Editor pages for MD Senate

Nick Temple, Copy Editor and Nick Temple, Copy Editor

There is nothing to do in Annapolis.

Truly “a drinking city with a sailing problem,” you will be hard-pressed to find anything to do after dark in the Maryland State Capital, other than harassing state legislators. And, while that may sound entertaining, the shine wears off quite quickly.

I’ve now spent two weeks this year living and working in Annapolis as a student page for the Maryland State Senate, and I have learned many valuable lessons along the way. Among these lessons:

If you want a job done, send it to the Senate President Mike Miller. If you want a job done now, do it yourself.

The six pound milkshake at Chick and Ruth’s Delly isn’t as big as it sounds. It’s bigger. 

As a student page, I was offered an opportunity that most people outside of the Senate itself rarely receive: a place right on the floor, right in the thick of the action. Well, I suppose the “action” is a relative term: in two weeks. The longest session I saw lasted one hour and twelve minutes, and of all the bills that came to the final vote, I saw no more than a half-dozen “nay” votes cast.

Apparently the State Senate is not hotly contested.

Most of the actual work for pages takes place behind the scenes, photocopying papers, passing out copies of bills to each senator’s desk prior to their arrival, and, our most important duty, making coffee before each session. Once the session actually opens, Miller calls the Senate to order and we take our seats on the floor and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And get a cup of tea for Senator Gladden.

And wait.

If you’re lucky, you get to know one of the senators fairly well, as our group did with Senator Jeannie Forehand, who was kind enough to take all of the pages to the top of the State House rotunda – where we all got to carve our names into the walls of the dome.

But, by far, the most interesting part of the experience was seeing that our representatives are just people. Senator Harris is a doctor, Glassman works for BGE, Greenip and McFadden are schoolteachers. Senator Haines is a former dairy farmer. And although the political battles can often be heated, those fighting them have no problem going out to dinner together as soon as they’re over.

But the fun was not on the Senate floor. There were seventeen pages in Annapolis for week nine of the session (my second week in Annapolis), and we all shared the misery of the fun-less town. In a town this boring, it falls on the sufferers to make up some entertainment.

Many hours ticked off the clock as we sat in the lounge in the State House basement, lamenting our sad situation, trying to stave off overwhelming boredom.

So we went to Chick and Ruth’s and commiserated over comically large hamburgers and dueled with monstrous milkshakes. We became Annapolis Mall-rats, disrupting H&M and lounging around Spencer’s before dropping in on Bowtie Cinemas for a showing of Liam Neeson’s Taken (which was awful, by the way, but that’s neither here nor there). Ultimately, we had to resort to desperate measures: an Inner Harbor roadtrip.

It was a 45 minute drive, and we only spent 2 hours in the city, but they were the best two hours of the whole week, beyond the game of Twister we played in the State House basement. That was the week’s most valuable lesson: What happens on the Twister mat stays on the Twis- er, I mean, Baltimore is always the place to be.

That, ultimately, is the best thing to do in Annapolis: drive to Baltimore. Go to Vaccarro’s. Order a Colosseo. Anything to get out of the city that never wakes up, Annapolis, MD.