Personalities in the District

Through work and weekend adventures, I’ve met some amazing people in the DC area.  Sharing their stories is a part of my job, but I also enjoy reading stories or profiles about unique individuals.  I’ve extensively studied this condensed form of biography, and I am happy to see it so successfully employed in a full-scale campaign called American Wonks.  Admittedly, I’m late to pick up on this one, but having just moved to DC and hearing the word Wonk for the first time, I had to question what it means.  What I found is a creative new  world and a brilliant way to capture not only the personalities of American University but of the city itself.

According to the campaign website, “Wonk is a simple, memorable, and uniquely Washington term with serious smarts behind it.”  It’s a made-up word – KNOW spelled backwards, and awkward enough to catch your attention.  That’s the point.  It starts a conversation, so the Wonks can tell the world who they are, what they do, and the impact they have.

Telling your story is a predominant theme for this past week, as I just finished reading Blowing My Cover, by Lindsey Moran.  The ex-CIA officer details her recruitment into the agency, beginning with her childhood dream.  She continues to grow up through her five years of service, beginning with an intense recruitment process, military-style training on The Farm, and assignment oversees.  Though she stresses how her family and friend connections disintegrate as she immerses herself in the work, these relationships make the story.  It is only when she immerses herself underwater that she sees what she wants out of life and that she wants out of the CIA.  The pages turn quickly thanks to her clear and clever writing style, but characteristic of the subject-matter, it seems that some parts of her life stay undercover, at least for now.


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1 Comment

  1. arlusk

     /  August 1, 2011

    Amy, I love this one. It’s truly coming to understand DC when you start to see how people identify with their politics.


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