Caught in Between began in September 2008. Since then, it’s been home to four authors and 161 posts. You can still follow Dominique D. on her current blog, In a Different Light, and Lauren B. on her current blog, A Senior Moment. You can read all four years of Jessica K.’s entries here and read Roxi R.’s entries here. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Caught in Between, and please continue to visit Hopkins Interactive!
So, after my awesome internship ended, I had about a week and a half to just chill at home and do nothing. It was so boring. I wasn’t made to do nothing. I guess this is why I’ve had a job every year since the summer after my freshman yr of high school and even during the school years I was doing something. And no, I will not turn into a workaholic when I get older haha. I just cannot stand to sit around…I get anxious and weird and start literally losing my mind. I have yet to learn how to just be.
I feel like antsy high school seniors who have in mind the schools to which they want to apply, and are excited to move on with their lives but aren’t quite ready yet. Well, unlike you all, I only have one school on my list of public health grad schools and I am pretty much so clueless about the whole process. In high school, my mom was breathing down my neck about everything (think labeled folders with materials from each college) and now she is as clueless as I…which is fine because I am an adult now and should be able to deal with this on my own right? *cue nervous awkward laugh*
But hopefully as time moves on, I’ll figure it out. It’s harder because unlike HS where EVERYONE is going to college, in college, everyone is NOTTTTT going to grad school, and those who are aren’t even applying at the same times.
This is freaking me out so I’ll do what any other normal college senior does and not think about it. :)
Anyways, I am about to be really busy with RA training. An RA is a resident advisor–an upperclassman who lives in a dorm with residents and is responsible for making living there pretty much so awesome. I hope I can live up.
OH and btw, this is my last post on this blog…follow me on my new senior year blog In A Different Light!
Apologies for my lengthy absence from the world of blogging. Hope you have all been having a wonderful summer!
My blog disappearance can be wholly blamed on my own failure to understand the commitment of a full-time job. The learning curve was steep, and a few weeks into my internship, I felt I had to duck out of blogging for the sake of my own sanity and those forced to spend time with me. (For those of you just joining, I spent the summer as a Summer Business Analyst with McKinsey, a global consulting firm). I’d had jobs before, on and off campus, but nothing quite prepared me for the round-the-clock emails, travel, and strict deadlines.
During ten weeks of work, though, I adjusted–things went from impossible, to stressful, to just challenging. I learned everything from logistics (how do I get a new charger/better coffee/more sleep) to basic business survival skills (e.g. Excel modeling–my personal hell), and was able to serve two exciting clients during my summer. I traveled to DC, Philly, Boston and LA, met some of the most crazy accomplished people I’ve ever seen, and generally got my first real look at the wide world of adulthood.
I finished up this past Friday and am still in shock, but thrilled to report that I was extended a full-time offer to return after I graduate. I haven’t accepted my offer yet, but I’m feeling pretty good about it. I learned so much in ten weeks that the chance to return for a full two years slightly boggles my mind. I’m sure I will learn things I didn’t even know I didn’t know. The one thing tugging at my heart is the chance to return to Africa after graduation, perhaps with the Fulbright program. The jury’s out for now, but it would be an amazing opportunity, and a great excuse to return to this place.
In the meantime, though, I have the slightly unreal luxury of an application-free senior year. On the plus side, this means much more time to explore Baltimore, take interesting classes, catch up with friends, and generally enjoy myself. On the downside, this may mean that senioritis sets in…now.
I’ll blog more in the next few weeks about the non-job related things that happened this summer, but I thought it only fair to explain why exactly I had gone AWOL on you all.
Here’s to a wonderful August, hoping the heat finally breaks, and a very happy 19th birthday to my sister, Suzi!
P.s. photo at top courtesy of the New York Times.
(WARNING: This blog is for the serious blog readers…it’s long! sorry :( But hopefully worth it…)
This whole summer I’ve been in the middle of it all. And I’ve been lovin’ it.
