The next bit

by mammalfish

After several whirlwind weeks of typing and clicking out final exams, in which I got progressively squintier and paler; two days of packing my Brooklyn apartment, my houseplants, my trusty new bike, and my boyfriend into a U-Haul; four days of blissful dizzy rest in the wet green woods where I grew up, looking for baby owls; four more days of packing, moving, unpacking, this time to a bucolic ivy-covered college house in a DC suburb; and three long, rambunctious days orientating for my summer job, I think it’s time for a nap.

I was orientating specifically for the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship program—I myself am a fellow. AAAS stands for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and their Fellowship takes science students (like me!) and places them in venerable science newsrooms for the summer. I am particularly jealous of my fellow fellows who are stationed at the NPR Science Desk, Wired, and NOVA, but I gather that they have plenty of reasons to be jealous of me. Voice of America is a journalistic outlet that not many Americans have heard of because it’s not for them; rather, VOA is a governmental organization that translates their English news into 45 other languages for the rest of the world. I’ll be with them this summer covering science. I’ll be working on my radio voice. I wonder, once a person has developed that stilted baritone, do they have trouble switching out of it when they’re doing their laundry or shopping for groceries? I’ll let you know in a month.

The other fellows are a brilliant bunch. Theoretical mathematicians, climate scientists, cell biologists, neurobiologists, physicists, chemists, the whole rough palette of scientific exploration—and all fabulous communicators, which stands to reason given our vocation this summer. They have now shipped off to their respective newsy institutions, leaving me behind in DC to bide my time.

So, for these few days I am staying still. I am spending embarrassing amounts of time biking aimlessly around this forested neighborhood, and reading old ripped paperbacks on the porch swing out front. I get up to wrestle with passing dogs—yesterday I met a squirmy German Shepherd puppy named Freya, which is an excellent name for a German Shepherd—but otherwise, for now, I’m staying right where I am, in a spot of sunshine, yawning and listening to the robins.

At least until next week, when I’ll be off and running again.

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