My first update from Williamsburg!
Currently I’m sitting in New Town in the giant SunTrust building where my internship is located. Senator Norment has the Republican Caucus based in the building because it’s also where his law firm, Kaufman & Canoles, is located. It’s definitely an interesting experience to listen to all the phone calls relating to law and politics that are shooting back and forth. There’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about the VA Gubernatorial election, and as of today it looks like its Deeds vs. McDonnell for the seat in November. It should be an interesting next couple of months as campaigning gets on its way! They have me doing work relating to individual donor strategies and networks across the state that have previously given to republican candidates – there’s a big lack of individual giving when compared with giving from PACs (Political Action Committees) whose donations tend to come contingent on the decisions that a candidate or legislator makes when they’re in office. My job is to pinpoint the individuals and then help devise ways to flush them out! (or at least their wallets). After this I’ll likely be working on identifying future candidates for office that might be good for the republican party in Virginia. It’s kind of a neat experience and I’m definitely getting a different view of government than you typically study in the classroom. Policymaking begins with the election process, of course, and candidates can’t run for many things effectively unless they have income and a support base!
Beyond that things in Williamsburg are good! I met with the President when I first got down here and have spent a good part of the past week designing W&M tradition flyers and brochures for general campus and also for places like the Office of Admissions – the hope is that we can get better at getting out the word about what makes this place so incredibly unique, to prospectives, current students, and alumni alike! I’m also working on a couple of projects for fraternity rush in the fall – it turns out that you really need to start thinking ahead for this sort of stuff. Yesterday I got the chance to hang out with my advisor for a bit as I helped to move the linguistics laboratory from Tucker Hall next door to Tyler Hall in preparation for the huge renovation Tucker will be undergoing in the fall! Beyond that it’s been great to hang out with friends in a different, more relaxed way here during the summer – finding the time to actually make a big dinner in a kitchen isn’t something that’s very common at school but can happen a lot during the summer if you plan it right.
This weekend I’m heading down to Lake Gaston, NC with some friends from school and home to visit the lakehouse and catch some sun on the lake for a couple of days. I spent a lot of time growing up on the lake and since I’ve become a lot more busy recently it’s always symbolized relaxation and youth in my mind. Whenever I’m there it’s like everything else just fades away. For the friends I’m going with who haven’t been there yet I look forward to hearing them scream during all of our tubing rides and on the jetskis. The weekend after that I’ll be heading back to DC for my friend’s birthday and Father’s Day (less than 2 weeks!) – I’m seeing “King Lear” at the Shakespeare Theatre which is supposed to be an amazing production and also getting some great food out of it.
That’s about it for now – I hope that the past couple of weeks have been great for all of you readers out there! It’s been raining a lot down here so far but I’m looking forward to some sun this weekend and beyond. The internship has been an interesting experience so far and I’ll keep you posted as things continue down here!