Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First week impressions

I've now got two days of work under my belt at the summer internship. Yesterday was all training, and we didn't even get to go to our sections, so today felt like the first day. Yesterday we got the background info, got our ID badges, did a computer training, and did a lot of socializing. I have met a lot of people from a lot of different places - New York, DC, Minnesota, North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, even a guy who is from Central Texas!

My section is quite small, and there are only three other interns there. One of them is supposed to be leaving within a week or two. The two main supervisors for us are out of town right now, so things are a little slow. They should pick up rapidly once they return. I am really excited to get to work because there are so many cool things on the horizon.

Monday was, of course, a holiday, and I attended a parade along Constitution Avenue. It was extremely hot and humid that day, and I surprised myself by attending the parade. I originally intended to visit the National Museum of American History, but I ended up finding a shady spot and waiting for the parade. It was the National Memorial Day Parade, so it celebrated veterans and the military. There were a few celebrities, some more interesting than others. (Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, and Gary Sinise on the interesting side and some guy from American Idol, a girl from The Voice, and Miss America on the less interesting side.) It was also interesting to see some veterans, especially the old timers from WWII.

When they marched by with a little banner to remember the Spanish-American War, I thought of my great-grandfather, Daniel. He was stationed in Cuba during the "War with Spain," as it is labeled in the National Archives, and he contracted malaria, which led to a variety of other health ailments. He got extremely, tragically sick and his last days were pretty awful. It was grim to read the letters and other things in his pension file at the Archives.

Last night we had a thunderstorm, which was very exciting for me. I expected it to be more severe, as they had watches and such out, but it was only an average thunderstorm. Still, it was great to hear thunder and see lightning after all of this time.

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