That’s one of the reasons I took this internship–I wanted to be in the community. Yes, I live in Baltimore, but I have never really been IN Baltimore, doing meaningful work in places that look like something you’d see on The Wire.
(SIDENOTE/RANT And because I know you’re thinking this, and because I may get this question…I’ll say that the show is accurate in its depictions of its pieces of Baltimore–but guess what y’all–it’s not all of Baltimore! The show does a good job of DOING WHAT IT’S SUPPOSED TO DO–show the problems of Baltimore in their truest, rawest forms. I would be a LIAR if I didn’t say that urban blight was real and a serious issue. But dang flabbit if you all think that ALL of Baltimore is like that! IT’S NOT! And I hope you’ve seen many of the positive things Baltimore does have to offer through the other students’ blogs to back up my assertion. And those blogs don’t even cover all of it, to put our city in perspective. /ENDRANT :) )
So yea, that’s not the point of this blog. The point is to show how I can see this place as beautiful even though I see these “wire like” things every day. Yes, even with it’s problems, Baltimore is a beautiful place, and it is VERY possible to enjoy it and all that it has to offer in the middle of it all. Just give Baltimore a chance to be Baltimore. Don’t close yourselves off. Talk to people in the community. They don’t bite :) Do service and get to know the problems and why they exist, rather than just know that they DO exist. Learn about the wonderful non profits working to change people’s lives step by step. As Hopkins students, we can easily do two different things: stay stuck in our bubble and do nothing really meaningful in Baltimore (ME FOR 2.5 YEARS–FAIL) or reallllly get involved (WHAT YOU SHOULD DO!) Why complain and not try to be a part (no matter how ‘small’ but a part nonetheless) of the solution?
So I work in Sandtown-Winchester, a neighborhood in West Baltimore. More specifically, I work on Pennsylvania Avenue, which used to be a THRIVING place. Musicians like Cab Calloway, Diana Ross, and Billie Holliday stopped on Pennsylvania Avenue to perform in the Royal Theater…it was one of THE places to perform if you wanted to be somebody. Pennsylvania Avenue had theaters, clubs, dance halls, Black owned shops, and comfortable black businesses and homes.
So yea life happened…shops closed, MLK was assassinated, race riots happened, jobs disappeared, people moved away, and Sandtown declined.
If you were to take a walk along there today, you wouldn’t see the historic Pennsylvania Avenue…take a look:
What’s here now? Chinese food stores (I went to one for lunch the other day though, it was good and cheap!) , liquor stores, nail salons (went to one of those too last week…nice and cheap and good!! you find some gems in the hood :) ), little mom n pop stores, clothes/shoes shops, old store fronts, rowhomes, beauty supply stores…no major stores or retailers.
People wandering the streets at all hours of the day and night. I had the wonderful experience of getting lost last night (with a GPS too…I’m great) and getting twisted up on some streets I really didn’t want to be on, and I’m sure the people I saw wandering them didn’t want to be there either but unlike me, they really didn’t have a choice.
But here is the beauty in the middle of it all I was talking about. THE PEOPLE. THE COMMUNITY. THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP THE COMMUNITY.
Whatchu talkin’ bout, Dominique?
Aight. So my work again. I pulled up on the first day and saw this sign:
And I was like “Whaaa? WHERE am I?” And ya… we’ve seen this activity around my job. And some other weird things. One day I came outside and some teenager was banging on my car and I had to deal with that situation (he was just sitting there tho, bored and using his hand, not a tool or anything so that was good); some guy beating up his girlfriend across the street; a small mob up the street from my job that stabbed a boy (that was at night though).
Maybe in a former life I’d be fazed by it, but I’m not now. And that’s because I am surrounded by people who love this community despite its shortcomings and are willing to live in it and love on it until it changes. THAT’S BEAUTY. (Don’t get me wrong, I HATE that this stuff happens and I’m NOTTTTTT excusing the behavior because it’s terrible, but what I’m saying is that I am touched that there are people who have hearts big enough to be filled with compassion to want to stay and help these issues rather than turn around, GIVE UP, and run away. Ya feel me?)
