to Thursday and I was attending my first one. The Rayburn Building has beautiful archieture like all buiidings in DC. I left the office with Charlotte Tucker at 9:15 and it took about 15 minutes or less to get there from 800 I street. It only cost $7.00 which I felt was reasonable. 

When we arrived at the entrance it resemble the airport with metal detectors. You are not allowed to bring water or food into the building. As we walked in everyone was dressed in business attire. I felt important as we walked the halls; I felt like I fit in. Most importantly I was not intimitated and I felt like I was in a familiar place. As we entered room 2175 I was in awe again at the architecture, the high ceilings and bright lights. Charlotte said it was made for tv(the lighting). 

In hearings I enjoy listening to the way people speak to each other. It's boarderline rude and sarcastic yet it's still professonial. They blend it so well that you can't call them on it, what could you possible say about their tone. Nothing really. I would like to learn how to speak like that; it's so intriguing. They argue so professionally.

During lunchtime I met some people in the finance department who gave me good career advice. They told me I was young; too young to wait year until I get my masters. I unsure whether or not I should get my masters and if I should wait a year after I obtain my bachelors degree. They were wise, genuine and persuasive. I could tell they loved influencing young people and they were glad to see a young African-American woman.

I decided my lunch hour became words of wisdom and that I needed to take in as much as my brain could hold. They gave me rules to follow as an intern:

1. Even though you're an intern, do not let anyone use you as a door mat.
2. Ask a lot of questions
3. Express how you feel.
4. Make sure your daily task match your career.

I'm really glad I decided to apply and I continued to dream. At this moment I knew I was suppose to in DC at this time. I was present, in that moment.

The "I'm Learning The Ropes" Phoenix

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Monday, June 3, 2013

First Day Interning

This is my first day in Washington, DC and it reminds me of being in New York City. It's so similar especially the train station. I like that it's really easy to travel around. The best part is my stop is not far away from the American Public Health Association. I arrived at 9am and I had an hour to spare which went by rather quickly. The building has six floors and I wasn't sure where I'd be stationed so I approached the receptionist. She said, "You must be Precious." I asked, "How do you know?" She said ,"Just a guess." The view is really nice well, it's just another building but it's still nice. It feels good to be on my own and having an adventure but with my career. I'm really elated that I applied and that I was accepted. 
There's a give and take which is the cost. I spent $50 per week for traveling to DC. It really sounds incorrect because it seems like a lot for a week. I will check into that because the just doesn't add up. I am saving money by bringing my lunch and I'm applying for a part-time job while I'm here; I just can't be penniless in the fall. 

My first day consisted of becoming familiar with the office and learning some of my duties as an intern. I will be working with the communications departments, Public Relations and The Nation's Health. The great thing about working with both departments is learning more about public relations and still being a journalist. I believe this will make me more marketable when I obtain my journalism degree.
As far as traveling I got off at another exit this morning; it wouldn't have a big  deal if I didn't have to pay extra for that mistake. The exit was not that far off; I just walked extra blocks. It was also a chance to sightsee. I tried to not act like a tourist.  

The Metro Card

They had an AP Stylebook already there! There's my official name tag.

The view behind my desk

My desk 

Office Picture

The "DC Intern" Phoenix

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