Shape Walk 2013
May 10th, 2013 was a warm, sunny, Spring day. Although it was eighty degrees outside, there was still a pleasant, light breeze blowing. What a perfect day to spend in the office, right?
Instead, many Smithsonian employees, and interns such as myself, opted to take advantage of the weather and go on the two-mile, bi-annual, Smithsonian Shape Walk. It was a good end to my first week as an intern at the Office of Fellowships and Internships.
Before we embarked on our journey, however, we all got to stop by the Garden Fest hosted by the Smithsonian Gardens and hear about different aspects of garden life from other Smithsonian employees. Greg Huse, the Smithsonian Gardens Arborist, enlightened myself, Emily Murphy, and Erin Hoelting, all from OFI, about how much effort goes into tree care at the Smithsonian. Each tree on the Smithsonian property must be cataloged and put in a database, so Greg can properly care for our trees. Greg is in charge of every tree on the Smithsonian property, which is no small feat! He does a great job, as we can see for ourselves; the trees are all beautiful and add a bit of natural landscape in the midst of all of this urbanization.
After leaving the Garden Fest, Emily, Erin, and I embarked on our two-mile journey around Smithsonian museums such as the the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Air and Space Museum to name a few. Before we started the walk, we each were handed a map of the two-mile path we were supposed to take. During our journey, we passed three checkpoints and got a signature at each of them. These signatures allowed us to receive free t-shirts and granola bars at the end — a savory treat after a two-mile walk. It was very exciting to meet people from different departments on the walk and to see how many people at the Smithsonian are committed to maintaining their health through fitness as well as maintaining pan-institutional relations among the Smithsonian’s departments. I am hoping to intern again at the Smithsonian next summer, and I will definitely make sure to attend both the Garden Fest and the Shape Walk again — although I will definitely be wearing more comfortable shoes, even if a blister is small price to pay for such a great end to my first week at OFI.
As an intern, I am learning so much about the intricacies involved both in and outside of the office. I have witnessed first hand the intricacies of OFI — from archiving review committees, sending out acceptance letters to fellows and interns, preparing stipends, and holding conferences to answer everyone’s various questions about the department, it takes immense talent and work to keep on top of everything, as I’m sure is true of all departments!
Thanks for reading, and I hope to bring everyone more updates about other Smithsonian departments and introduce you to other Smithsonian interns!
Intern at the Office of Fellowships and Internships