People can look from the outside in and turn their noses up at Baltimore all they want but what are they doing to help? I care about the opinions of the people who are putting themselves in the middle of it all each and everyday to make a difference in their beloved communities. You put the help where it is needed…so if that means people have to move into these communities to help them, then so be it. That’s why I love my internship–everyone working here lives in Sandtown. People don’t try to come from the outside in to “fix” Sandtown, then go home to other places…they move here and LIVE here and have lived here and are working to transform it HONESTLY from the inside out.
Baltimore is a friendly place too. Yea, people can be abrasive, but they will say hello and good morning even if you don’t know them. That’s beauty, right? You have to be willing to put yourself out there and say “hello” to see the friendliness. How many people actually do that? Now, I’m not saying be dangerous and put yourself out there to creepers…so don’t tell your parents that I said that!!! But I mean just when you’re in a store or in a place doing work, saying a simple howdy or good morning or hello…you know what I mean. And you’ll see that this is quite the friendly place.
The biggest thing I’ve seen in Sandtown is the urban ministry though. I won’t go into the details, but urban ministry has been what’s really been giving Sandtown that sense of community. If you’ve ever traveled around Baltimore city, in the really blighted areas, you will notice that there are churches on every corner. Literally. Here, there’s a philosophy of Relocation (moving and living among the people), Reconciliation (the heart of the church), and Redistribution (giving resources equally). If you’re interested in learning more about Sandtown, here is a really good article, a nice quick read, about it: http://www.sndtwn.org/urbanite1104.pdf
That being said, I’ve already been planning to come back to Martha’s Place (name of my internship) to support its events; to attend the ladies’ graduation ceremonies; to just check up on them; to help out when needed…I’ve formed a relationship and I can’t just stop it now. I mentioned before that my first 2.5 years here, I didn’t do any kind of steady service. (I just started this spring semester) But being here this summer has shown me that it’s a two-way street. I help and I get helped. Service is one of the really good ways to get to know this place and it’s not a cookie cutter thing–there are several types of problems that requires several types of solutions.
So yea, that’s why Baltimore is beautiful to me. I’d never heard of anything like this before working at my internship this summer–this sense of character, pride, and love–in the middle of it all. And it’s there for everyone able and willing to see it! :)
I do that a lot–my gas tank gets on E and then I end up running on fumes. I like being busy and I guess I forget that I need to take a break–and this means taking a break from fun also. As in just sleeping. And BEING.
I took my GRE exam yesterday (Like the SAT for graduate school) and it has been the bane of my existence for the past month or so. I had to rush to study for it and take it because I didn’t know I only had until the middle of July before the format changed to something with which I’d be completely unfamiliar. So, I sucked i up, paid my 160$ (WHAT?????) and started studying for the exam.
It was weird having to remember math from 10th grade but it came back pretty easily. What was worse was the Verbal section, which requires one to know thousands of antiquated words in the hopes that the ones you do know will show up on the exam. Not too bad if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m not into that kind of thing LOL.
Anyway, I took it and got a score which I feel is decent, so I’m happy it’s over and I can have my life back! I have so much left to do this summer because Baltimore has so much to offer. If you’re thinking about coming here for college (which you probably are since you’re reading this blog ;) ), keep in mind that the adventurous spirit is the happiest here.
What do I have left to do?
-Take a DC day trip to the Smithsonian and the Zoo
-ARTSCAPE (America’s largest free outdoor festival)
-American Visionary Arts Museum
-Great Blacks in Wax Museum
-15 fitness classes at the Baltimore Merrit Athletic Club Downtown (whoohoo!)
-NY trip with one of my best friends and her summer roommate from France who just HAS to have the touristy NYC experience
-Picnic in Sherwood Gardens
But before all of that, I need to take time to just BE. and SLEEP. I think we forget that sometimes. If some of you guys are rising seniors and starting the application process (as I am for grad school, YIKES!). take time for yourselves because it’s about to get hectic!
