by Sophia Creede, intern in the Texas Legislative Study Group
It is difficult to decide what route to take with this blog post. It seems as though a quality approach is to type and think at the same speed: My name is Sophia Creede, and I have been living in Austin for a legislative internship at the Texas State Capitol with the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work for 18 days now…. If I had told myself six months ago that I was going to be in Austin for a legislative internship in January of 2019, I would have been shocked. This experience was not a foreseeable project in my life, but now that I am here, I am eager and enthused to learn.
I am sure that in that conversation with 6 Months Ago Me – she is a curious person… – she would have asked a few questions. First, she would ask, “Well how is it going so far, what’s it like?” I would tell her that I am working for State Representative Garnet Coleman and that coincidentally and happily, he represents Montrose, which is the Houston neighborhood that I grew up in.
I would tell her that just two days ago I sat next to Rep. Coleman in Kim Son restaurant (a place I passed all the time, but never had the chance to visit), and he talked about his ancestors and his life in politics. 6 Months Ago Me would say something like “That sounds pretty cool, lucky that you got to sit with him and talk to him.” I would then explain how cool it is to be interacting with someone who so directly influences our neighborhood and our state.
Then, 6 Months Ago Me would say, “You know how property taxes have skyrocketed, and healthcare is so expensive?” I would huff and say, “Yes of course I know, you won’t even have health insurance for another two months when you begin school.” I would tell 6 Months Ago Me that soon she is going to start understanding the relationships between legislative actions/decisions and daily life.
6 Months Ago Me would ask me what I am enjoying. I would tell her that right now we go to many briefings and eat a lot of free food because committees haven’t been assigned (Ed note: Legislators were assigned to committees as this entry was posted), so things are on the slow side. She would say, “Ooh, free food?” and I would respond and say, “Let me tell you…” and I would talk about the barbeque, the queso, the pizza, and enchiladas from Representative Coleman’s opening day party. I would tell her there have been several instances of barbeque, breakfast tacos, and that at the Music Therapy Advocacy Day Luncheon, the food was delicious, and to top it off there were these chocolate lava cakes with homemade whipped cream, and I think about them all the time. I would tell her that at the Texas Association of Health Plans’ health care briefing there were lobster rolls but unfortunately, I was already pretty full…
6 Months Ago Me would interrupt me and say, “Isn’t it strange that issues with healthcare are hurting Texans, causing people to go bankrupt, putting unbearable financial weight on families and individuals… and you are at the briefing trying to make room for lobster rolls?” I would respond, “Yea, Soph, I know. I am pro food… as are you. But, yes, I know your point.”
Then, she would ask “Alright, well, is there anything I can do to make life easier for you since I live in the past?” I would tell her that it’s bad juju to mess with the order of things, but honestly at the Music Therapy event we held back, and it would have been okay to eat more lava cakes.
“Noted. And how are you here right now?” July-Sophia asks. “For my blog post,” I reply, and then I dissolve into thin air.