Productive year? Nah. I prided myself in doing as little as possible as not to waste my boundless energy. Then I was presented with the opportunity to work as an intern at The National Right to Life Organization in Washington D.C. with my Uncle Randy for two weeks . . . and two hundred bucks. That's more money than I have ever seen in my life. Of course, I just wanted the opportunity. I'm not greedy or anything. Really, though, I'm very pro-life. Of all my time on the Internet, most of it was spent arguing for the war, and against the slaughter of unborn children. I'd get dragged off the computer kicking and screaming something to the effect of "One more reply, Mom! This person's such an idiot!" Anyhow, the internship seemed to be right up my alley. Usually I'd go to Lee University's Music, Art, and Drama camp; however, they don't give me money. So, June 8th - 21st was spent up in D.C.
I was immediately informed of how much work it was going to be. I did more research in two weeks than in 10 years of school. But the real hassle was transportation. Washington really is terrible about that. I rode a train to and from work everyday, with much walking and/or riding the subway. In Washington, you just don't DRIVE to work. Parking is five bucks an hour. On an eight-hour workday, that'd be 40 dollars a day. Two hundred and eighty a week. Which would be more than I'd make in the two weeks I'd be there. And we're not even adding gas prices to that. If there's a gas station in D.C., I missed it. Everyone knows you go to the suburbs in Virginia or Maryland to get your gas.
There were quite a few other interns at the NRLO. All of them were college-age, though, and I'm sure my uncle informed all the guys that I was, indeed, still under the age of eighteen. Also, most of the interns -and a good number of the employees- were women, to erase that right-winged-extremist-Catholic-white-old-man-pro-lifer stereotype everyone has. Actually, there were Muslims, Hispanics, vegetarians, and blacks, everything you can imagine. One Democrat, too, I recall. There WERE a lot of Catholics, but most were quiet about it. With the variety, a lot of interesting discussions came up. But I was kept busy and didn't get to participate.
In my studies, I found some revolting statistics, pictures, and articles. Did you know that the Alan Guttmacher Institution took a look at the reasons that women between the ages of 15-45 had abortions, and found that 93% of them did it for social reasons (embarrassment, maturity level, fear, time consumption, etc.) while only 7% of abortions accounted for rape, incest, and health problems of the mother or baby? Needless to say, pro-abortion AGI never took that kind of survey again.
My focus for the two weeks was on teenage pregnancy and abortion. The birth rate, pregnancy level, and abortion rate have dropped for girls aged 15-19. That's good news, but it's still the highest in the U.S. By the end of my internship, I had produced a list - what the NRLO affectionately calls a "fact sheet". In it, I had included factors that increase likeliness of teen pregnancy, factors that increase likeliness of teen abortion, and an Abstinence vs. Contraceptives argument, and what can be done in all these situations. I didn't really get to give my opinion. This absolutely bothered me. But, I did have fun. Stressful fun, but fun nonetheless. And now I realize why my poor Uncle Randy is constantly exhausted, and what it's like to have my hyper father call him "just to talk" at 11:30 at night.
Washington D.C. is a pretty cool town, even though I've been there more times than I can count. I gave a homeless guy a crisp Abe Lincoln because he was playing "Amazing Grace" on a trumpet. He said, "Thank ya so much, God bless ya!" and he sounded JUST LIKE LOUIE ARMSTRONG. They really should trade him for some of the horrible music they have nowadays. Maybe everyone would copy his "homeless bum" look instead of running around like Avril LaVigne wannabes. But there's not much difference . . . anyway, have a nice summer and God bless ya!