For the last two months, I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Summer Internship Program at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. This experience was so meaningful to me and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity, so I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my summer.
When I first arrived at the CHS campus on June 1, I was somewhat unsure what to expect. I knew that I would be working as an intern for Fellowships and Curricular Development (FCD), that I would be living and working with five other interns, and that I would be there for two months; other than that, I really couldn’t tell what I was getting myself into. Our first weekend here consisted of awkward introductions, tornado warnings, tentative ventures into the surrounding area of D.C., and misplacing one of our roommates, all combined with a total lack of Internet. It quickly became clear, however, that we were all a little bit nervous, extremely eager, and, most importantly, like-minded about the study of Classics. Through those early conversations, we slowly came to realize just how rare of an experience it was to live and work with other students in our discipline, and that we were about to spend the next two months together in a place that can be described as a paradise for anyone interested in promoting the Humanities.
As an FCD intern, I have gotten to work with several different conferences throughout the summer, including the Sunoikisis Course Development Seminars, the CIC conference on the Song Culture of Athenian Drama, the Homer Multitext Workshop, and a Symposium on Lyric Poetry. I’ve learned so much through assisting the conference participants and preparing the materials for the various seminars, and I’ve been able to benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of many of the attendees, both Classicists and non-Classicists alike. Within such a varied group of visitors, I was particularly struck by how excited everyone has been about learning. This is aided by the fact that almost all of our conference participants have been either professors or students, but the thirst for knowledge here seems to be limitless. Listening to these conferences and meeting the participants has broadened my perspectives and inspired me to continue my own studies, and I look forward to someday giving back to the Classics community and helping it grow and evolve.
I can certainly speak for my fellow interns when I say how much our whole experience here has exceeded our expectations. We have all enjoyed the work we’ve been doing, the great location of the campus, and the opportunity to pursue our own personal research interests using the library, but what has really enhanced our program is the wide range of people we’ve had the chance to meet. The transparency and accessibility of the CHS has given us the chance to connect with some of the great minds in Classics as well as some non-Classicists who are simply drawn to the mission of the Center, and this is most evident in the members of the CHS staff. It is exceptionally rare to find such a diverse group of individuals, each and every one of whom has taken a genuine interest in us in their own way. We are so grateful to each member of the staff for helping to make our experience here so pleasant and meaningful, and we would especially like to thank Allie Marbry, Lanah Koelle, and Noel Spencer for teaching us and guiding us, both professionally and personally, through the last two months.
Lastly, I would like to express my thanks to all of the other interns. I have truly enjoyed getting to know every one of you and am thankful for not only the work we have all done together but also the different ways that you have all encouraged me in my own pursuit of Classics. We have had countless good times together this summer and I feel so lucky to have shared this experience with the five of you. I can only wish you the best as you continue your studies and lives, and I sincerely hope to see each of you again some day.
For more information about all the summer programs offered through the Center for Hellenic Studies, you can visit our page here. If you are a student interested in applying for the Summer Internship Program in 2013, please feel free contact us here.