Thursday, June 20, 2013

“To know the world is to change it.”

Last week in the National Geographic Society library I heard those words for the first time, and they sound a bit dramatic, perhaps a tad impossible, but I believe they are true. Ever since I was small, I have absorbed the world around me and taken every moment, every observation, with a dash of histrionic passion.

And now I get to do that five days a week at my internship at National Geographic. Pretty sweet, indeed.

The museum's newest exhibition includes all of our covers over 125 years.
The past week at the National Geographic headquarters was all about the concept of exploration. It was the Explorer’s Symposium, which only happens once a year. All of the scientists, writers and innovators the society has dubbed “Explorers” (and in my own terms, people paid to be awesome and sciency) visit our headquarters. They lecture, they eat in our cafeteria and they bring awesome robots named Kuma (which I totally high-fived). 

Robots and ice cream=best.internship.ever!
In order to know the world, we must explore it. And every day at this internship (and in D.C.) has been an adventure, one rife with joy, anxiety, doubt, sweat and—at the end of every day—contentment. I have explored the depths of the basement (complete with fitness center, hobby shop and masseuse), the limits of my muscles during workplace yoga, and the heights of a byline that got 5,000 Facebook likes. 

Namaste to my wonderful editors.
Many of my forays were not alone. I was joined by three other ASME interns on a tour of the RR Donnelly printing plant in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. When we returned to the city we toured the sculpture garden next to the National Gallery and I familiarized myself with a giant blue-haired cufflink.

Please don't crush me!
I have explored this city. I’ve gone to an art competition, eaten the “Walk of Shame” burrito at Ted’s Bulletin and watched a Hitchcock movie in a 200-year-old theater. And I have a whole calendar overflowing with many more epic things to do while I'm here. 

The intense mural art show of nerddom and bliss.

Here's part of that burrito in stunning, delicious detail.

And, above everything else, I’ve explored who I am. My identity. Harmony Huskinson. The girl whose office number at National Geographic is 763 and whose heart, beyond everything else, is soaking in every minute of this journey.

Me and a working replica of the submersible James Cameron took to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

By Harmony Huskinson, Arizona State University, National Geographic
Edited by Lydia Belanger, Northwestern University, AARP The Magazine

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