Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Change of Pace

Hello All-

For a change of pace, I thought I'd hand the reigns [or should I say the keyboard] over to someone new. So, here's my guest blogger. I won't tell you who it is, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. ;)
Oh, what to say, what to say, about DC this weekend. I arrived on Thursday night, just past midnight. I briefly met one of Jesse's suite-mates, Abby, and Abby's boyfriend Anuar. I say briefly because we were trying to get to bed since Jesse still had to go to work on Friday.
After our slumber, Jesse left for work and I decided to entertain myself with this little thing called the internet. I know, not the coolest thing I could have done. Luckily, Abby and Anuar were nice enough to join the cause of fighting my boredom; and they did quite a good job! Abby made lunch: frozen pizza from Trader Joe's, which was surprisingly delectable. Two other guys in the TFAS program came over for lunch and they were the source of some interesting conversations ranging from economics and feminism to movies and pop-culture. The topics varied so much that, at one point, we weren't sure if we were talking about Subway (the sandwich chain) or the subway (like the metro).

After lunch I went to pick Jesse up from work. I got to meet four of the women that she works with/for and they were all so nice. It was near impossible to walk out of that place without sporting a smile. The night brought us some shopping on M street until we stumbled upon a nice Vietnamese restaurant. We got a chicken dish and a fried rice dish, which sounded very similar to Chinese. It wasn't. I called it different. Jesse called it funky. These unfamiliar tastes grew on me after a few minutes. Unfortunately, I can't say the same happened for Jesse. Feeling bad about dinner, I insisted we visit two of Jesse's favorite friends... Ben and Jerry. We sat by the Potomac just before sunset and enjoyed dessert.

Saturday was more of a tourist day. We did all of the stereotypical tourist activities. We started with the Air and Space Museum before we ventured north, outside of the Smithsonian area. Having a revelation of hunger, we began seeking out a place to grab lunch. I was lucky to suggest a left turn at some point because we found a Tex-Mex place called Austin Grill where I made up for picking the Vietnamese place the previous night. We continued our tourism with seeing the major monuments and finished off with the White House before heading back to the apartment. We had a relaxing evening, watching a movie and finishing off some leftovers; I was in charge of finishing the Vietna... well, you know where this is going.

Today, Sunday, began with a trip to Eastern Market. Jesse has mentioned it earlier in the blog, but for her hometown followers I would like to mention that it is like a high-class Cowtown. We got free samples of some really tasty fruit. I was considering purchasing a t-shirt featuring a picture of two dogs talking: "Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?" "No, but it makes my mouth water." Jesse was efficient in talking me out of that purchase. After leaving the market, we wandered around until we decided to get brunch and this French place, Montmartre. Eggs Benedict will never be the same. Now, I'm sad to say that I have to pack my bag for the trip home. However, I'm very excited that I'm coming back in just five days. Thats right folks, I'll be spending the Fourth of July weekend in Washington, D.C.
...and i'm sure some very interesting stories will come from that weekend. So be sure to check back.
- Guest Blogger

In case you haven't figured it out by now, the guest blogger was Michael, my boyfriend of over five years now. He did such a good job of re-capping our weekend, that I only have a few things to add.

1. I must have "ice cream fanatic" written all over my face because the Ben & Jerry's employees were force feeding me ice cream from the moment I walked into the shop. I literally received five samples in the three minutes we were in the shop. In fact, if I had delayed my purchase decision any longer, I wouldn't have even had to have made a purchase because I would have been full from samples.

2. Michael and I realized earlier today that we didn't spend money on anything else besides transportation and food. I guess this could be either good or bad depending on how you look at it.

3. Speaking of food, we tried out Thomas Sweets, which is a sweet shop on Wisconsin that gets rave reviews. We split a tart yogurt which was good, but I definitely wanna head back and try something a little more traditional. My only complaint was the menu which was written haphazard on a chalkboard and was very difficult to read.

4. {this is definitely a side note} I finish up my first class on Tuesday and begin my second one on Thursday which means that I am almost half-way through my time here in D.C. :O

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Putting some emphasis on the "Live."

Ok, so today was super awesome and it isn't even over yet!

