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Claudia Valencia: Blogs

Week Three: Highlights of the Hill

Claudia Valencia

"Oh I'm so sorry, I thought you were Kate!"

It would seem that I would know the names of the staffers after one week of working at the office but that was clearly not the case. I continuously confused one staffer with another and seemed to be on a constant hunt to match names to faces while trying to complete specific tasks. Now, there is no doubt that the mind can work in very unique ways, especially when working under pressure, but I sure do need to work on memorization skills. This has probably been one of the bigger challenges I have come across after working on the hill for two weeks. It seems that this issue carries over into many more issues. I have to know the staffer's name in order to transfer calls, deliver mail, send email and faxes and if I don't know their names, how am I supposed to get the task done? Fortunately, little by little, I have begun to memorize names and the specific responsibilities each staffer has. I can't refrain from mentioning that everyone in the office has been extremely helpful and thankfully no one has gotten mad when I have confused them with someone else. Word of advice to all of you with a memory like mine: try your best to learn people's names as soon as you meet them and find a unique method that will help YOU memorize names quickly; it will truly make your life easier.

Week One: First week in Washington, DC

Claudia Valencia

To all of you window shopping Fashionistas out there: Think you've encountered the best of the best fashion after window shopping down 5th Ave, Rodeo Drive, or Michigan Ave? Well, you ain't seen nothin yet! After walking into the wonderful world, or should I say exhibit, of the First Ladies of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., I can say I have come across the cream of the crop in fashion and window shopping. Forget all of those Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, and Marc Jacobs dresses - The spotlight here is on the dresses that have been worn and donated to the Smithsonian by various United States' first ladies. Nothing can compare to the stunning one-shouldered silk evening gown that Jacky Kennedy wore to the Kennedy administration's first state dinner. Or First Lady Michelle Obama's white one-shouldered, chiffon inaugural gown. Tons of eye-catching gowns left all of us women there wishing that we could try at least one of these dresses on. Walking down these halls felt as though I was walking through window shopping heaven! After spending my first week in Washington D.C., I can say that this is one moment that I cannot and will not forget. While I have stumbled upon a ton of fun things here in D.C., I have to say this was both an intriguing and educational first experience at the Smithsonian. This surely tops my list of things to remember as a CHCI summer 2010 intern!