I think that is about all for now! I’ll be back soon with more on my internship as it end in the coming weeks :(
Until next time,
Just hours after graduation, my brother and dad attempted to move everything I was ready to part ways with out of my apartment. I watched as my bed, my textbooks, and my photos – which I thought were essential to my identity – were loaded up into a moving truck. It’s times like these when I question materialism. Maybe simplicity is really the answer to many of the stresses in life.
My plan had been established for months: I was to be a member of the 4K for Cancer cross-country bike ride to San Francisco. Over 80 donors had donated to my rider fund. They wanted to see that I went on this trip. I would be riding for them and their dedications, many of them part of the Hopkins community: from Dr. Carl Taylor – the founder of the academic discipline of international health – to a recent graduate starting chemo.
In three days, following two days of orientation, I would dip my back wheel into the Inner Harbor and have the odd experience of biking out of college. I’d part ways with Baltimore – a city that day after day since 2007 had grown to become my home. I was biking away from home. This was the plan. I had known I wanted to do this trip for so long and, yet, I felt anything but ready.
“Would you like your graduation present now?” he said.
I laughed. Couldn’t he tell that this was the last thing I needed? My brother had given me a large, sky blue duffel bag as my graduation present. That bag and its contents was all I would need for 70 days of biking and sleeping. And then that duffel bag would follow me to Vietnam for one or maybe two years. Over the past month, I had a compounded transition. Orientation for both Princeton in Asia – the fellowship program I got my job through – and 4K for Cancer. Both of which felt like college orientation all over again. In both we were told to go in with an open mind and pack less than you think you need to.
Reluctantly, I opened up the gift to find… a desk box. The old Gilman tower – which had already become a memory of my time at Hopkins – was prominently featured on the lid. My full name monogrammed underneath. Inside, there was an envelope, room for, well, desk objects, and a mirror on the inner lid. I laughed.
“Dad, I don’t think that is going to make the duffel bag cut. For one, I do not have a desk…,” I said.
This could be the last thing I needed in my life, I thought. I really didn’t have a desk – my dad, friend, and I had conveniently lost my desk moving between apartments in Baltimore in December. Enclosed in the envelope was a letter from my dad. Another thing I just couldn’t handle in my life. Over the last couple of days I had received one too many – I assumed, but had not had the courage to find out – thoughtfully written letters from friends and family. I was in denial that I was the first one of my group of friends to be leaving the Blue Jay nest. I had heard one too many “take a picture with me before I never see you again.” And, well, even my mother was asking when she would see me again and if she would ever get that one week vacation with me that she had hoped for years for.
I glanced at my reflection in the mirror: the exhausted face of a college graduate who had finished a draft of her never ending thesis too recently, failed to say goodbye to the people, especially colleagues, who had made my Hopkins experience what it was, and who was still trying – but seemed to be failing –at being grateful for the immediate support my family was giving me to make sure my plan went, well, as planned.
I started writing this blog in a bedroom in Kansas. I was unsure what town I was exactly in and whose bedroom I was falling asleep in. I’m currently writing this blog from a church in Colorado. I cycled – or more like climbed – the highest continuously paved highway in the U.S yesterday. Right now life really is a highway, just like the Rascal Flatts song says it is.
Despite my cycling style – slow and steady – my life is moving fast: too fast to have keys to a bedroom or to care that I don’t have a computer for months. And, well, I’ve been told my teammates that they like the way I pace on this literal highway of life. So, although I do question myself, maybe, for now, I should just keep peddling on.
My dad has reassured me that that box will be there for me when I reach that point in my life that my pace has slowed down. When I am ready to take mementos – the ones that are currently collecting dust in New Jersey – out of my desk box and reflect on my time at Hopkins. You know, when I’m ready to open and store those sealed envelopes from my support network.
