Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sadly there was no session in the senate today, there will be one tomorrow though. The house session was a long one and they talked about bathrooms. I wasn't in the house but I hear Speaker Smith had quite a funny comment about his bathroom saying Speaker, not men or women. We got pictures taken of us with the governor today and had certificates presented to us saying how we did a great job as pages. Representative Turner, the minority leader in the house, bought us pizza and drinks today for lunch. Representative Komline, the assistant to Representative Turner , bought us two boxes of donuts for breakfast. We made some thank you notes for some reps and senators and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is going to buy us all breakfast tomorrow! One day left and it's the day we get to be announced in both the house and senate!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The house and senate combined today for a joint session where they voted on judges in the Vermont Supreme Court. There was about four votes I think, I'm not sure, anyway all of the votes were complete blowouts. It wasn't really that exciting in the house today, moved a few bills to third reading and that's really it. One thing I somehow forgot to mention about yesterday was that the Ambassador from Iraq was here and made a speech in the house. It was an interesting speech about Iraq and what the country is really like. Today wasn't too exciting but tomorrow we are meeting with the governor and I'm excited for that. I accidentally skipped blogging on friday of last week and I don't really remember it, all I know is I left early and it was probably a good day! Two days left and I'm going to make the best of them!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Today was actually quite eventful. I was in the house and even though there was only one thing on the calendar it still went for about an hour. Luke interviewed the governor today about Vermont Yankee for a school project. Dylan, Luke, and I met with Representative Young at noon and he took us to the underground tunnel outside the state house. We had wanted to go for a while and didn't even knew if the tunnel under the state house lawn existed. He took us outside, probably not were we should've been, and we got to go in the tunnel. It was a really cool experience, it was also interesting to have the Vermont State Spelling Bee champion in the house today. Megan (I don't know the spelling) Clark won the spelling bee and is in sixth grade in Vermont. She'll go to the national bee in May. It was a fun day and a great start to my last week!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I, along with Dylan, Alyssa, and Lindsey, worked in the house chamber today for about six hours. Usually I would've been very excited about this but there was a very few amount of notes. Dylan and I were in the card room for only about an hour. It was still a good day even though there weren't a lot of notes. They'll probably be more tomorrow, hopefully. I'm still loving The Hunger Games and can't put it down, in fact i'm going to go read. Hopefully tomorrow is more interesting.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Legislative Council again today, really getting hooked on The Hunger Games and can't put the book down. Used my iPod a lot, did some homework, while the house went on and on. Apparently it was a very busy day but for me I just got a few waves of notes. Notes would come in packs of 5 to 10 but it would be a good hour and a half until another wave came. Some people say, in fact most people say, its the most boring place to be. I really don't mind it though because if I have no messages I can just get lost in my book and read. Tomorrow i'm scheduled for the house and card room. I'm expecting a very busy day and a very long house session, like today for some pages.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The notes for room 45 have finally seemed to come to a stop. The senate was predicted to go all day today but it surprisingly was quite a short session. I had my first day in Legislative Council today and my last is tomorrow. I got four different math assignments done and read a lot of my book, I was also allowed to use my iPod in my seat at the council. It was a good day because I did what I had to do and got a lot of work done. The house is definitely getting into the swing of things, the sessions are now consistently two hours at the least. The state house is really up and running now and i'm really glad to be a part of it.
Room 45, again, again, and again. You would think they would slow down considering they voted on H.202 yesterday but now they are about different bills and other things. The house was in session for about four hours today which is unusual for a friday. Not much to say about the day today, I left about 45 minutes early. It was my last full day at the Sergeant-At-Arms office and it was a good one. Only two weeks left on the job and I'm predicting they'll be two very busy ones.
