How to Belong and the Best of Baltimore
September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
There’s a special type of satisfaction with being a part of something bigger than you are. In a good internship, you become a part of the organization, becoming a invaluable piece of a much larger collective aiming for a similar goal. I experienced this this week with the release of City Paper’s 2014 Best of Baltimore issue.
I was there from the beginning. I went to the initial pitch meeting in July and watched in early August when my editors frantically edited the blurbs and helped organize them. By the end of August, I, and the other interns I’m sure, were completely burnt on fact-checking the 600+ articles that came in. But this week, smack-dab in the middle of September, the issue came out and I felt I had become a part of the City Paper family. As cheesy as that is, it’s a feeling that cannot be beat. My job was mindless and dull and overwhelmingly boring but the issue wouldn’t have been possible without my work. That’s awesome. With any internship, the trick to see if you’re being exploited is to see if you’re being allowed to contribute on a larger scale. When you’re giving an important task, that’s a sign that you are trusted and that you’ve done great work so far. It was an honor to be trusted with the paper’s, who I’ve learned to love with a fervid enthusiasm, biggest issue of the year.
To celebrate, City Paper threw a Best of Baltimore party on the 18th at the Baltimore Soundstage. It was a loud and over-packed explosion of Baltimore’s local artists, musician, chefs, politicians, and then there was me. Awkwardly sipping on a beer and trying to find my way through a maze of sweaty, dancing people I knew people were wondering why I was there. I mean, seriously. John Waters was there and I was struggling to stay upright with my heels on. But, jokes on all you guys! The issue wouldn’t exist without me! This whole party would be nothing without me! Okay, that might be an exaggeration but still. It was the biggest swell of pride I had felt in the world.
When I found my editor through the ridiculous crowd, I found him talking to a woman I hadn’t meant before. When he introduced me, the woman smiled and said “Oh! I’ve heard such good things about you.”
So, maybe I a doing something right. And even if I’m not, the experience working on this issue has been worth every pain-staking blurb I had to read, and every highlighter that I used that inevitably ran out of ink.
And also, I got to go to a really cool party with an open bar. Win/win.