What I hope to gain from Campaign Academy
June 12, 2016
By: Graciela Sills
I have a tendency to underestimate myself, a trait which is hard to describe without making it sound like I either have severe self-esteem issues or I’m paradoxically bragging about my modesty. As such, I was genuinely surprised when I managed to earn a spot in the Kirk Watson Campaign Academy alongside aspiring lawyers and other people with official-sounding titles. Reading the biographies of my classmates, I got the sense that they were “real” adults while I was merely a young person putting on a shiny façade of maturity.
As it turns out, there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this disparity: I am, in fact, the youngest member of the Campaign Academy. Furthermore, my experience as an active member of the labor movement gives me a unique perspective within this group, which I hope will make up for my lack of knowledge in other areas.
If I put enough effort into this program, however, I suspect I’ll acquire a surprising number of new skills and connections. Here’s what I hope to gain from the Campaign Academy:
- Diminishing social awkwardness.
- Networking opportunities, which will come about more easily once I’ve kicked the aforementioned social awkwardness.
- A job offer, maybe. Like, an actual job. As a union gal, I’ve been taught that all labor carries an inherent dignity, but I’m not sure how much taking care of my neighbors’ dogs every once in a while will advance my career.
- The satisfaction of not having wasted my summer.
- Marked improvements in my public speaking. I think I’m getting better already. It’s amazing what just a couple of days of 9 to 5 training can do.
- Strategies for my own current and future campaigns.
- The strength to permanently overcome my fear of phone calls.
- More efficiency in my writing. I have a way with words, but I write really damn slowly because I’m constantly editing as I go. If George R.R. Martin and I were to collaborate on a book, we’d probably both be dead before we finished the first draft.
- A thorough enough understanding of politics for me to deconstruct concepts in layman’s terms for the benefit of my nonpolitical peers.
- This one may take a few prayers and some intense finger crossing, but it would be nice if I managed to tame my wild circadian rhythm. College life does strange things to one’s sleep schedule, and I’ve been a night owl since I was very young, but I simply cannot afford to stay up until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. each night as long as I’m participating in this program.
- Enough clout among Austin’s progressive crowd so that I no longer have to introduce myself as Ed’s daughter.
- Course credit, if that offer still stands.
- And, most importantly, friends! I may be an overly pedantic and introverted geek, but I’m good at engaging with people one-on-one and I have a strong sense of loyalty. As far as the Campaign Academy goes, we’re all in this together, and I apologize if I just got a certain song stuck in readers’ heads.
© 2016 Kirk Watson Texas Senator All Rights Reserved
Political advertisement paid for by Kirk Watson Campaign,
P.O. Box 2004, Austin, TX, 78768; Rosie Mendoza,Treasurer.