I’ll admit that I already do reflect on my time at Hopkins. And that I know there will be plenty more reflection during those lonely times in Hanoi. A Hopkins lanyard that I bought freshman year is tangled on my front handlebar and I cycle with it each and every day. That lanyard will most likely end up in that desk box. Hopkins made me stronger.
Strong enough to build a path – mainly because of the opportunities offered and the people that I met – that I don’t think I would have taken otherwise. Freshman year did I ever think I’d be biking across the country? No. Doing research in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland, and Vietnam? Absolutely not. Did I ever think that I’d challenge myself to an environmental engineering class and a photography class? Definitely not. And what about voluntarily taking an extra semester to work with a history professor on a thesis? Surely not.
Sure, I have my own biased advice that I think made my Hopkins experience what it was.This includes working on C-Level the day before a big assignment or test, making friends on M-Level, leaving a fraternity party if it’s not your scene, studying abroad, getting a job, writing a thesis, volunteering in admissions. But, in all honestly, there is no specific advice I can give. Just go with it.
My brother left me on graduation day saying, “I’ll see you when I see you. And if I don’t see you soon, I’ll assume that you’re happy.” Hopkins made me ready for this goodbye. As strong as I can be. Without me knowing – “as by magic or sorcery” – I got through that metamorphosis I wrote about the summer before my freshman year.
And, with that, goodbye, Hopkins Interactive. I’ll see you when I see you (in a guest alumni blog that I already have in the works, perhaps). But, until then, I’ll be pacing on, even if it means the occasional covering in expired pancake mix.
I guess I should write about my internship, huh? :)
We’re 5 weeks in and I really don’t get how. Like I don’t understand how it has been possible for time to fly by SO QUICKLY. I really did just get there! Wow. Wowowowowowow. Hard to believe I will be finished in 3 measly weeks. If you couldn’t tell, I’m upset about this.
So this internship is thru Hopkins, namely thru the Center for Social Concern–Community Impact Internship Program. An anonymous donor (if you happen to be reading this blog very randomly, I’d just like to say THANK YOU so much for giving students like me who want to be in the community but weren’t quite sure how, this opportunity…words cannot express how grateful I am :) ) gave 1.25 million dollars to the CSC for this program and for 5,000$ internships. I bit my lip, applied, and was accepted along with 24 other eager and socially-concerned students of all ages. Read more here: JHU Gazette Article
So, Martha’s Place. This is a transitional housing center for women seeking to overcome drug addiction and homelessness. Now, I can’t really tell you what compelled me to choose this area of social concern except for curiosity. The application allowed us to rank areas of interest–environmental issues, women, children and family issues, criminal justice, health policy, and education. I guess it was more process of elimination and the desire to try something new. I was VERY skeptical at first (why do we do that? Like why are we scared of trying new things?) but I am so glad I’m here now. I’d never really thought about drug addiction and homelessness beyond what those things superficially presented themselves as–sad situations that needed to be fixed. But, being here has made me see addiction in a different light, and it’s made me see the strength of willpower and desire.Here, addiction is seen as a disease that can be treated.
And of course, it’s all public healthy–but on the community side. Last summer, my amazing internship was health policy focused and all of the things we did affected urban areas in southwest Michigan. But there was no interaction with the community. This summer, I am deep in the community and seeing the ramifications of public health and health policy from a distance–so it’s cool seeing things from the opposite side.
Women in the program have to have completed a 28-30 day detox treatment program before entering. So MP is more of a recovery place than a treatment facility, and focuses on making the women independent. How?
-Structure. The house has strict rules that many of these women aren’t used to. Keep in mind several never grew up in stable homes, so having a 6pm curfew, having to be told to do chores (that get checked daily), having to have your bags searched and receipts checked everytime you enter your own house, not being allowed to have a cell phone, having to have someone else manage your money for you…and much more…would be quite strange. Upon first glance this may seem harsh, but for people who never had to live by rules, it’s kind of necessary.
-Focus on job attainment. The women have to diligently search for jobs every day. Many have records, so this is hard, but not impossible. Martha’s Place sets them up with a job employment agency and works with the ladies on how to do job searches.
