dukeengageseattle2012

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And So It begins……

….That’s what Toby said the moment Rory walked out of the door last week. I knew what he said was true, but part of me didn’t want to believe it at the time. Heck, I can still hardly believe it.

Though ignorance may be bliss, it does not change the fact that Toby’s words rang true. We’re coming up on our final week and a half here in Seattle, and as I type this, I cannot help but feel incredibly sad and “Seattle”-sick already.

This city has been nothing short of amazing for me. From the warm welcomes I received the moment I stepped into the Bus office to the many group dinners in restaurants throughout Seattle, I have never felt so at home in a new city. With each passing day, I feel as if I am becoming more and more apart of Seattle, and in many ways, Seattle is becoming a part of me. Anyone that has talked to me here knows how I want so dearly to explore my home city of Chicago just as much as I want to explore Seattle, but it does not change the fact that I absolutely love this place. It’s such a shame that I have to leave it so soon. Luckily, I don’t have to leave just yet.

On a much lighter note, the past week in Seattle has been just as great as the last few. This past weekend, we had our free weekend, and myself and several other DukeEngagers chose to look at the city from a different point of view. A much….higher point of view.

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Yes, this view is indeed from the Observation Deck of the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Seattle. And yes, it was quite breathtaking. We luckily visited on a gorgeous day, and we could see for miles. Never mind the fact that we had the opportunity to visit from an even better vantage point days later. Watching Seattle from the top of this towering building reminded how beautiful the city truly was.

On Sunday, Brian and I joined the Washington Bus on a trip to Tacoma to doorbell for Ben Lawver. The day served as quite the experience as neither Brian nor I had ever doorbelled beforehand. We both expected many apathetic individuals to shoo us off their doorsteps as we went through practiced speeches, clutching our many Ben Lawver pamphlets.

What we actually got was quite different. Most people, in fact, were not home. Of the 51 doors my partner and I knocked on, we actually spoke to perhaps 10 or 15 people. But, 10 people was better than none, and luckily, 3 agreed to vote for Ben! And, my day was instantly brightened when one man accepted our offer to put a yard sign in his front yard!

The Bus trip itself gave me a whole new perspective on campaigning, and I gained a greater respect for politicians who have to reapply for their jobs every 2-4 years. Plus, I shared some very genuine conversations with one of my high school interns. His questions about college and the future reminded me so much of my own journey only a year or so ago. I hope that he finds himself enjoying college just as much as I am right now.

As for work, the past week has been wonderful. When I originally came to the Bus, I did not realize that I would be called upon to use my limited graphic editing skills quite as often as I have so far. I was thus pleasantly surprised when Stephen and Alex asked me to work on a graphic for the upcoming Bus trip this weekend. I didn’t realize how much I missed doing graphic design until I finished the logo they asked me to make. And now, I blame them for the following picture as they got my creative juices flowing.

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(It’s an inside joke at the Bus. Stephen, our co-worker, was dubbed a Colonel in Kentucky, so I decided to make the title official with this graphic).

I had the privilege to make another graphic just yesterday that showcased Stephen Bronskill once again in a more exotic role: a secret agent.

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Besides making graphics, the past week has also really taught me how lucky I am to be at the Bus. Every time I look at my co-workers, I see a passion that motivates me to work harder at whatever I am doing, even if it is bland data entry. And just today, I had one of the most genuine conversations I have had in a long time with Toby. We talked about my future as well as his, and we also talked about what brought him to the Bus and what motivates him every day. It would be an understatement to say I have such great respect for the guy. I can’t begin to thank him and every member of the Bus enough for giving me direction this summer. I’m motivated now more than ever to not only pursue a career in medicine, but a career in medicine and healthcare policy. When I think about it, it’s kind of ironic as I told myself I would never go into politics like my brother and my father. I suppose it runs in the family.

(Here is the link to an interview I did of Toby.)

Again, it saddens me that I only have a week and a half left here. But, I guess that’s all the more reason to go out with a bang……

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2012 by .
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