Week 9: It's Almost Over

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Monday, September 4, 2017


Riley Troyer

It's crazy to think that there is only a single week of this internship left. There are so many things that I still want to do, but I definitely won’t be able to get to them all. I guess I’ll have to return to DC at some point. Despite these regrets, I’ve been able to do a lot more this summer than I was expecting to. 

This week has been a mad dash trying to wrap up all the projects that I started. Projects like the energy storage report that I've been working on. During the week I was able to get first drafts of the both the historical and current status sections finished. I was pleased about this and it will be nice to have something bigger that I can show for my time this summer.

During the week there were several other, smaller, projects that I was tasked with. One of these was to help a staff assistant get signatures. The signatures were for a letter that was written by Senator Murkowski to Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior. Thirty-six senators had agreed to sign the letter, which was about a new Outer Continental Shelf Five-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Our job was to go to each of the senator’s personal offices and get a signature on the printed letter. This isn’t quite as cool as it sounds. Senators, clearly, don’t have time to personally sign everything that they need to, so they have machines to automatically do it for them. The only issue is that the offices are spread out over three different buildings and on several different floors. I think I got in close to 15,000 steps making the rounds to each of them.  This was also right before the Senate health care votes, so I got to see some protestors and the phones were constantly ringing. I can’t imagine having to staff the front desk in one of the personal offices. One staffer we talked to mentioned that the office had received around 3,000 calls in just two days!

On a less stressful note, we got some quality time at the Library of Congress (LoC) throughout the week. On Tuesday evening, seven of us teamed up to enter a scavenger hunt in the Jefferson Building (the oldest LoC building). This was a lot of fun, even if we didn’t get all the way through, especially since rooms that are usually off limits were opened up. I learned a lot doing this hunt, including that I have no knowledge of Thomas Jefferson quotes since we failed this station multiple times. Then, over the weekend, we had a personal tour of the LoC by an incredibly spirited and friendly older lady, who clearly loved her job. Doing this I got to see some of the less frequented parts of the Library, including what is, at the moment, the display for Alaska. I found this rather fitting, as the display was currently just plywood.

I’m looking forwarding to returning to Alaska, but I’m really going to miss DC and working for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I’m going to have to make the most of my last week here. 

Riley Troyer