“I expect some new phases of life this summer, and shall try to get the honey from each moment.” – Lucy Stone
I spent the second half of my summer at home in Ohio as an intern. I had two internships this summer, one with a nonprofit called Jewish Family Service Association (JFSA) and the other working for the reelection campaign of my State Senator, Kevin Coughlin.
JFSA is a social service agency that provides programs to over 5,000 families – of all different faiths – every year. At JFSA, I worked in marketing, communications, and development. This internship was cool because I was able to write some articles for their publications (like on Russian cuisine . . . mmm mmm, serve up some more cow tongue) and do research for possible grants and funders. It is always amazing to me that organizations like JFSA are financially able to stay afloat because they offer so many different services to so many different people.
Working for the campaign was pretty cool too. I had the opportunity to help plan two press conferences, talk to constituents, and learn about local and state politics. Much of my time on the campaign was spent simply trying to inform constituents who Senator Coughlin is, his accomplishments, and what he is interested in achieving. I feel many people are apathetic to or disillusioned by politics, which I find disappointing. Senator Coughlin demonstrated to me first hand that there are politicians who actually care about their job and the people they represent. People are often quick to complain, but slow to consider how they might influence change. An easy way to do this is through active citizenship – and that starts with voting, but more importantly, informed voting.
With the remainder of my free time, I hung out with my friends and family. I got hooked on “Grey’s Anatomy” with my friend Alicia and had fun dinners with my friend Janice. The whole gang usually headed out to wing night on Tuesdays, a tradition since high school that is still always too filling. And my Mom and I were always running. Our marathon training has been intense, but hopefully it will pay off in the end. I helped my brother with college searching and applications and joked around with my Dad. All in all, I think it was a pretty busy and exciting summer.
“We were like peas and carrots, Jenny and I.” -Forrest Gump
I spent the first half of my summer in Ithaca. Many people told me that spending a summer in Ithaca should be as much of a graduation requirement as passing the swim test (yes, for all of you prospectives, also a requirement for graduation – if you don’t know how to swim, no worries, you’ll learn!) After spending part of a summer at Cornell, if the administration did push for this requirment, I wouldn’t have a problem. Life in Ithaca throughout the month of June really made me realize why those “Ithaca is GORGES” shirts sell like hotcakes.
For one, the weather is wonderful. Cornell is really beautiful during any season in my opinion, but the summer was especially nice. I had a lot of fun exploring different parts of the campus, like the Cornell Plantations. I also had much more time to check out Ithaca. From the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, to concerts on the Commons, to potlucks and kickball on the Arts Quad, to movies outside on the Willard Straight terrace – there was never a dull moment.
This summer was the first time I lived on my own in an apartment, which was quite a fun adventure. I lived with Alex, who was one of my roommates from freshman year, and Soy, who is also a tour guide. It was pretty awesome. Alex and I would walk to work in the morning and sometimes eat dinner together while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” on channel 16. I’m about 99.99% sure this show will never be nominated for an Emmy, but Alex and I still enjoyed analyzing the overly dramatic personalities and actions of the dancers. And – in all honesty – channel 16 was the only one our old TV (which, by the way, I found in a closet when we moved into the apartment) picked up, so we couldn’t complain too much.
Soy and I spent our evenings checking out internships and writing cover letters. She is also headed to Cornell in Washington in the fall, so I’m pretty excited to continue our good times there. We would catch up on the day’s events from work at CIVR. Spending eight hours a day interacting with the visitors who come to campus and answering the random calls we always receive (“I just want to find someone who can teach old ladies how to hip hop” -A recent request . . .) always is fun, busy, and entertaining. My job at CIVR has introduced me to a lot of great people, as the staff tends to be very upbeat and excited about Cornell. I’ve made a lot of great friends at work, and it was tons of fun spending time with them in and outside of Day Hall, our department’s headquarters.
Many of my other friends were in Ithaca too, involved in a variety of opportunities. Some were taking classes, completing research, or just working. Even though I was at CIVR pretty much full time, my month of June was still very social and relaxing. I think most others would attest to similar experiences during a summer in Ithaca. It was hard saying goodbye to Cornell and all of the people I know there, as I will not be back on campus until January. And some of my friends are off campus in the spring or for a full year, so I won’t see them until senior year, which is crazy to me!
Bottom line – do at least part of a summer in Ithaca. Good food, fun, company, and a tan.
My friend Elana’s cake from our Flag Day Fiesta