Richert: 1,000 miles and 30 inches of snow away


by Chris Richert/Guest Writer

Washington, D.C. in springtime, could anything be more beautiful? 

Well, so far, many places are more beautiful.  When I got here on February 1st, Washington, D.C. had already suffered one blizzard back in December and was reeling from 10 inches that dropped the Saturday before I got here.  Little did I know that blizzard number two was on its way. 

Friday morning the snow started and did not stop until Saturday afternoon.  In that span of 36 hours, Mother Nature dropped over 30 inches of snow. 

That storm was followed closely by another blizzard that came in on Wednesday and gave us another 15 inches. 

Now we Midwesterners wouldn’t think twice about this; it’s normal.  But Washington, D.C. shut down for the entire week.  I am pretty sure that Washington, D.C. only has two snowplows because it took them forever to clear the streets, and when they finally did, they left piles in the middle of the road. In some cases they only cleared a path wide enough for one car on a two way street.  It was ridiculous. 

The snow is finally starting to melt and I can actually go back to my internship.  I am working for a senator on Capitol Hill.  It really is an amazing time.  I am learning everything there is to know about the inner workings of the legislature. 

I have had the chance to go to Capitol Hill briefings and listen to think tanks present their research and points of view on any given topic. I have seen the House and Senate conduct business on the floor, and I have had the opportunity to lead tours of the Capitol. 

Probably the best part of my experience here so far is that I was able to draft a piece that will be put into the congressional record.  This week I will attend three committee hearings. 

Living on the Hill is spectacular.  I live on 510 C St., just a few blocks from the Capitol.  I can walk two and a half blocks to my work every morning. 

Living with 20 other people from colleges around the country is very similar to freshman year of college and meeting people from all corners of the country. 

The Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) is a very good organization. It is a consortium of colleges that allow college students from around the country the opportunity to come to our nation’s capitol and get real life and career experiences. 

We have gone on a Capitol tour and went to the top of the Washington Monument.  It really is an amazing time out here.

All the best from Washington, D.C.

Chris Richert is a junior from Indianola. Visit his blog at