I am very sad to be the first summer intern to leave and I can’t believe that it is already time to part ways with the APA Program. The internship was a great experience and I gained many valuable memories. This summer, I was able to help with the APA 101 exhibition. My role was to find images for various topics that will be highlighted. I really learned to keep an open mind when doing this because each initial search would spin off into five additional ones! It really emphasized to me how much history there is that needs to be shared in a stimulating way in order to engage people.
I racked my mind for one specific event that stood out for me this summer to talk about and it was very hard to limit myself. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I went on a walkthrough that was open to staff, interns, and volunteers a few days before the festival opened. We discovered that most exhibits take around four or five years to put together. The amount of hard work that goes into each part of the festival is astounding and I could only imagine how rewarding the end result would be. For a few days, I braved the intense D.C. heat to walk through different festival tents (my favorite section was the land-grant college tents—it was great to see all the innovative ideas from around the country).
The biggest thing I learned about this experience is that a lot of time and effort goes into everything done at the Smithsonian, so the people who work here have to be passionate about what they do. No minute detail is overlooked. I am going to miss being around such passionate people!