By Betsy Rothstein - 04/16/07 08:26 PM EDT
“It wasn’t weird,” Jackson said last week. “I really enjoyed him. He was a really cool guy.”
A recent graduate of Tennessee’s Fisk University, Jackson explained that Frist attended her alma mater and was the commencement speaker at her graduation. Hastings also went to Fisk.
One thing that has struck Jackson, a native of Akron, Ohio, as she has progressed through her Capitol Hill internships is how normal she believes members of Congress are. “They’re just like us — normal people,” she said.
In her stay on the Hill, however, she did get the chance to become star-struck: the day she met actor Bill Cosby. “He was here doing a hearing,” she explained. “I got to shake his hand and talk with him. That was real cool.”
Lawmakers who have likewise impressed her include Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). She has seen them but has not met them.
For now Jackson’s life is at a standstill. She is torn between going back to school and securing a job on the Hill. “I wouldn’t mind being a staff assistant,” she said.
But she also loves to deal with events and one day dreams of opening her own event-planning firm, which she plans to call BRJ Elegant Events.
Being an intern hasn’t been bad, she says. She answers phones, runs errands and works on constituent mail.
That singular event has reminded her more than any other that she is indeed an intern? Jackson recalls the day a superior presented her with a gigantic stack of Dear Colleague-type letters and said, “You have to put them in order.”
Jackson was surprised, but didn’t flinch. “It’s never too bad,” she said. “You need to learn from the bottom up.”