I got up at 6:10am to make it over to the gym with Abby for a 6:30am spinning class, my first, and let me tell you, it kicked my butt big-time!! I know that might not sound great to many of you, but we have been trying to be really good about fitting in workouts and the morning seems to be the best time. Anyway, it was a 45 minute class, but about 25 minutes into it, I just stopped listening to the instructor's directions. Forget ramping up the resistance, I was just trying to keep pedaling so I could make it through the class without looking like a wimp. I had already embarrassed myself enough last night when we went to the pool. Not only did I stick out like a sore thumb in my cleary-not-a-workout bikini, but then I ran into the lane divider. I am a terrible swimmer who can't swim in a straight line to save my soul. Oh well, the workout was good, so that's all that matters.

Then came work at 9:30am, where I finished up the portfolio for the Summit. Everyone liked it so much that I have been assigned at least two more portfolios for the business competitions this past year. :)
Then Alissa took a look at my resume and helped me make some adjustments. There are such mixed emotions when you have to change your resume. On the one hand, I was ecstatic that I had so much to include that I had to make my margins and font smaller, but on the other hand, it is so upsetting to have to omit things to make room for new ones. It's as if those things don't matter anymore, but in reality, I know they're still important because they were the stepping stones for my accomplishments to come.

The other part of my work day consisted of wrapping presents and preparing certificates for the end of the year Teacher Appreciation dinner. With all my preparation work, I was having a hard time accepting that fact that I wasn't going to be able to attend because of class. About half-way through the day, I just couldn't take it any more, so I emailed my professor and told him I had a work obligation and would not be able to attend class tonight. :O Are you shocked yet?

I know you might be thinking that this is totally unlike me and truthfully it is under normal circumstances. I am the first one to tell you that class is super important, but in this case, the experience of meeting these teachers was invaluable to understanding and appreciating the work that NFTE does. I promised myself when I accepted this summer internship program that I would make the most of it. The experience is three parts (live, learn, intern) for a reason!!

In the end, I am very happy with my decision. We ate at B. Smiths, a famous high-end soul food restaurant in Union Station. The food was great, especially the cheesecake. The waitress was super sweet and even boxed me a piece of sweet potato pie to take home (yum!). Plus, it's Araina's last hoorah as tomorrow is her last day. I'm really gonna miss that girl!

Now, I'm back at the apartment after a very long day, waiting for Michael to arrive. My mom sent him down with all kinds of goodies including homemade sausage and peppers leftover from my brother's graduation party (congrats Teej!)

Can't wait for him to get here! I'm not quite sure how I'm going to wait up because I'm super tired. I might just have to break into that piece of pie! ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I can't believe that it is Wednesday already! This week has been flying by. Mostly due to the fact that I was thinking/studying for my Voluntary Associations midterm yesterday (midterm?!). It was actually a nice distraction from the fact that Michael is coming tomorrow otherwise it would have seemed like a decade.

This week at work, I have been creating a portfolio recapping the Advanced Student Summit. We will send the packet to donors to show them how their money was used. The portfolio will also be really good material for my own personal portfolio, something to accompany my resume as proof of my work. As my work on the portfolio wraps up however, Alissa just appointed me as "expert of the national business presentations," which is still pretty cool despite the fact that it's a made-up title. This means that I will be point on preparing the two students who will act as the D.C. office representatives in the national business plan competition in October. First things first is evaluating their PowerPoint presentations and trying to adapt them with snazzier templates. Then I get to pick apart their plan and compile a list of questions to ask them regarding their business model. Finally, I'll help Alissa and Verice act as coaches. Cool, huh?

Well, I should get going. I am planning to make tacos tonight before class and lecture.

Can't wait til Michael gets here (especially because my mom promised to send down home-cooked meals with him!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Part Two: Cupcaking

To answer the question I left you with in my last post, "today" was Service Saturday. It's a day for students from all institutes within TFAS to go engage in a day of direct service for the community. I, along with around 30 other students, left at 8am to head out to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater DC. We helped clean out some closets and then we got to take a tour of the clubhouse. Fun Fact: Kids from the clubhouse were chosen to hang out with President Obama at the White House. During the visit, he promised them a visit to their clubhouse and then made good on his promise this past winter!!

cupcaking- (v.) to adventure out in search of a sweet delicious treat {see cupcake}

Finally made it to Georgetown Cupcake on Friday night where I ordered a Lava Fudge [for $2.50]. I highly recommend it, but it is only served on Friday and Sunday. Thanks to my fabulous roommates, I actually got to sample four cupcakes in total: a red velvet {which they are famous for}, a chocolate^3 and a chocolate birthday. All three of which were delicious and available every day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Part One: Something Deep

My, my, how this week has flown! In the hopes of keeping my entries somewhat brief (so you will actually read and enjoy them), I am going to break my week up into several entries!

