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  • Kaitlin 9:14 pm on March 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Nearing the End 

    I realized at the end of last week, that my time at my internship is coming to a close. I remember how nervous I was the first few days working at the office, but I quickly began to look forward to going in every day, and felt completely at home there. 

    The experience has been very valuable, I feel very prepared to enter any new place of work in the future. I have learned office etiquette that was best experienced firsthand, as well as typical office protocols. One of the major aspects of office life I had not expected to be as important as it was, was the use of email. Almost all communication at the office is at least begun over email, if not mostly conducted through email. I had to learn to continually check my email to not miss important details, and to conduct myself appropriately over the email listserv as well.

    Besides the technical aspects which my internship helped me improve upon, I also very much liked the friendly atmosphere of my office. The friendly people I met at work also made me feel more comfortable about fitting in easily in any new office I would work at, and I will miss them when my internship is over

    All in all, interning with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Center has really helped me feel comfortable about the new situations pursuing a career will put me in, not to mention its relevance to my major as a nice beginning to pursuing a career in Anthropology,

  • Kaitlin 12:58 am on March 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Still More Reasons I’m Happy to Intern with the Smithsonian… 

    Though I certainly don’t need any more reasons to be happy to intern with the Smithsonian, the past two weeks gave me still more opportunities to appreciate interning with the Smithsonian.

    Two Fridays ago I was able to go to the Embassy of Mexico’s Cultural Institute for a special viewing of the Elizabeth Catlett in Mexico art show they have there, which was very interesting.

    Today I got to go to a preview of the Human Origins exhibit, which will be unveiled tomorrow at the National Museum of Natural History. They were putting the finishing touches on the exhibit while we walked through, but the famous Cro-Magnon skull was already in its place. Seeing the real Cro-Magnon skull was one of my favorite parts of the exhibit, along with the section on early human art.

    As far as my project goes at work, we’re getting closer to finishing the map everyday. This week we will work on deciding which specific projects and items will make it to the final map, and writing descriptions to go along with them.

  • Kaitlin 1:05 am on March 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    A late day 

    Today I got to go on a Capitol Hill group tour that was set up for the Smithsonian Interns. It was a pretty great experience, because I’ve never gotten to see the inside of the Capitol Building, but I wasn’t very excited about having to throw away my lunch (I hadn’t realized you’re not allowed to bring food into the building, and hadn’t stopped by the office to drop my lunch off before going to the tour).

    To make up for losing my lunch, I got to be part of a design meeting for the Festival to talk over some important aspects of creating a map to show where the Smithsonian is doing research both within and outside of the United States. I also have now successfully found at least one research project in every state! Both of these things were more than enough to make up for my lunch escapades! 

    It was also nice to be complimented on a job well done (one of the designers was impressed with not only the amount of research I had found, but the way I had organized the information, and that I had been able to anticipate extra details that I had not been specifically asked for). It was nice to know that I was on the right track.

    • fblume 4:31 pm on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That is GREAT to get positive, specific feedback like that! How are you juggling 50 research projects in 50 states?

  • Kaitlin 8:44 pm on February 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Antarctica Lecture 

    The fun news from me this week was being able to attend a lecture that Secretary Clough gave about his recent trip to Antarctica. He spoke about some of the research being done there now, and the summer weather they have now made for some great pictures.

    Secretary Clough also mentioned some points I thought readers might be interested in knowing:

    • The station has switched over to using wind power as a cleaner source of energy
    • Antarctica has many sites of historical interest, like Shackelton’s huts, as well as several points of historical engineering interest, which need to be more actively conserved
    • Several penguin populations are not doing very well, largely due to climate change which has affected their food supply and access to the ocean.

    At the end of the lecture, everyone who had been to Antarctica before was asked to raise their hand, and I was shocked to see that what seemed to be 15-20 people raised their hands!

    As for next week, hopefully I will be able to attend a tour of Capitol Hill that has been set up for the other interns and I!

    • FB 1:15 pm on March 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      How’s the research going? Interested in researching Antartica now? And how on earth do you conserve historical sites in Antartica?! THAT must be a challenge!

  • Kaitlin 9:14 pm on February 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    New Project 

    I’m pretty excited about the new assignment I got this week!

    This last Wednesday my boss asked me to start looking for a specific research project or researcher at the Smithsonian who’s work I am particularly  interested in.  If  all goes according to plan (the researcher wants to be featured in the Folklife Festival, has time, etc) my boss will let me interview the people involved with the research project! 

    I’ve already found quite a few projects I’m interested in, a lot of which are from the Freer and Sackler Galleries. There are quite a few current and upcoming exhibits which I would be very excited to learn more about: Arts of the Islamic World,Ancient Chinese Pottery and Bronze, Black & White: Chinese Ceramics from the 10th–14th Centuries,Korean Ceramics,Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas, Sculpture of South and Southeast Asia, Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia,Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen, The Tibetan Shrine from the Alice S. Kandell Collection, and on-going project : The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: World War II Era Provenance Project, 1933-1945.

    This list will probably only get longer as continue my search…

    • fblume 12:17 am on February 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What a terrific list of exhibits! How on earth will you decide? Seriously, what factors will you take into consideration?

