The Intern Diaries: No Nightlights in 1837?

Week two of my summer internship has come and gone. Here’s what I’ve been up to – including helping with fun children’s programs and channeling my inner history nerd.

Check out the first segment here: The Intern Diaries: Livin’ La Vida Library

Getting Tech-y

The library recently opened a new space called the Digital Media Studio, which houses a variety of tech equipment, including iMac computers, a soundproof recording room, professional camera gear and lighting, microphones and a floor-to-ceiling green screen backdrop.

I kicked off the week by helping lead a program called iMake Monday, a session that teaches kids ages 7-12 and teens ages 13-18 how to use the Apple applications iMovie and Garage Band. Working with kids takes a lot of patience, but it was so much fun sharing little tips and tricks, such as using the green screen to change backdrops. The kids were easily entertained and eager to take goofy pictures and make short movies. One group of boys decided to use the green screen curtain as a giant blanket, which was really clever/funny for the first five minutes (until they kept tripping over each other and knocking into chairs).

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iMake Monday was a lot of fun!

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In high school, I was lucky enough to have a school-issued Macbook, but many students do not have access to these resources. It is an amazing feeling to know that kids who visit the library have the chance to be exposed to the latest technology. I am looking forward to assisting with this program throughout the duration of my internship!

Blast From The Past

Later in the week, I spent time at the Follett House Museum, a historic home built in 1837, and in the library’s archives area, where I continued drafting write-ups for three exhibits I have the chance to revamp and relocate in the museum. I really do enjoy the process of researching and uncovering the history of the community. It is not everyday that I am able to use/study resources such as 19th century newspaper articles and early maps of the city drawn on parchment paper. This experience has been valuable in introducing me to a new environment and a different style of writing.

Deep in thought.

Night Day At The Museum

One funny/interesting task I have at the Follett House is turning off the lights and closing the window curtains at the end of the day. For the most part, this did not scare me too much (key words: “too much”) until I got to the “toy room,” which features a vast collection of 19th century dolls and toys. Yeah. (I will be 20 in October, and I secretly wish the museum had a nightlight of some sort.) During the day, I did not think twice about entering the doll-filled room – but the second I turned off the lights, I practically sprinted into the hallway. In another part of the house, I closed the curtains, turned around and thought a dress form was a person. I’m glad there are not any hidden cameras (that I know of) – because I may or may not have looked like the protagonist of a horror film.

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OK, I will admit, this little guy is pretty cute. (He is my only source of comfort in a sea of dolls!)

Another fun fact: one of the hidden gems of the Follett House is a small hatch that leads to a rooftop lookout point, known as the Widow’s Walk. I learned how to open the hatch, which looks like a skylight, but consists of two pieces of wood that detach and lead to the roof. (I wish I had a picture, but I probably would have a.) fallen, b.) dropped my phone, or c.) all of the above if I tried to open the contraption while capturing the moment.)

The Takeaway

Each new day brings new responsibilities, new activities and new discoveries. I have learned the importance of improvising/using my best judgement in awkward situations or in “open-ended” moments with little direction. I have also found how important it is to be flexible when it comes to daily schedules and routines; in any professional environment, it seems as though things can change at the drop of a hat, and having an open mind goes a long way.

As for the whole “turning off the lights in creepy rooms” ordeal – I’m hoping it will get easier with time. (Stay tuned for updates.)

Here’s to being “the intern,”


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