I put on my suit this morning and hopped on the subway. I was waiting for someone to call my bluff and say “Hey, where are your jeans and backpack? Since when do you dress up and go to work?” But once I arrived at Queen’s Park and got my name tag and security pass I figured I was in.
Walking through the halls of the Legislature feels a little surreal. The walls of the building, which have borne witness to significant political events throughout Ontario’s history, are brought to life by the repeated ringing of the division bells (which will definitely take some getting used to) and the shouts of protestors outside on the front lawn. I still can’t quite believe that this beautiful building, which solemnly showcases Ontario’s political history, yet feels abuzz with contemporary political activity, is my “office.”
What could have been an intimidating first day was made comfortable and engaging by Program Director Dr. Henry Jacek and Program Administrative Assistant Eithne Whaley, who provided us with a comprehensive orientation. I felt grateful for the inside scoop on the Legislature that they offered me and the other interns. In addition to the orientation, we had a couple of surprises. We were invited to sit in on questioning for the ORNGE inquiry, and later on received a mid-afternoon treat break. I’m not sure which surprise was more exciting.
But the sweetest part of my day was meeting the other interns. Everyone was friendly and I enjoyed the opportunities we had to chat throughout the day. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better over the next 10 months. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us. (More treats perhaps?)
Leanna Katz is originally from Toronto, Ontario. She did her undergraduate work at McMaster University.