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Opinion: Washington semester

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Ariel Starkey

 Could you ever imagine yourself bumping into John McCain or walking down the same hallways as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams? I can and have been fortunate enough to be thrown back in time and engaged in the present by taking part in the Lutheran College Washington Semester. As a Junior and International Relations major at Roanoke College I have been able to influence the political agenda of the Junior Senator from New Hampshire who I am currently interning with because of my classes and experiences at RC. As an intern in Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office, I have been able to research specific topics on foreign affairs, military strategy, and even health care problems facing the constituents of my home state. The office staff have been extremely receptive as to what my interests are and my desk has been strategically placed in the foreign affairs and defense sector of the office. Within the office I take on many various roles from staff members. Answering phone calls from constituents, obtaining signatures from other Senators and escorting New Hampshire residents in a tour of the United States Capitol. Each week other interns and I have meetings with various staff members within the office so that they can explain how they have come to be in the position that they are in today. Everyone who lives and works here, especially on capitol hill was once in my shoes and has been more than eager to sit down and discuss my future including the Senator herself Being here in D.C has also enabled me to take advantage of all the sites both tourist and local oriented. Attending protests where past presidential candidates are present, witnessing the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, or attending a world renowned musical at the Kennedy Center. When will I ever have the opportunity to do all of these things again? Roanoke offers many great study abroad opportunities but do not forget the nations capitol offers just as great of an experience. Earning credit, interning and living in this city has been a fantastic opportunity and I strongly encourage it not only to those interested in politics but those eager to be immersed in a city with such influence and historical significance.