Last Day :(

My last day working for the Governor’s Office in the Statehouse was on Monday. It was not a typical day, because us interns had quite an interesting Speakers Series set up for us by our internship coordinator. Governor Baker was to sit down and talk to us interns for an hour or so and have some pizza with us, to get to know us a little bit and to thank us for the work we did for the state government, and to talk a little bit about some of our experiences this summer. This was pretty great; in addition to free pizza, we got to spend some time with the head of the Massachusetts Government. Instead of him talking to us, he wanted to get to know each of us a bit, so we went around the room and told him a little bit about ourselves; our name, where we are from, where we go to school, what we did as interns this summer, a funny story or experience we had from the internship, and then a fun fact about ourselves. I mentioned the fact that after working in the office of the Governor’s Council and reviewing many applications for service as a notary public, its become quite clear that a good amount of  people in Massachusetts don’t know what county they live in. I also shared that at Dickinson, I cut people’s hair in the dorm room bathrooms for a bit of extra spending money- he thought that was funny and asked if I ever had any repeat customers, which I have had many of.

After introductions, the Governor took a couple questions, but had to leave after an hour or so to keep with his very busy schedule. Still, before he left all of us interns posed for a photo or two with him, one serious and one goofy. I’ll attach them to this post.

It was a great experience to work in the Statehouse and get the opportunity to see what working in state government looks like on the inside. I want to thank you guys for reading my posts and joining in on this experience through this blog, and hope you maybe learned a thing or two from my experiences as well. It was a great summer of interning and working in Boston and I hope your summers were great as well. I am flying off to Bologna, Italy in a couple of days for a semester abroad. My Italian is a little bit rusty after a summer of English only, so wish me luck!

-Nathaniel

Politics in the Statehouse

Hi folks,

I write this the weekend before my last week of my internship in the governor’s office. Although the internship is winding down, the State House has been very busy, especially the Governor’s Council, which I have been working for this summer. The political environment in the state house has been pretty contentious lately, especially regarding the judicial branch of the Massachusetts government. As a result of a couple of tragedies that have occurred in the state this summer, where repeat law breakers have murdered a couple police officers and other innocent people in the state, many outraged people have questioned why judges in the state have failed to keep violent criminals in jail instead of out on bail or parole. Because the Governor’s Council is group of elected councilors who review and make decisions on the judicial appointments made by the governor, the councilors have come under fire a bit as well because they gave jobs to the judges that have been causing problems. As a result, the hearings that have been occurring lately for recent appointees have been long and very thorough. Some of the main issues that the councilors have been grilling appointees lately on are the ones relating to public safety- maximum and minimum sentences, bail hearings, second amendment issues, ect.

Usually after the council holds its hearings on Wednesdays, Lieutenant Governor Polito chairs an official meeting of the council, where they formally vote on appointees, but last Wednesday, instead of the Lt. Governor chairing the meeting, Governor Baker took her place and was the head of the meeting. Although I have seen him in passing many times as I spend a good amount of time in his office, (Council meetings and hearings occur in his section of the state house, and actually occur in the room next door to his office. ) it was cool to see the most powerful Massachusetts government official, Mr. Baker, at work. The parents of a slain police Sean Gannon officer from Yarmouth, who was shot and killed by a man who was already on probation for previous crimes and was wanted for violation of these probationary terms for owning an unregistered firearm, addressed the council and Governor Baker as well on Wednesday, imploring them to put more thought into who they appoint to be a judge, as they have a hand in keeping violent criminals off of the streets. This tragedy occurred last April, and was very sad, but very important, to hear the words of his parents regarding the responsibility the Councilors have to promote public safety by appointing well qualified judges who recognize their role in creating a safe state for Massachusetts residents.

Next Monday, the Governor is meeting with us interns for an hour to answer some of our questions and tell us a little bit about what being the Governor of Massachusetts is like, so stay tuned!

 

Tips for Working in a City

Working in Boston has taught me a couple lessons about what it is like to commute to and work in a large city. Because I live about 45 minutes outside of the city, and the Massachusetts State House is deep within Boston, the commute to work each day has required a decent amount of planning. For those of you that are not so familiar with cities that are reading this and might be considering an internship in a city, Ive created this list of tips and suggestions that I can make for you after working in Boston this summer. Im not sure if these tips will apply to every city, but I hope that reading them might give some suggestions for how to save as bit of money and time and make working a bit more manageable.

1- Transportation: Unless you are the luckiest person on earth, commuter traffic is something you will inevitably encounter if you drive into a city for work, and unless you are the most tempered person on earth, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for two hours before you even sit down at your desk at work is going to ruffle your feathers a bit. My first day of work, I thought it would be good to drive in- I left at 7am and hardly made it in time to get to the office at 9:30am. Its a 30 mile drive- What a waste of time! Super stressful, too. Not to mention, you will end up spending a bunch of money driving in to work. between tolls and gas, that will probably amount to $10 a day, and in Boston, parking will cost at least another $15-30 dollars. If you plan on working in a city with a functional public transportation system, use it! Not only do you not have to worry about traffic, these trains and busses are usually spot on with their arrival and departure times. I take the commuter rail into Boston now- it gets me near the State House on time each day, and instead of sitting in a sea of crawling cars on the Mass Pike, I can read a book, listen to music or catch up on email on the way to work. Also, public transportation is better for the environment! Better in every way.

2- Food: It is always better to make the time to buy food in advance and prepare it and bring it in to work with you than to buy food from nearby restaurants while on your lunch break. The sooner you realize this, the more money you will keep in your pocket and the better off you’ll be. Prepared food in cities is a lot more expensive than I am used to, and I have been saving $10-15 dollars a day since I stopped buying food at restaurants in Boston while on my lunch break. Plus, if you put a little bit of creativity and effort in the night before, your lunch you bring from home can be a lot tastier and healthier too. I like making berry scones and then bringing them in for a snack, and then I usually make rotisserie chicken sandwiches for lunch with lots of spinach, red peppers and hot sauce. Cheap, easy and really good. I always make sure to throw a cliff bar and an apple in my lunch bag too, to cover all my food bases. Making sure you are not hungry at work makes an 8 hour work day much more tolerable.

3.- Coffee: Bring you’re own with you. I know just as well as anyone else that a sugar filled iced coffee from dunkin’ donuts is so easy and can be extremely tempting, especially early in the morning when you may not have had that great sleep the night before, but you can make your own for a fraction of the price. You can have fun with it too- Iced coffee is great for the summer, so just brew a big pot at the start of each week and throw it in the fridge. I like to put honey and a bit of almond milk in mine, but the possibilities are endless. It only takes a bit more effort to do this, but it will be worth it when you have a couple hundred dollars extra in your wallet.

4: Dress- If there is a walk that is part of your summer commute to work, chances are you’re going to get sick of showing up to work soaked in sweat and having to run immediately to the bathroom to feverishly wipe yourself off with paper towels. It’s gonna be hot in the summer, so to prevent myself from being too uncomfortable on my way to work, I usually leave the house in my shirt, pants, and  a pair of comfortable tennis shoes. I put my tie, jacket and dress shoes in my backpack and right before I walk into the State House, I make a quick stop at a bench, tuck my shirt in, change my shoes, tie my tie and throw on my jacket. Casual to business professional in a matter of seconds. Makes the commute a little bit more tolerable on those hot, humid days.

 

I hope these experiences I’ve shared here are helpful when you are trying to save a bit of money and stay sane while working in a city! I don’t really have a related picture to post, so instead I will attach a selfie I took in the governors own bathroom last week.

Until next time!!!