-Recovery and Restoration. Each day (except for weekends and holidays), the women have to attend 3 NA meetings as a part of their recovery. I actually went to one yesterday because one of the women was celebrating one year being clean and it was really something. Hearing her story about using drugs and being married to a drug dealer and doing all sorts of behavior she thought she would never do was just crazy. I loved her honesty and her willingness to remain clean, and I could see other people at the meeting were inspired. And of course, there were others who were just there, not really listening or getting anything from the meeting. But what I have been learning is that as long as they keep coming back, one day something may just click. That’s how it is most of the time–multiple failures before an addict finally gets tired of him/herself and finally decides to change–for good.
-Personal Enrichment. MP is under an umbrella organization called Newborn Holistic Ministries, so it has Christian foundations and the women are encouraged (though not forced) to embrace that. Whenever I am here, I see many of them reading Bibles and journaling, as well as writing letters. They can’t watch tv until 4pm so when they’re not cooking, job searching, or at NA meetings, they’re reading or writing usually.
-Therapy. The women meet with an addictions counselor weekly, as well as a therapist. They each also have a sponsor whom they can call when they are struggling and need someone really special to talk to. The sponsors are usually former addicts who are fully recovered.
I spend much of my time in the house at the front desk, working on various projects, answering phones, getting the ladies their medications and watching them take it, answering questions, monitoring phone usage, checking groceries and receipts, and other things. The other half of my time is spent at the administrative office across the street, where I talk with my supervisor about what needs to be done.
Of course, women living together is always weird ‘cuz cattyness comes out. And it’s encouraged that those feelings be talked about rather than suppressed. It’s weird being an intern because I hear a lot of behind the scenes stuff on the administrative side after things happen, but I don’t see them happen in real time. I guess being an intern is just weird that way in general. Being in this kind of place (a nonprofit I should say), I am allowed to hear more than I would at another type of agency because of the small amount of staff and just because of the real atmosphere. People’s lives are trying to be transformed so I guess there’s no need to be weird and hush hush–what needs to be said and done needs to be said and done and fixed. And I love that.
I think I will write a part 2 with more personal feelings about my internship as the end nears. Stay tuned! :)
(Before I start, I just wanna say that this is the 2nd anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, and if you didn’t notice, up until a few blogs ago I named all of my blogs from last year and this year after his songs because his music was and is just that awesome. So yea, for those who care, there is it is, and that was why I named my blogs after his music. However, I think it’s time to adopt a new naming tradition. But until I figure that out, I’ll go with ‘regular’ names. We love you MJ!)
I admit, I don’t know any Latin and I wanted to know how to say seize the summer instead of seize the day, so I Googled it. Forgive me if this is incorrect! Anyway, I had it in my head that I was going to make my last undergraduate summer as amazing as possible. I think it’s been working so far!
This summer, I am here in good old Bmoreeeee, living at my apartment and actually being around my Hopkins friends for the first time in terms of being here for the summer. We’re all the same and still close, but we’re old now. Well, you guys see us as old. I still see us as innocent freshmen entering in summer of 2008, waiting to see what was gonna happen. But I guess that’s not the case–we’re old and now I feel like we’re just “professional students” using this last year to apply to jobs and grad school while finishing up last minute requirements.
One of which is the GRE–so I have been crazily cramming for the exam in 3 weeks because of poor planning/neglect on my part. Thank God for serendipity through a random conversation with a person that led me to realize that I basically had no time to take it before the format changed in August. So I rushed to register for a day before any more spots got filled. I got shut out of later dates but oh well, I got what I could. I had a prep course last summer through the aforementioned amazing internship but wasn’t ready/able to take it until this summer so here goes nothing! First and last chance to get it right. So yep…3 week cramming starts now. I just made an intense study schedule complete with online practice exam allowances and I am slightly scared but such is life! If you were wondering, the GRE is kind of like the SAT, but for graduate school. THIS MEANS I AM GETTING OLD!