First, let me tell you all about work. As you know, Monday was my first day. I have discovered a much shorter and easier route to work than that which I previously took. It only takes me about 30 minutes from point A to point B and is completely free, which means I can spend more on the weekends, hooray! {and let me tell you, there are plenty of things to spend money on here}

For sake of length, I'll only give you a brief description of what NFTE's mission is, but please read more {}. It's a really neat program. NFTE was founded by Steve Mariotti in 1987 to help at risk students stay in school by engaging them in a program which teaches entrepreneurship skills. It was founded on the premise that "street smarts" can very easily translate into entrepreneurial talent. I really like the program because it seems to be founded on the age old principle: if you catch a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Basically, helping people, help themselves.

Ok, here's where the something deep comes in. This theme has come up a lot in my classes; in my seminar class we are reading Robert Egger's "Begging for Change." It is a great, thought provoking book that asks us to take a good, hard look at the non-profit sector and simply demand more. {It's also an easy read and nothing too challenging for this summer ;) }
Too often, we are resigned to think that because our money is benefiting a "good cause," we shouldn't ask questions about an organization's plan for using the money in responsible, effective ways. The consequence: too many inefficient non-profits that only act as band-aids for big problems instead of attacking the root cause and getting people out of the cycle of dependency.

This theme has also surfaced in my Voluntary Associations class, where we have been talking about the role which voluntary associations play in our society, especially with regards to their relationship with the government and even more especially, about the right of the people to associate. Did you know, our right to associate is not specifically stated in the Constitution or Bill of Rights? Perhaps this is the case because it was simply understood as a natural and undeniable right, but more likely, this seems to suggest that there is something qualitatively different about the right to associate than other rights {like the right to freedom of speech, press, etc.} To clarify, aren't associations naturally destabilizing to a country and government? And, more specifically, how do non-profits play into all of this? Should they be completely independent of the government or government funded? The questions go on and on, but luckily, you don't have to answer them {that'll be my job on my midterm Tuesday} but I did want to pose them to you all because they represent the fundamental questions which our society is struggling to answer in our present time {think healthcare, insurance, etc.}.

Ok, ok, enough deep stuff...for now.

This week at work consisted of preparing for the Advanced Student Summit this Saturday {which should be wrapping up in just a few hours}. The Summit is a day of instruction for students who have completed the NFTE program in school (which culminates in constructing and presenting a business plan) and think that they may want to move forward and actually start their business. The forty students who were selected from high schools in the DC region got to choose two workshops from a list of four: introduction to QuickBooks, building a marketing plan, selling yourself and building an e-commerce website. The idea of the Summit is to give kids the skills they need to be successful while also serving as a reality check as to how complicated running a business really is. Needless to say, that after spending so much time preparing for the Summit this week, I was pretty bummed when I couldn't go today.

What's today, you ask? You'll just have to read my next entry to find out!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Wanderings

Hello to my three dutiful followers! I am so proud to call you my own.

Fabulous weekend here in D.C.

Dinner with Natalie on Friday was awesome! I made it there with no problem and the food was great, especially the garlic non (yum!). It tasted even better considering it was free. (Thanks Natalie!) Natalie gave me some great insider tips about what to see and where to eat. Can't wait to see her at the Meet Your Mentor Breakfast. After dinner I met up with Sara and Renee who were exploring M street. Before heading back to the apartment for the night, we stopped by Haagen Dazs. I tried the amaretto almond crunch and the java chip. De-lic-ous!

On Saturday, the three of us set out again, this time we visited two of the Smithsonian's: Natural History and American History. Considering I had just visited the Natural History museum in November [while in D.C. for the Homeless Walk with the Service Council], I found the American History museum a bit more interesting. My favorite exhibit featured the First Ladies, the highlight of which was their inaugural gowns. **FYI: Michelle Obama wore Jimmy Choos** We had some confusion about which way the buses were going, but luckily Sara is even better at asking shameless directions than I am. In fact, our direction asking turned into a conversation which almost got us into a bar that night. Ok, not really. Once we admitted that we weren't 21, it was pretty much game-over, but the moral of the story is: don't be afraid to ask for directions, you never know what it might get you.

