My internship at this museum (which has been a dream job since 4th grade) has afforded me all sorts of amazing opportunities, and today was no exception.
Except sometimes amazing doesn’t always mean happy. Sometimes it can be powerful but tragic and still make you pull up short with a suddenly new perspective.
My task for this week has been transcribing letters from JPG files to .DOC files of a young man of the 442nd Infantry Regiment during World War 2. The 442nd (and the 100th) were composed of Japanese Americans, some drafted, some volunteers, and all extremely patriotic. (They’re called nisei, which means second-generation. Issei are first generation and sensei are third, I think.)
Of late I have been interning at an historical museum in the greater Washington, D.C. area and it has been pretty much the best job I’ve ever had. It has been extremely educational, both from the exhibits perspective and from the office politics side. (In fact, one department lead said that apart from the actual job experience, he wanted us interns to observe how half of his job is just navigating the personnel.)
Every day is a new adventure and last week was no different. My fellow interns and I had an entire day scheduled in the paper lab, which is where all the paper artifacts get restored and preserved. What were we going to be doing down there for a whole day, I wondered to myself. Well as it turns out, we were actually going to be preserving some newspapers.