    • Kaitlin 12:49 am on March 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It will largely depend on which researchers are interested in being featured in the festival, and the times they are available to be interviewed (it would need to be one of the days I go in to the office)

  • Kaitlin 11:41 pm on February 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    One Day of Interning During Snowweek 

    So after a week of being off of work and having school canceled, I went back to my internship today.
    Everyone got a bit of a slow start, but after we figured out how to work the industrial strength coffee machine things started to pick.
    I’ve been working on filling out a map of the United States with all the states that the Smithsonian is doing research in, which is pretty interesting. There are quite a few projects that really stuck out in my mind two of which are:
    1. In Wyoming a researcher is collecting fossils from a time in history when there were similar changes in temperature to what we are experiencing today
    2. Conservation efforts to increase the population of Przewalski’s Horse with the intent of reintroducing the population back into the wild (it’s currently extinct in the wild)

    The day ended nicely when they gave us all mini boxes of chocolate for Valentine’s Day!

    • FB 3:31 pm on February 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Are there any states where they AREN’T doing research? And where are they doing the Przewalski’s Horse research?

  • Kaitlin 8:10 pm on February 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Snow Day! 

    Hey everybody!
    I’m guessing I’m not the only one who was told to go home early from my internship today.
    Most of the staff didn’t come in to work today because of the weather, but a few of the interns and I showed up at the regular time.

    Since it was a shorter day today, I continued converting tapes from the last Folklife Festival onto DVDs, and researched some books recently published by Smithsonian employees. Nothing too exciting, but pretty fulfilling for half a day’s work.

    I’m looking forward to a workshop they’ve planned in the upcoming weeks for the interns in my office to give us more information on more internships and careers at the Smithsonian. It should be pretty interesting, maybe I’ll be able to find a paid summer internship.

    • FB 8:15 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That’s great! I hope it happens and that the weather doesn’t get it canceled. Sounds like they are really taking good care of their interns!

  • Kaitlin 3:57 pm on January 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Second Week 

    Hey everyone!

    I had another great week at my internship. On Friday there was an all staff meeting about how the Center for Folklife and Cultural History is run. It was very interesting to see some of the inner-workings of the CFCH, and some of the more technical aspects that go into running both the center, and the Folklife Festival. I really appreciated that even the interns were encouraged to be a part of the meeting.

    Currently I’m still working on putting together a list of Smithsonian researchers and employees whose work we want to try and feature in the Festival, and filling out a map of all the places Smithsonian employees are working. I’m still impressed everyday with the incredible extent of research done by the Smithsonian all over the world, and I keep finding new projects everyday.

    • Zack Hayhurst 10:26 pm on January 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      That sounds like a really cool internship. What are you studying at AU to get you into a cultural industry related internship?

      • Kaitlin 8:01 pm on February 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I’m an Anthropology major with an International Relations minor.

    • FB 7:36 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Is this what they do with all their interns or was it something your supervisor arranged? It IS a great way to get a sense of how an organization works, and your project must also be helping you learn about some really talented people in their field. Maybe you’ll do some networking, too.

      • Kaitlin 11:20 pm on February 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It’s actually the main part of my internship.
        My job is to help with the planning and preparation of the Folklife Festival, and this year the festival just happens to center on research and careers at the Smithsonian, so it was coincidence (or luck, or planning, whichever you prefer) that I happen to be in this position.

  • Kaitlin 10:43 pm on January 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    First Week 

    Well, I just finished my first week as an intern, and so far I love it.

    I work 20 hours a week, divided over three days, and while I’m still getting used to the idea that I go to work more days a week than I go to classes, I’m enjoying it. Everyone at the office has been very friendly and helpful, making my transition into interning go very smoothly.

    It’s probably about time I explain a little more of what I do at my internship.

    I, along with two other interns, help the coordinators plan the Folklife Festival that will be held on the National Mall this summer. One of the focuses of the Festival this year is on the various intriguing (and sometimes surprising) things that people do as Smithsonian employees. This meant that on my very first day interning I got to be taken on a tour of the workshop where most of the Smithsonian’s exhibits are made, and see all the crazy gadgets they use to make them. There will be a section of the Festival devoted to explaining how the exhibits are made, and judging from what I saw on Tuesday, it’s definitely something everyone should check out when they go to the Festival!

    All in all, I think I can pronounce my first week a success!

    • David Fletcher 6:17 pm on January 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What an excellent combination: interning for the federal government, gaining insight into one of America’s preeminent historical institutions, and enjoying it! Congratulations!!

    • FB 7:25 pm on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That’s really cool. I’m glad the Smithsonian will be tooting their own horn a bit.

      What were some of the things that your internship did to make a smooth transition for you, to be ready for you?

  • Kaitlin 3:03 pm on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bio,   

    Hello from Kaitlin 

    I’m a Sophomore majoring in Anthropology and minoring in International Relations who just got an internship with the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Folklife and Cultural History. I haven’t started yet, but look forward to my first day next week. This internship is a great opportunity for me, and especially exciting because being able to work for an institution like the Smithsonian is one the of main reasons I came to American University.

    • Nancy 4:18 pm on January 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Kaitlin – Does that Center of the SI run the annual Folklife Festival? Are there some projects or work of the Center that we of the general public would have experienced?

      • Kaitlin 10:16 pm on January 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, the CFCH does run the Folklife Festival, and that’s actually what I’m helping with as an intern there.

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