By Isabel A., Class of ‘22
Admit it, most of us have had dreams of being a politician. Getting to play a part in laws, the very rules that hold society together and shape our daily lives. Luckily, for those of who wish to see into the inner workings at our state capital, the Washington State Page Program offers an amazing opportunity to see firsthand the lives of our Washington State Legislators. In the Page Program, you get the chance to work on either the House or Senate side as a page. You also receive a more in-depth view of the bill passing process.
I was very fortunate to be sponsored by Representative Gael Tarleton to be a House Page in the first week in the legislative period. Although a large part of my week did consist of running up and down the stairs (the workout you get from this program is pretty insane) or fetching Representative Berquist his morning grapefruit, this program opened my eyes in many ways other than the immense amount of stairs in the Capitol Building. One thing that I found surprising is the peaceful way the two parties interact. If I were to have guessed solely from the media the way their interactions would feel, polite and pleasant may not be the words that came to mind. The representatives all eat together, make polite conversation, and maintain good relationships between each other, which I also learned is really important in the process of passing a bill. It’s important that the parties remain on good terms in order to pass any legislation.
Not only can this apply to bill writing and creating laws for Washington, but I saw this as a tool I could apply to my life at The Downtown School. An important aspect of keeping the peace or convincing others of your point of view is to keeps things calm and try to compromise. This rule can apply to everyday interactions in the Commons to kind-of-stressful group projects for English class. Although the Page Program is great for training future politicians, it is also great for conditioning us for interactions in our daily life.