The Fifth Anniversary
I may have mentioned my love for politics; ooooh about 45 times already. But seriously, I love it. I have a thing for strong political discourse and a democracy where all can participate. My passion for politics is what led me to American University instead of lovely Ithaca, NY. I participated in American University’s Student Confederation (student government) for three years, did internships and all of that fun stuff. American is a place where everyone knows their member of congress and about 85% of the students have worked for their member. While drunk, American students have been known to have (heated) discussions on the state of the world and the US political process. Seriously, God forbid you’re a republican, because you would be just a tad bit out numbered.
After being one of the few students of Guilderland High School who cared about politics, it was nice to attend a University where everyone cared. It was that important to me. My friends at AU, were also passionate, including best friend Liz (who from now on will be known as BFL). BFL and I are not only passionate about politics, but about women’s involvement in politics (although, I’m quite interested in African American women in politics). Thankfully at my alma mater, there is an institute, major and coursework devoted to the participation of women in politics.
Wednesday was the fifth anniversary celebration of the Women and Politics Institute, headed by Dr. Karen O’Connor, a professor at AU and a former professor of mine as well. BFL has all but physically dragged me to all things WPI, including a weekend course last fall, their Young Women’s Leadership Board (I am a HUGE dork and totally excited for it), and their fifth anniversary party. It was like a women in politics lovefest. Susan Wood (who recently resigned from the FDA because of the Plan B pill), Elenor Clift, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Kim Gandy, Ellie Smeal and everyone and their mother.
I didn’t just attend the event for the (free!) alcohol and the (very) powerful women, but also it was one of my first events since starting work (and guess who didn’t have business cards! IDIOT.) Most importantly all of my conversations went something like:
“Where do you work?”
“I work at XYX”
“Oh wow what do you do there?”
“I work for Mr. R”
“Oh wow how do you like it?”
“Here’s my card. Let me talk to about Mr. R and what he should do about JKL”
Interesting, because last I checked I'm not all that high on the totem pole and yes I'll pass that message a long right away, because I have clout (yeah right). But I will admit that it's (umm) 'different' that people want to talk to me after I tell them where I work-and let's not get into my lack of speaking ability, so really I just look like a bumbling idiot. Ok moving on now...
The rest of the evening is kind of a blur (meeting one of my new favorite people, hanging out with this very awesome guy, lots of red wine and then my lovely hangover). But this isn't about me, so who cares, it's about celebrating the wonderful fifth anniversary of an organization devoted to getting women involved in politics and realizing how far women have come in politics, and me being thankful that I have the opportunity to get involved and do what I really want to do.
So Happy Fifth Anniversary WPI. And Thanks.