英语学习杂志 2015-10-09 17:09





By Amirah Ahmad

黄湘淇 注

I had never truly appreciated my home until June 1, 2015.

I live in the suburbs of D.C., meaning the nation’s capital is half an hour away from my doorstep. Although I had visited Washington D.C. to admire the Smithsonian museums, gawk at the White House from afar, and sit on the National Mall for a pleasing picnic, I have just recently begun to explore all that is D.C.

We call ourselves “Hillterns”. Hillterns are students, typically in college, interning at Capitol Hill . Capitol Hill is home to the United States Congress, meaning the Hill is the starting point of all legislation, both national and international. The Hilltern network is massive , with hundreds of students working for Congress members. I am one of those hundred.

The first day, like all first days at a new job, was extremely daunting . I boarded the metro at 7:00 a.m. along with the other dozens of work-going citizens, with a newspaper in hand. I figured I should be using this time to brush up on current events.

I arrived at Capitol Hill nearly an hour early, and had nothing to do until 8:45 a.m. which is when I would actually head over to my office. During that hour, I drank a coffee, went through security to enter the Capitol Hill, and wandered through the expansive halls, imagining I was walking where President Obama once walked. At 8:45 a.m. I finally went to my office, completely unaware of what to expect. I was greeted by the staff assistant, and sat down on the couch. The entire office was clad in Michigan souvenirs. Soda, chips, brochures from Michigan were hung on the walls, sitting on the shelves, and dispersed throughout.

Needless to say , I was interning for the Congresswoman from the state of Michigan.

A couple minutes later, the two other interns began to file in along with the other staff in the office. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming, and I was glad my first day was heading in the right direction.

My first day on the job primarily consisted of getting my bearings of Capitol Hill, walking around the premises, and meeting people I needed to meet. The next day, I was bombarded with what my internship duties would actually consist of. I was responsible for handing out the morning newspaper to each staff member and turn on the TV’s in the office. Interns also give tours. I actually gave my first tour a couple days ago to a nice couple from Michigan. I walked them through the old Supreme Court Chamber, the old Senate Chamber, the ornate Rotunda, and through various rooms like the old House of Representatives meeting room. Hillterns also conduct research for bills and press releases, and most importantly: answer phone calls. At first thought, answering phone calls doesn’t seem like an arduous task. Answering phone calls on the Hill, however, is close to torture . Angry constituents call to voice their opinions on certain national and international issues, some people call to inquire on how the Congresswoman would vote on a particular bill, some people want to talk to the other staffers in the office, some people call to complain about their personal problems with the United States government. On a typical day, an intern picks up close to a hundred phone calls about various issues.

However, the perks of actually working in the Capitol counter the pitfall of picking up phone calls. I have spotted influential politicians like John Lewis, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and even President Obama in or near the Capitol.

John Lewis, a civil rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King Jr., gave a speech to all of the Hillterns. After his inspiring speech, I was given a task to drop off a document at a nearby building when I ran into John Lewis casually shining his shoes.

The second week of my internship, I happened to fall upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Congresswoman had invited me to the annual congressional baseball game with the Democrats versus the Republicans. I had originally planned on going with my other friends, but I was sure satisfied with my decision to accompany the Congresswoman instead.

Because we were with a member of Congress, we got access to the buffet in the VIP lounge. The buffet included lobster rolls, crab cakes, barbeque, burritos, and bread, pie, and an assortment of drinks. After stuffing ourselves, we headed over to the stands where we got free t-shirts and hats before finally sitting down five rows from the front. Our seats were located right behind the batter, very close to the Democratic dugout. Near the 2nd inning, when I began to get bored as a result of my lack of understanding for the game of baseball, people suddenly began to rise from their seats and were looking in the direction of the Democratic dugout. Chatter began to reverberate through the crowd as everyone began to lift up their cellphones, their cameras on the ready. Curious myself, I stood up. I was looking around for an attraction of some sort when I heard a small kid squeal “Is the President coming?”

Feeling the inner child within me, I excitedly whipped out my phone. Shortly, two men who looked like detectives stepped out of the dugout and began to scan their surroundings. These men were part of the Presidential bodyguard . Finally, after five anxious minutes, President Obama stepped out of the Democratic dugout with a waving hand and infectious smile greeting the crowd. The Democrats began to chant , “Four more years!”

I couldn’t believe my eyes as he walked passed my seat. He was about eight feet away from where I was sitting! He spent about 10 minutes greeting various members of Congress and watching the game before he descended the dugout steps to continue his busy day.

