It's my second year in college and I still get that first-day-of-school anxiety at the start of every year; this time it's every semester and I'd say more of an excitement. The thought of new beginnings--new classes, professors, classmates, readings, discoveries, crushes. I love 'em. And as usual, I'm loving my classes. This winter I'm taking courses in Spanish and English. We'll see how things go as the weeks progress; I don't know how much I'm going to love being on campus from 7:30 in the morning to 1:30 in the afternoon Mon throughFriday.
But I'm not complaining, I think it's wise to make use of the mornings and of course, only to make room to do other things, like work. Talkin' about new beginnings; today was also the first day of my internship at Senator Barbara Boxer's district office in downtown LA. It was a little surreal being in the Federal Building and being surrounded by people dressed in suits doing who knows what but seemingly something important, hearing the phone ring nonstop, and feeling that DC sentiment all over again. It was amazing. I spent some time answering phone calls and listening to concerned citizens and angry rants. Even though there was a lot of voiced opinions I disagreed with I was so inspired by that person's initiative to call. At least they're doing something! It's funny because as an activist associated with a number of progressive nonprofit organizations, I get these emails urging me to call my representative and occasionally I'll jot the number down but most of the time I just hit delete. Email, OK, I can do that but picking up the phone to call some long-distance number and say what?? is a bit intimidating. Another thing I did was sort through Senator Boxer's mail. This was interesting because I wanted to read every letter she received, and it was a Monday so there were tons! Most of the letters dealt with immigration, the war in Iraq and social security. One person sent the senator a random home photograph, another a Christmas card that read, "Please, don't give our kids coal." The thought and time people put into a little political activism says a lot. People actually care!
Riding the Metro Goldline from Pasadena to Union Station is indeed another highlight of the internship. It gives me time to read, reflect, enjoy beautiful scenery, talk to people..and possibly find my perfect match? Ha! As I boarded the train today I sat across this middle-aged man wearing a security shirt for MSNBC or so I remember. I asked him if he knew how long the walk from Union Station was to the Federal Building. He rambled a little bit, confident of what he was saying but also unsure of the direction he was giving. At the same time he was flipping the cover of some fancy phone, the palm-pilot kind of with email, messaging, camera, all that technical stuff. He told me about how he the guy he was talking to on the ride left it and how he didn't know what to do or how to use the phone. I took hold of the phone, pressed a button and the screen appeared. My initial instinct was to search the phone's address book for a house number and called it. The mom of the owner picked up and seemed worried. I gave her my cell number and reassured her that I'd return the phone as soon as her son called. The man sensed that I knew what to do and thanked me for taking care of it all (even though he's really to thank) and on his way out he stopped and said, "You know what, I think you'll like this guy. He's young, good-looking, seems smart. Maybe you two will hit it off." I laughed, excited and thinking how movie-like the whole situation seemed but at the same time I wasn't going to get excited over nothing so I tried to think of something else on the ride to downtown LA, like how much I was looking forward to getting a call from this boy. ..fast forward a few hours after finally talking to him, the internship, tea at Zephyr, dinner with Jenny, and then I go to drop off the phone at his house, which turns out to be a house I pass almost every day on the way to school. I rang the doorbell (this is around 9pm) and he opens the door, and is really cute. I hand him his phone, he says thanks and I try to spark a little conversation but it's a bit awkward. We shake hands and I drive away.
Jenny was outraged that he didn't give me at least 50 bucks for graciously returning his MDA; I was sad that that would be the end of it. But when I got home I got a call from him. He apologized for not thanking me enough and tried to explain how shocked he was at the fact that someone actually returned his phone. Then he asked if he could take me out to lunch! I know, I know this is so cheesy but I'm really looking forward to it.