But I don’t want it to feel like that just yet, which is why I am seizing my summer and trying to make the most out of it. I am going to more places and trying new things and spending more money (if you knew me, you’d be shocked because I am quite possibly one of the cheapest people alive–but I came to the realization that in order to live a little, I’d have to spend a little) in order to do these things. I’m proud of myself thus far!
3 weeks ago my friends and I went to a Jazz and Blues Festival. Last weekend, I dragged my sister to NYC and we, along with a few 2011 graduates, saw a Spoken Word poetry show that was wonderful. I have spoken about my love/hate relationship with poetry before, but something compelled me to be open minded and to go to this show. I saw these poets on so many people’s FB pages and then I watched numerous videos of them on YouTube then I said wow I have to go to this show. Yes I was confused for a good bit of it but I enjoyed it nonetheless and am hoping to see more of them! If you’re interested in Spoken Word in the Black Arts Movement, these young people will blow your minds. Here’s their site: The Striver’s Row
This weekend, actually today, I am going to a dinner play with my mother and sister. I”m actually upset about that because There is ROOTSFest going on in Baltimore today, which is a celebration of the arts in an attempt to showcase Baltimore’s beauty and initiatives with regard to empowering citizens and the city itself through art, and Talib Kweli among others are giving free shows tonight. LATINOFest is also going on today! But both events will be going on tomorrow (just without the concerts :( ) so maybe I can stop by then.
Tomorrow, I will be taking advantage of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s of Maryland African American History and Culture FREE Admission because of its 6th anniversary, and there’s a lot going on with community events bringing attention to issues with black males so I am excited for that. I’ve been before but it’s always good to go again, especially when it’s free. A group of friends are coming with me as well, none of whom are black :) and I love stuff like that–when we reach out and explore cultures different from our own.
So yea Baltimore has a LOT going on in the summer! And it’s only June! Next on my list is the American Visionary Arts Museum–I got 7 dollar tickets from Groupon and am really excited to go because I keep hearing such cool things about it. I’ll write more about that place once I go but if you are interested now, google it. It’s known for it’s self-made artists, in a nutshell. Then a DC trip is in order. I haven’t really been to DC since I’ve been at Hopkins because I’ve never really had the time to go and do stuff (without being a tourist), so I am making that a priority!
And I’ve just been trying to expand my knowledge of things in general. Reading more news blogs and fewer junk blogs…things that are just more academic in nature. I am finishing up my Africana Studies minor this fall so I have been trying to read more on Black issues in America and beyond, namely in the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, and Brazil. And there’s always the good ‘ol reading for literary pleasure. :) But that will have to wait till I finish my 3 week GRE cram session.
So yes, carpe aestatem, till next time!
I’ve been spending my summer working for McKinsey, and most of the time I’ve been in D.C. Though slightly unexpected, this has given me the chance to catch up with some other Hopkins kids and hear about what they’ve been doing this summer. Everyone seems to be doing something different and exciting.
My roommate, Laura, decided to stay on campus and finish her scary senior design lab for engineering while working in Admissions and doing research. My friend Dani is working two jobs, at a lobbying organization in DC and at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Another friend, Megan, is working for JP Morgan in New York and living a fabulous life in the NYU dorms. I ran into girls from my sorority, Phi Mu, in DC as well–one was working for a senator, another for a PR firm. My boyfriend is an analyst at a private equity firm and he’s working with Students for Huntsman, part of Jon Huntsman’s campaign for president.
It’s been great to see what everyone’s been up to for the summer, and as a now rising senior, it’s interesting to think about what we all want to do when we graduate. Most of you are just beginning your college years though, not thinking about their end, so with that in mind I thought I could recommend a few relevant bucket list items for the last summer before college.
1. Do nothing, at least for a little bit. Re-learn how to spend an entire day without a to-do list, and remember that this might be the last summer for a while you can do that
2. Spend some time with your family and high school friends, get to know your home town a bit better before you leave.
3. Make some money. Babysit, mow lawns, waitress, get a real job if you feel so inclined. Having some spending money come September will be incredible helpful.