Today was St. Patrick's Day and Representative Donaghy wore lime green pants! There was a number of other legislators that wore green as well, among them was Donald Milne (Clerk of the House) who wore a lime green blazer and tie. The jokes rolled on in room 45 today as getting adopted from Representative Eckhardt was mentioned. Today there was a U.S. Marine's body that was killed in Afghanistan driven by. Pretty much the whole state house was outside honoring what this marine from Vermont did for our country. I was in the Sergeant-At-Arms office all day and tomorrow will be the last time I'm there all day. You can almost feel a sense of urgency coming up in the state house which should only make the rest of my time here better.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The session in the senate today was about an hour and they scheduled to go on the floor tomorrow even though a lot of the time they don't have sessions on Thursday's. There were lots and lots of notes for room 45 today, the house committee on health care. Apparently they are voting on H.202 tomorrow and lots of health places are having people call in trying to get reps to change their minds. These people don't even know who they're talking too they just say I want this message to go to "so and so" and it either says to support this bill are it says to just say no. It was funny because I had to give about 6 or so messages to Larson talking about the bill. After a while the committee was getting so many messages they started to make jokes like saying, "Oh look, another love letter!" It was entertaining every time I got a note for that room and it made it a pretty fun day.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Senate Chamber was were I was working today and it was a surprisingly long one hour and twenty minute session. It was a fun session because it was busy and there was a lot of interrogating. One particular senator got interrogated by four different people and another senator was quite the interrogator, they really knew the right questions to ask. It looks as if it will be another long session tomorrow. The other thing I took out of the day was actually quite comical. Two representatives (no names will be said) thought someone they had lunch with was sleeping at a desk in the house. So, one of these reps decided to shoot a rubber band at the sleeper, the rubber band hits this person and all you needed to hear when he got up was, " Oh my, thats not Sam! I'm so sorry!" It was pretty funny considering two reps had hit a random sleeping person with a rubber band! I'd have to mark that as the funniest thing i've seen so far as a page. By the way, the two reps thought it was pretty funny too.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today I had two very interesting things that occurred. The first was that I was told to get a message at the governor's office over in the pavilion. Amanda (another page) and I went and she thought we were lost because I didn't know what door to go in. We eventually found the right place and got up to the governor's office just in time to see someone I know come out of the door. Mrs. Kunin, who I knew, gave us a tour through the whole governor's office which consists of multiple rooms. It was a fun experience and I'm glad we got the tour. The other event was that they didn't have a quorum in the house which was pointed out by a representative. I hadn't ever seen this before and the doorkeepers had to go round up some extra reps to be able to have a session. Well, I thought that was a pretty interesting day and I hope you did too.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
It was pretty surprising how busy it was today considering I was running notes around while I noticed it was 4:30, usually there are never notes that late in the day. It was a pretty average day so i'd like to take this blog post to say how great my host family has been and how we went to a Norwich hockey game today. It was a fun game and Norwich (who the Barber's were rooting for) sailed through the game winning five to one. Today I brought three different messages to Senator Benning so I got three maple candies! Today was pretty fun because I got a lot of messages and hopefully Montpelier doesn't flood tomorrow.
In the house there was a lot of controversy about deer hurting forests and land, there was also a lot of talk about not paying taxes when ordering from an online store that does not have actual stores such as Amazon or Zappos. The interesting thing about these two subjects was that it was the first time I had ever really heard more than three nay's. There was a chorus of nay's after the aye's and I was actually pretty shocked even though the aye's were really still overpowering. One other thing I am told by my fellow pages was that a ridiculous amount, about 400 people, were protesting about budget cuts concerning mental health. So, really it was quite an exciting day and I had a lot of fun.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It was great to be back on the job today and luckily I was in the house chamber. The bad news was that it was a short session, 25 minutes i'd say. An interesting thing that I got to do was start the pledge of allegiance. The speaker introduced me and I said "I pledge" the rest of my voice was drowned out by the representatives. I also had my first experience in the card room (my secondary job) and it went well. It's pretty much where the messages go if no one else can deliver them. One other thing i'd like to mention is that Governor Shumlin is on vacation which means Phil Scott is Governor, doesn't really affect me though. All went well and it's good to be back.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Friday before break was a really slow day. The roads were icy and the amount of legislators that showed up at the state house was very low. All of us, pages, were allowed to leave early and I ended up getting taken home to my host house at about 12:20. My dad picked me up after I had a good two hours playing Fifa 11 against Luke, another page who is my housemate; that game is awesome! There wasn't anything very exciting about Friday so I'm going to use this entry as a summary of my first two weeks.
My first two weeks have been a lot to take in but at the same time they've been a lot of fun. The names and faces of all the legislators and others that I have to learn have come pretty quickly for me so it's getting better and better. I'm really glad they offer this program and I think pages are very useful delivering messages, but they could easily get more work done if they just texted or emailed each other. I think the reason they keep pages is because of the tradition and my mom thinks it's because they like to introduce young people in the state house.
A few things I have really enjoyed are the food, how nice everyone is, and how easy it is to find your way around in the state house. I was allowed to go up into the golden dome with the other pages and we all signed our names. We even saw a signature from 1913.