Seeing as it didn't get us anywhere, I called it an early night and slept in on Sunday, only to wake up to the glorious smell of scrambled tortillas and eggs. Yes, you read correctly, scrambled tortilla and eggs. Abby and her oh, so adorable boyfriend Anuar, made us breakfast. After breakfast, Sara and I left Renee in bed and headed to Eastern Market. Eastern Market is a kind of farmers/flea market that takes place every Saturday and Sunday. It features lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as prepared foods. Sara and I each bought a fruit smoothie, which was a choice of three fruits and a simple syrup. So delicious {and healthy too}! [I've already decided that next time I am getting the empanadas. Who's with me?!]

Besides food, the Market also showcases lots of local artisans. Sara purchased a gorgeous photograph from a really talented photographer who had recently traveled to Thailand. I picked up a really pretty necklace that is a flower made from the shell of a clam with a small pink pearl for the center. We even bought some locally grown zucchini and squash for dinner. The man even offered us free whoopie pies :)) [which Sara had never had]. To top it off, I stumbled upon a great consignment shop called Clothes Encounters. I found a really fun top and great summer dress for work, which by the way is starting tomorrow (ah!).

That night, all five of us sat down for a meal of honey dijon chicken, rice and sauted zucchini and squash. If it sounds good, that's because it was good! All throughout dinner we remarked how great our situation is, as I doubt many other apartments were having dinner together.

We topped of our very busy weekend with a TFAS tour of the monuments. Tour buses took us on a ride through the city. We were able to get off the bus to see the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean memorials. We asked several people to snap photographs of us, including two Asian tourists. One of the men even asked to have his picture taken with us!! How funny? Abby blamed it on Renee, explaining that they are often intrigued by all-American looking girls with blond hair.

With all of this re-cap, it is easy to forget that it's back to reality. No rest for the weary; work tomorrow!

I'll let you know how it goes!

P.S.-Pictures to come to this post soon. It's late now and I want to get a good nights sleep for the first day, but just wait 'til you see the Asian tourist. ;)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A True Urbanite

Those of you who know me well are keenly aware of my need for busy-ness, so it probably comes as no surprise that I have been getting increasing restless these last fews days as I wait anxiously to begin work.

Thanks to threatening rain, I spent Wednesday on the apartment sofa catching up on missed episodes of ABC's Private Practice accompanied by my good friends Ben and Jerry.

Luckily, the weather was much nicer yesterday and I was able to get out. First I walked to the Safeway on Wisconsin Street which is absolutely gorgeous and a pleasure to shop in. One of my favorite parts is taking the escalator up to the main floor. (I know, I know, I am such a dweeb). I even registered for my own Safeway Club card [which, by the way, earned me $10.51 worth of savings]. There is something about walking to the grocery store that makes me feel like a true urbanite.

When I got back to the room, I put my purchases to quick use and prepared a pot roast for that night which wasn't half bad. So far, so good on the whole "try not to starve" goal. In fact, perhaps I should change that goal to "don't gain 25 lbs." {ben&jerrys + skipping out on a run with Abby = pants not fitting, then again, it is just an excuse to go shopping :) }

Anyway, so after I put in the roast, I strolled down M street, the main shopping district of Georgetown. Most notable of the shops include Georgetown Cupcake, which is definitely on the list of things to experience. Hayley suggests the Red Velvet cupcake [a photo of which I have included so that you can all salivate, just think of it as incentive to come visit me!] There was always a HUGE anthropologie store and a cool vintage store called Annie Creamcheese.

Which brings me to today. This morning at 9am, we had our first project meeting. All IPVSers are split up into groups and responsible for the planning and execution of one fundraising event. My committee is in charge of a book sale. I volunteered to be on the subcommittee handling the organization of the books (surprise, surprise!). The money that we raise from our book sale will be combined with the money raised by the other groups and together, we will select one worthy recipient to receive it in the form of a grant to support youth and education. Super cool!
The book sale will take place on July 10th at the TFAS offices near Dupont Circle so be sure to come out if you can!

Tonight I will be meeting my mentor Natalie. The mentor program is another facet of the TFAS program in which TFAS students are matched up with a (possible) TFAS alumnus who is a working professional in the D.C. area. We will be meeting at Aroma, an Indian restaurant on I street. I've only ever had Indian food once, but I loved it, so am very excited because Natalie agreed to help me order. Sah-weeet. Gotta love help from an insider, which is hopefully what I can become in just a few short weeks!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jesse vs. Public Transit (Round 1)

And the winner is...ME!

