Leonardo Blog #4

Week 4 Blog.

Yet another week of personal and professional growth has gone by and I can say with great certainty that I am treasuring all that came and went. For example, I became friends with Mehak Sarang, an external NSF intern majoring in physics, helped in the GWU Community Garden, went to a barbecue restaurant with my fellow QEM interns, got a tour of the US Capitol, and most importantly, my NSF mentor Dr. Anna Kerttula informed me of a possible graduate school career track I might consider.

With that said, I cannot stress enough how wonderful my friendship with Mehak has been. Together we have gone walking in the National Mall, visited the Natural History Museum, walked the Georgetown Riverwalk, and have engaged in profound philosophical discussions about what it means to live a fulfilling life. It feels soothing to know that with her I can be an opened book and share all my deepest concerns, desires, and aspirations. I am happy to call her a friend.

In regards to my involvement with the GWU Community Garden, I was surprised as to how many people showed up to help weed and plant new floras this past Tuesday. I never imagined that I would find a place right outside my dorm where I could go not just to volunteer but to relax, seat in a bench under a tree, and read my meditation book.

Thereafter on Wednesday, the QEM Interns and I attended and DC Tech conference and though it was not my cup of tea, I appreciated visiting Chinatown and going inside a synagogue for the first time. But more importantly, after the event ended a couple of interns including myself decided to go explore a new restaurant called Hill Country BBQ and oh boy did I treat myself to some delicious food! I thanked everyone there for the opportunity to have fun with them because prior to meeting up I was having a blue day because I was missing my friends from Miami yet all of that changed. Furthermore, this experienced helped me have a better time of Friday when we went on a tour of the US Capitol and learned about its architecture and history.

Lastly I want to address how insight full my conversations with Dr. Kerttula have been. Through open dialogue about my current work research on Food Security in Alaskan Indigenous Communities and my interest in attending graduate school she informed me of a field of study perhaps perfectly fit to me. The field in question is called Environmental Anthropology and it is the study of the nexus between the natural environment and human culture through time and space. I think this would be a perfect fit for me as in encompasses the two subjects I admire the most which are nature and people. Moreover, both my NSF mentor Dr. Kerttula and my university mentor Dr. James Riach are anthropologist with years of experience working with indigenous groups so I can look up to them for sage advice and career opportunities. Discovering a new potential field to study never crossed my mind when applying to this internship. This comes to show you will never know how far opportunities will take you.

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