The view from the top of the dome was great and the whole town looked beautiful. I am settling in very well and cannot believe two weeks are already gone! I'm hoping I don't forget all of the names I have learned and am really excited to get back to Montpelier.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Today I saw something I didn't think I would ever see, a little kid around age seven who testified in a committee. I actually saw him talking to the local channel five news crew in front of a camera. Some things this little kid mentioned were about simple stuff like how many straws we use and how we could help the world if we did simple things like use reusable straws. One really cool thing he mentioned was the device he made, a solar powered popcorn machine. The other main highlight of the day was tables and tables of food tasting in the cafeteria towards the end of the day. The food was delectable, cheeses ranging from flavorful goat cheese to sharp Cabot cheddar. Treats like maple truffles and ice cream. It was all foods from Vermont and someone I know was even there - Nathalie Feldman who makes salad dressing and she took our picture. Everything was great and hopefully the predicted storm tomorrow makes no serious adjustments to my plans for another great day.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The house was ridiculously long today, about three hours! Also, my record of 62 messages delivered was passed by an impressive 70 messages. We have a test tomorrow about all the faces of the representatives and senators, I think I am ready because I've really learned the faces and names really well. One funny thing that happened today was that one of the doorkeepers told me to ask another how their interview went at some biker bar in town. So, I did just that and the one that told me to do it gave me a dollar. Overall the day was great and I hope I can get my record back someday.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
First day of week two and I got as many messages as I thought I would. 62 messages was the total and it was staircase after staircase. I was very busy and had a great panini for lunch. It's probably going to be a really busy week and I was surprised that the senate session today went for about an hour and a half. The house only went for 15 minutes, this was strange because usually it's the other way around. All in all it was a good day, a very busy day, and i'm ready to go back tomorrow.
I was in the senate again today and I got absolutely zero notes, while my partner named Dylan got seven. It was an alright day overall though because my secondary job was the sergeant at arms office and you get more notes there than anywhere else. I delivered a total of 57 messages and notes today, I kept a tally with me at all times. I'm really getting to know a lot of people and I can recognize all 30 senators. Next week I am at the sergeant at arms office all week so I expect to get a lot of messages. It's been a great week and I can't wait for the next one.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
My primary job today was to be in the Senate Chamber, but it was a joint session which was in the House Chamber. A joint session is a session where the senators go over into the house and join in with the representatives. So, I barely had any time in the senate today, I'll have much more time tomorrow. One thing that was pretty cool today was that I got the chance to talk to Governor Peter Shumlin, he was in an office that I went to and we had a good 30 seconds to chat. The job I had most of the day was at the Sergeant at Arms office. I just waited for messages and searched for as many messages as possible. It's a pretty good job because you get a lot of notes and today I realized that I have it all week next week for primary and secondary. So it better be a decent job. The day went well and I had a lot of messages to deliver, I'm excited for the Senate Chamber tomorrow and hope I am as busy as I was today.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Well in the morning today it was ridiculously busy. I must've brought 20 messages around the place. The session in the house today was longer than yesterday but it seemed like less was going on. I have to say that I feel like they could be much more productive in the house. I've also noticed that not a lot of people ever say nay, it's like this, " Are you ready for the question? If so, here is the question. All in favor say aye (chorus of aye's) all against say nay (no nay's are really said at all.) The aye's appear to have it, the aye's do have it. " There was free Ben and Jerry's ice cream today, I was relieved from the House Chamber for about ten minutes to eat some. I had some time to do homework but most of the day I was trying to put names on different faces and remember committee rooms. It was a good day overall and I think I am starting to remember some representatives and senators.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
My first day was today, it was great! I was assigned to working in the House Chamber, where I ran messages around and took notes around the room. After that my secondary job was to check in at the Secretary of the Senate and the House offices. The Secretary of the Senate was every 15 minutes and the House offices were every hour. I had a lot of fun getting my green blazer with my name tag and my Vermont tie. I met a lot of representatives and senators and I had a lot more free time then I thought. I'm planning on bringing homework and a book tomorrow. Overall it was a great first day and I'm looking forward to move on with my new job.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I'm going to be a legislative page in the second session of 2011. In Montpelier, Vermont I will help everybody in the government by doing whatever they need me to do. I am really excited and will keep you all updated on the exciting things I encounter. I believe this will be an inspiring experience and I will take away many important life lessons from my time in Montpelier.