Today I used two forms of public transit (bus and metro) with only minor hiccups.

Step #1: Take GUTS bus to Rosslyn Station.
**Big shout out to Abby for helping me actually get to the bus stop!** Waited while the bus driver appeared to inspect the tire, not a very reassuring sight for a r
ookie like me.

Step #2: Get to Rosslyn Metro Station from bus stop.
I kinda forgot that this step existed. Silly me. I now know that walking is ALWAYS involved in any set of directions. Luckily, I made friends with fellow TFASers who were headed to Rosslyn as well. Ok, maybe friends isn't the right way to describe it. More appropriately it was sort of a "follow behind inconspicuously" relationship. Regardless, I made it to Rosslyn.

Step #3: Buy a SmarTrip Card.
After mission: "follow behind inconspicuously," failed to provide me with the same success, I shamelessly asked the men inside the kiosk for help.

When I returned with my SmarTrip Card, I was terrified by what happened next: I swiped my card against the sensor and BAM, nothing. No green light. No opening doors.

I had been jipped!


I had been confused. Turns out that I was swiping my card against an outgoing turnstile instead of an ingoing one. Whoops! Don't worry; I had to make the mistake once again later in my trip to even realize what I had done this time.

Step #3.5: Face down the huge and very steep escalator at Rosslyn. {FYI: At 437 feet (133 m) the escalator to street level at the Rosslyn Metro station is the third longest continuous span escalator in the world. (Wikipedia)}

Step #4: Blue or orange line to Farragut W. Stop.

Step #5: Exit on the 18th street side.

Step #6: Head down on 18th street.
And the shameless request for directions continue: "Excuse me sir. Which way is M street?"

...And continue (on the way back this time). I must have looked pretty desperate because this time I even get a "good luck!"

In the end, all of the run-around was completely worth it because I did finally get to the office and meet my soon to be supervisor and co-workers who were all tremendously friendly and welcoming. I can't wait to start on Monday. That's right, Monday! Which means that while all of my other roommates are off to work tomorrow morning, I have five days of free-time to explore the city. There is so much to see and do. I will be sure to keep you posted!

P.S.-Thank you to all the wonderful Washingtonians for their patience! I couldn't have done it without you!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Greetings from Washington D.C.

Hello All!

Here it goes, my first blog entry ever! How fitting, for it comes at the start of what is sure to be a very exciting summer. Having said, this entry will be dedicated to filling you all in.

First, my name is Jesse Schaefer. I am a 19 year old, rising junior from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and am majoring in Sociology. Please do not ask me: "What are you going to do with that?" because the truth is, that I do not know...yet. But, that is what this summer is all about, exploring an interest (passion?) of mine: service.

One of my favorite activities on campus is acting as co-chair of the Service Council so when I received an email from my advisor about a summer internship program called the Institute for Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (or IPVS as I will now call it), I was ecstatic. The program is one of four institutes sponsored by TFAS-The Fund for American Studies. IPVS provides undergraduates with the experience of a lifetime by hooking them up with a professional internship in Washington D.C. [To learn more about IPVS, you can visit ] Once I read about the program, I was hooked so, even though the program was already in its 'extended deadline,' I took a chance and applied. A few weeks later, lo and behold, I'm in!

So, after several months of waiting anxiously, I finally began my summer adventure yesterday on Sunday, June 6th, 2010, when I moved in to my apartment in Henle Village on the Georgetown University campus.

You see, the program is, as my blog's title suggests (Live.Learn.Intern), a three part experience. (And, no, I did not come up with that title, it's the program's slogan, but I could not think of anything more fitting to describe what this summer will be). OK, so back to my plans this summer. I will...

#1. be living in D.C. on the Georgetown campus. In fact, I live in an apartment with four other girls: Hayley, Sara, Abby and Renee. I am sure that they will come up later.

#2. be taking a total of 3 classes, 4 nights a week here at Georgetown.

#3. be working as an intern 5 days a week for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

If that's not enough to keep me busy, I don't know what is.

So, let the mayhem begin. Stick with me as I conquer the transit system and try not to starve while cooking for myself.

See you all next time,