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State Capitol Book Report

By Janae Smith



I Janae Smith, went to the state capitol in Austin Texas on February 17, 2009. It took about 4 hours just to drive there. My mom read about Mrs. Susan King sponsoring Ten students to the state capitol so she called her office and I received one of the slots. She is always trying to give me every opportunity she can. I had never been to a state capitol before so I was curious to see what it was all about. When we got to Austin, we had to find a hotel. We found one right down the street from the capitol. After we got settled in, we went to pick up my cousin Kyra who is going to college majoring in criminal justice. We all decided to go out to eat at the Pappadeaux restaurant. It was a very good place to eat. After we ate, my mom and I dropped my cousin back to her dormitory and we went back to the hotel and fell asleep. The next day when I woke up, I was so happy that I was going to the capitol I didn’t know what to do. When we arrived I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen. The place was so big that we had to walk a long time. First, we went to Representative Susan King office and Mrs. King had a sign on her door that said Welcome Janae Smith “honorary page”. I was so glad to see my name on the door that I took a picture with me standing right next to it. We went inside her office but she was about to go to a meeting so me and my mom went with her. We walked downstairs with Mrs. King while she explained everything to us. We sat and waited for Cory her assistant to come and take me back to her office to show me around. He was a big, tall looking guy. Next, my mom went on a tour of the capitol while I went with Cory. It was not even 2 minutes when the sergeant in arms came and took me to their waiting area for all the details.. We just sat there for 30 minutes before the first detail came. We went downstairs to bring one Representative a cart for papers. After that, the Sergeant in arms walked me over to the House of Representative to wait for Rep. Susan King since the house meeting was about to begin. Later, she came to get me then we walked over to her desk. This was a big room with 150 laptop computers/desk in this room. Each desk had a phone underneath it for the representatives to use. I actually sat in Mrs. King chair while she kneeled down next to me. The president of the house bang the gavel and called the room to order. We had to push a green button down for yes, but it really said aey and no said nay which was a red button. Every body started shaking hands, taking pictures, and speaking on the platform that was called the dyess. I was amazed at how many people were there and everyone had something different to do. People were sitting and watching in the balcony because they weren’t allowed to be on the floor. Mrs. King introduced me to a lot of important people. Later she took me to a room that had everybody’s criminal record in there. She opened a cabinet and took out some paper, held it by the top and it fell to the floor. It was very very long. It was for the people that had to go to court to find out if they were guilty or innocent and find out if they had to go to jail or not. The house meeting was about making a bill for criminals. After that Susan King took me to a room for lunch where I ate a burrito and some ice cream in a cup. All she said was put that on my tab and we left. I had no idea why she kept saying put that on my tab until my mom explained it. We went back to the house of rep where two men were arguing on the floor. They were having a debate about something so the one that debated the most won his case. It was very interesting. I got a chance to answer Mrs. King telephone during the sessions and take messages for her. I even read a document and picked out all the important facts to brief at the podium. We went in the front of the room where you had to ask Madam to speak. Mrs. King introduced me as her honorary page and assistant. She taught me a lot about the capitol and explained every detail no matter how big or small as long as I understood what was happening all the way to the end. After the end of the house meeting, Rep. Susan King told me to call Cory on the phone to ask if my mom was there waiting for me and he said yes, so she told him to bring her down there as fast as they could. She had talked to the president to arrange for me and my mom to take a picture on the dyess stage while I was holding the gavel. When we were finished she walked us outside to this little elevator that brought us right back inside the state capitol on her office floor. She gave us a souvenir calendar then walked us to the gift shop where we said by and I gave her a big hug. I was so happy I got the chance to visit the capitol to see what all goes on inside. I’m so glad my mom called to get me a slot to be sponsored by Mrs. King. It was a great opportunity that I will never forget. My mom and I stayed a little while longer and shopped at the gift store then we went to the center of the capitol entry way and stood on the star just to hear the echo when you speak. If you don’t stand in the center of the star the echo won’t work. It’s really cool and it makes you wonder how did they create that? Finally, we had to leave for home so we went outside to take a few pictures around the capitol but it was raining so we didn’t stay very long. On the way home, I was so happy that I talked about my day to my mom almost all the way home until I fell asleep. This was the best expeirence ever.

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