Junior Fellows: New Politics Forum Campaign Bootcamp–2013


Yesterday the Junior Fellows headed off on a four-day trip to Austin, where they will learn about politics, culture, and law.  The centerpiece of the trip is the New Politics Forum Summer 2013 Campaign Bootcamp, and the students will be a part of that on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, learning from campaign experts from all over the country on matters such as fundraising, crafting messages, social media, working with volunteers, conducting polls, and grassroots activism.  These activities will be supplemented with stops to see art at the Harry Ransom Center, a trip up the UT Tower, a stop by the O. Henry House, and other fun and educational opportunities.

The students blog each day, and although the first day was limited to a late evening in Austin, they were still able to enjoy their time.

Cody Williamson: Day One

I had the pleasure of enjoying fine Brazilian cuisine as I dined at the Fogo de Chao churrascaria in Austin, Texas. I am in Austin to attend a New Politics Forum bootcamp that will be held on the campus of the University of Texas. After dining at the restaurant, myself and the members of my group went on a short walk through downtown Austin where we saw the former house of O. Henry, the author of “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Story of the Magi”.

O. Henry

O. Henry

It was a strange sight to observe this small, quaint old house nestled among the towering office buildings and upscale lofts in the modernized city. However, it was a pleasant observation to look on the peaceful union of history from days past with today’s fast paced society.On Friday, we will be attending a talk held by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. This is a unique opportunity that I am looking forward to very much. It will be exciting to see a significant, historical figure who played such a pivotal role in the progression of American politics and legislation, breaking long held traditions. I can’t wait!

Jessica Rodriguez: Day One

The Junior Fellows are attending the New Politics Forum Campaign Boot Camp this weekend! First night in Austin and it is going to be very hard to top after the delicious meats we were served at the unique Brazilian restaurant, Fogo de Chao. I have visited different Brazilian steak houses, and as a rule, my favorite is always the lamb! Tonight was no different.

After satisfying my sweet tooth with Crème Brule and Papaya pudding we went on a three-block walk down to the O. Henry home. Intriguingly, it has a similar look to the Joshua Houston home in Huntsville, Texas.  Both were built about the same time (late 1890s), both are Queen Anne style homes, and both are painted with Victorian colors.

O. Henry Home

O. Henry Home

During our stroll in Austin’s downtown, we also came across the “Austin Stars,” sidewalk stars devoted to notable residents of Austin.

We also walked down the street towards 4th street and came across a star for Sam Houston and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz–for whom my high school was named. A very lovely night overall in downtown Austin!

 Dulce Martinez: Day One

The Junior Fellows arrived in Austin slightly before 8’oclock, just in time to see the sunset over the UT Tower. This is my first time to truly experience the city of Austin, and having dinner at a unique Brazilian steak house was the perfect way to come across the diversity this city has to offer. Fogo De Chao had an interesting mix of meats, which were all cooked to perfection! My personal favorite was the chicken breast wrapped in bacon; the chicken was very juicy and flavorful.

Junior Fellows at Fogo Do Chao

Junior Fellows at Fogo Do Chao

After our meal we decided to take a stroll downtown to the O. Henry home, which happened to be a few blocks away. The home appeared stuck in time compared to the rest of the modern building surrounding it.  It was a perfect ending to the evening.