In January 2017 most people I met in DC were dejected. Trump was incoming, and nothing was definitively off the chopping block. I had a conversation with my congresswomen Anna Eshoo, and I got the feeling she felt her life’s work was about to be destroyed. Yet in all that doom and gloom I had a transformative experience that pushed me towards politics in a way I never would have imagined.
On the sixth of the month I went to Library of Congress (or as the authors of the constitution would put it, “congrefs”). Below the beautifully painted dome, I was read a book that I had been trying to get my hands on for months: the War Diary of Admiral Yi Sun Shin. A Korean war hero, who is considered by many to be the best admiral of all time despite being ignored in most Western history books. I remember reading that old translation and thinking it was the most violent depiction of classical war I have ever read. I knew war was violent, but I always assumed there was some heroism and beauty in pre-nineteenth century warfare. In that library, I learned about war but I also learned something a bit more important.
I realized that this country does care about the truth. While science is under attack from all sides, and facts seem irrelevant to modern politics the Modern day Alexandrian Library stands like the statues of the great thinkers within its walls: steady. It is a symbol of dedication to knowledge, and made me for the first time feel truly patriotic. There are people in our government fighting the good fight for truth. I want to be one of those people. I want to serve America, by serving science in politics.
Having a purpose has driven me. I have been developing myself so as to serve the American people. I am currently interning with the Democratic Party of Maryland to learn more about the political process, and working with AWOL so I can help integrate science into their stories. I aim to improve myself for my quest to serve the world and hope that you (whoever you are that googled me) can help me do that.