4. Do something you haven’t done before. Whether it’s checking a weird item off of your life bucket list (bungee jumping, going to another country, driving stick shift) or taking a class, learning a language, or working a job you’ve never thought of before, this is a great summer to do something different, and you might see something that changes your mind.
5. Spend a bit of time thinking about college, not in the scary to-do list way, but as a big picture. Do some research about on-campus activities. Shoot your advisor an email. Contact kids from your home town or high school who attend Hopkins. Think about what you want to get out of your freshman year.
I hope you’re all having a great summer, wherever you may be and whatever you may be doing. Happy June!
Now that I have gotten a good 3 weeks of summer in, I’ve had some time to think about life and school since my junior year has ended. I’m still shocked at that and getting emails that read “JHU [seniors]” is kind of freaking me out…I mean this is it! The last year! No more cushion and no more babying. It’s both terrifying and exciting at the same time. I feel like seniors aren’t real students anymore. Instead, we’re just professional students finishing up the last year just because we have to, but the real aim is to find a grad school or job. I’m “old” now and expected to know everything and to have been everywhere. That being said, the question of “Who am I?” still remains.
And I’m totally fine with that. Many friends are submitting applications to medical schools or taking the MCATs or LSATs, and many know exactly what they want to do after graduation–whether it’s work with a “corps” for a few years, whether it’s going straight to graduate school for a coveted degree, whether it’s to work with a specific or certain type of agency after college..I could go on. My mind keeps floating around now that I have to introduce myself as a rising senior, the question has already been coming. “Oh that’s so nice! What do you want to do?”
At this point, I dunno! I am making a list of public health graduate schools and also looking at possible jobs that I’d do before grad school. Buttttt in the midst of all that, I’m doing some soul searching in an attempt to work toward this question of who am I.
After classes ended, I went on my yearly beginning of summer retreat with my Christian group on campus, which was pretty awesome and I learned a lot about life and my future.
I didn’t do as well with my grades as I would have liked despite my hardest efforts, so coming to this retreat and getting some honest perspective about that was really encouraging and refreshing. Plus, just hanging out with my friends in a completely non school atmosphere was great! As you can see in the picture above, we climbed some sicknasty mountain that I thought would kill me but we made it up! On the way down though, the 85 degree angles got me and I fell and got owned by a rock but the scar isn’t too bad now :P
After that, I had a few days to chill before I began my internship at Martha’s Place, a transitional housing center in Southwest Baltimore for women trying to overcome drug addiction. I will admit, at first I was very wary of interning here because of my preconceived notions of the internship and how it would be set up, but I’m really glad I stuck with this site because I am enjoying it thoroughly and learning so much from it. It deserves its own entry, possibly two, so I will save my experiences thus far for a subsequent entry. Just know that it has definitely forced me to be completely out into the community, face to face with one of the biggest problems in Baltimore (drug addiction) and involved with a real way to help remedy that issue. It IRKS me when people complain about issues, like “omgee Baltimore is this and this and this” but aren’t doing anything to help anything. I don’t mean save the world–duh, no one can do that–I mean small things to get involved like volunteering once a week or once every two weeks, whatever! I just hate when there’s so much negativity but the positivity of what’s being done to HELP these issues is never discussed/done. ANYWAY off soapbox :) I’ve really enjoyed being here and I am learning a lot from the ladies and their struggles and I hope they don’t see me as some uppity kid from Johns Hopkins who is up in their space, but we’ll see what happens as time progresses.
So at this point in time, who am I? I’m a rising senior (gulp)…I’m an intern, I’m trying to be open minded and learn new things about my community and my surroundings, I’m trying to think about what I want to do with my future and with my life, and most of all I’m just trying to enjoy it. So I’ll be back soon with an entry about my internship! for now, I leave you with an image I saw on the way home from work. It was so good I had to take a pic of it from my car.