Experiences like these make my internship experience in Congress extremely rewarding . Although by the end of the day my feet are aching, I’m dozing off, and I constantly hear the ring of the telephone in the back of my mind, my Hillternship is wonderful. As I get accustomed to my duties, I feel confident that it’s only going go up hill from here.


1. suburb: 郊区。

2. 虽然我去过华盛顿特区,参观了史密森尼博物馆,从远处痴痴地观望过白宫,也曾坐在国家广场上愉快地野餐,但我是最近才开始探索特区的种种的。Smithsonian museums: 史密森尼博物馆群,是美国唯一一所由美国政府资助、半官方性质的第三部门博物馆机构,拥有世界最大的博物馆系统和研究联合体;gawk at: 发呆地看着;the White House: 白宫,是美国总统的官邸和办公室;from afar: 从远处;the National Mall: 国家广场,是位于美国首都华盛顿特区的一处开放型国家公园,是美国国家庆典和仪式的首选场所,同时也是美国历史上重大示威游行、民权演说的重要场地。

3. Capitol Hill: 美国国会山。

4. Congress: 美国国会;legislation: 法律,立法。

5. massive: 规模巨大的。

6. daunting: 使人畏缩的,令人怯步的。

7. metro: 地铁。

8. brush up on: 重温,复习。

9. 在那一小时里,我喝了杯咖啡,通过安检进入了国会,漫步走过了宽敞的大厅,想象自己走在奥巴马总统曾经走过的地方。wander through: 漫步走过;expansive: 广阔的。

10. clad: 被……覆盖的;Michigan: 密歇根州,位于美国中北部;souvenir: 纪念品。

11. brochure: 小册子;disperse throughout: 分散,散落。

12. needless to say: 不用说。

13. file in: 进入。

14. get one’s bearings: 在陌生的环境中确定方向,知道自己该怎么做;premise: 办公场所。

15. be bombarded with: 被……炮轰。

16. the Supreme Court Chamber: 最高法院会议厅;the Senate Chamber: 参议院会议厅;ornate: 华丽的;the Rotunda:(国会大厦里的)圆形大厅;the House of Representatives: 众议院。

17. arduous: 费力的。

18. torture: 折磨。

19. 愤怒的选民打电话来表达他们在某个国家或国际问题上的看法,有人打电话来询问女议员会在某项法案上投什么票,有人想要和办公室里的其他员工通话,还有人打电话来抱怨他们个人与美国政府的过节。constituent: 选民;staffer: 职员。

20. perk: 特殊待遇;counter: v. 抵消;pitfall: 缺陷。

21. spot: 认出;John Lewis: 约翰•刘易斯(1940— ),美国政治家及民权领袖,民主党成员,自1987年起担任美国乔治亚州第五选区代表;Marco Rubio: 马尔科•鲁比奥(1971— ),美国律师、政治人物,美国共和党成员,现任美国参议员(2011年就职),2015年4月13日宣布参选2016年美国总统;Rand Paul: 兰德•保罗(1963— ),美国肯塔基州医生与政治人物,于2011年代表共和党当选美国参议员至今,2015年4月7日宣布参选2016年美国总统。

22. drop off: 投送。

23. Congressional: 国会的;the Democrate: 民主党;versus: 对战;the Republican: 共和党。

24. VIP lounge: 贵宾休息室;buffet: 自助餐。

25. lobster roll: 龙虾卷;crab cake: 蟹饼;barbeque: 烤肉;burrito: 玉米煎饼;pie: 派,馅饼;an assortment of: 各式各样的。

26. stuff: 填饱;stand: 摊位。

27. batter: 击球手;dugout: 棒球场边供球员休息的地方。

28. 到比赛的第二局,我就开始感觉无聊了,因为我对棒球比赛知之甚少,这时人群忽然开始从座位上起立,朝着民主党队的休息区方向看来。inning: (棒球比赛的)一局。

29. chatter: 喋喋不休;reverberate: 使回响。

30. of some sort: 某种……;squeal: 尖声地说。

31. whip out: 快速掏出。

32. bodyguard: 保镖。

33. infectious: 有感染力的。

34. chant: 反复地喊。

35. descend: 往下走。

36. rewarding: 有意义的,值得的。

37. aching: 疼痛的;doze off: 打瞌睡,困倦。

38. get accustomed to: 习惯,适应;go up hill: 走上坡路,步步高升,这里的hill为一语双关,既是比喻,也指国会山。

(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:丹妮)

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