I tried to take a photo of subway rats.
That’s probably the most “touristy” thing I’ve done since I moved to New York City for the summer.
(Sorry I love animals.)
I was really excited about the rats, having heard the rumors about how they were the size of cats. They’re not. At least, not the two I saw. Or maybe the Iowa cat population is just very obese.
This is just one of many strange things I’ve done since my ASME internship journey began. I’m actually really pleased that I procrastinated writing this post so I could absorb every last minute of the city before blogging about it. I’ve survived four days at SELF Magazine, researching, creating questions for medical experts, and writing and designing the Intern Diaries (our mini weekly intern magazine for EIC Lucy Danziger).
I also completed the most seemingly simple—yet surprisingly terrifying—task of getting Lucy coffee. Get the order right, don’t trip and spill, don’t do all the horrible things that happen to interns in the movies.
I’ve learned a lot in the last ten days.
Some of the gems of information I’ve acquired so far:
• New York City isn’t as scary as you think it is, nor is your EIC. Subway rats aren’t the size of cats. But the city is as awesome as you think it is.
• New York coffee is stronger than Iowa coffee. I’ve had to switch to drinking tea in the mornings because one cup of New York Joe almost makes me seize.
• The subway can literally sever a group of friends. Once the doors start closing, you’re done. The train doesn’t care if your New York native friend/guide is on the subway and you’re not. It doesn’t care if her hand is stuck between the doors trying to push them open for you. You’ll get left behind, and you’ll have to find your way on your own. But you will be OK.
• You can easily spot an intern. There will be Band-Aids flopping out of the backs of her high heels. There will be a generally bewildered look. Interns that were here last summer will look slightly less bewildered, have better clothes, and wear flats.
• You need entertainment while waiting in the out-the-door line at Trader Joe’s.
• Starbucks is a religion here. Magazine editors worship daily.
• Journalists really are the most curious creatures out there.
My roommate (and fellow subway rat chaser)
Leah and me enjoying ice cream sandwiches.
My roommates and I spend the majority of our time together firing question after question at each other. It doesn’t seem odd to us, but when I think about living with “normal” people, they would have long ago been satisfied with where I’m from and if I snore.
But we want more. We want to soak up all the information we can. We don’t feel we really know someone until we know their life history. We don’t think we really know the world until we experience every nook and cranny.
That’s why we’re here right now.
We let our curiosity lead us here. And we should continue to let it guide us through our time in the city. We shouldn’t hold back. If I look like a tourist, I don’t care.
I will get a photo of a subway rat.
Judge me, world. I will explore, investigate, document, and question everything.
We’re journalists. It’s official now.
By: Kristin Canning, Wartburg College, SELF
Edited by: Arielle Pardes, University of Pennsylvania, Martha Stewart Living