Taking Advantage of the Time

After nearly a week spent on vacation over the Fourth of July holiday, I came back to NYC to realize that I have very little time left here. I have only three weeks left of my internship, and only three weeks left to do everything (or almost everything) that I wanted to do during my time in the city! As a result of this crazy realization, I really tried to take advantage of this past week and dedicate my time both during and outside of work to maximize my experiences and make the moments memorable. What ensued was the busiest week of the summer yet, and I loved pretty much every minute of it. I’ll try to describe it all, splitting my week into work and play:

Work: As the time goes by, I get more and more appreciative of my experiences with Showtime. A lot of exciting things were happening this week within the company and with the intern program in particular. First of all, my group project is coming along really nicely. My group and I tried to really tie everything together within the past couple of days, including our write-ups, powerpoint slides, visual aids, and more. We wanted to give ourselves enough time to read and revise everything before we begin our rehearsals and eventually the final presentation in two weeks (gulp). I finished two ongoing research projects within my Smithsonian Channel department, so next week means starting new and exciting projects including pitching a short-form series that could potentially be featured within Smithsonian Channel’s digital media.

Showtime also introduced an initiative this week that they are calling “3 Cups of Coffee,” in which higher-up executives agree to three 30-minute meetings with company employees. I signed up for meetings with three diverse executives so that I could really get a feel of the different roles within the company, especially since I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. A new Showtime series called “Who Is America?” starring Sacha Baron Cohen was released today, and has already stirred up a ton of controversy. We had a pre-viewing this past Friday of the first episode, and all I can say is that I was shocked. It’s definitely an insane series that will cause a lot of commotion for Showtime, so it will be very interesting to see how everything plays out. And finally, we had our CBS intern kickball tournament on Thursday, which involved going to Central Park for three hours and competing with interns working in different departments. Showtime interns may not have gotten the victory, but it was by far one of the most fun experiences I’ve had here this summer. Here are some pictures from the  CBS tournament:

Play: I definitely checked off a lot of items on my NYC bucket list this week! One of the most memorable experiences was seeing “Wicked” on Broadway one day after work with some friends from Penn State. I have loved the music from this show for years, and I had been dying to see it. So when my friend told us that she had found $70 tickets on Craigslist (and when we discovered that it wasn’t a scam!), we were so thrilled. It definitely was one of the best Broadway shows I have watched, and I definitely cried at the end. The same group of friends and I also went to a hotel rooftop one day after work, and stayed there as the sun set and we were able to look at a stunning panoramic view of the NYC skyscrapers at night. We talked and laughed and had a great time for hours, and both the location and feeling that came with it are things I will remember for a long time. I saw Incredibles 2 with my co-worker after work on Tuesday, and that same co-worker and I went to a improv comedy musical on Saturday that was insanely entertaining. A fellow PLAer, Grace Miller, surprised me on Friday night, and we went to a little independent movie theater to watch a documentary called Three Identical Strangers (highly recommended). Finally, yesterday evening, I went on a sunset lobster cruise with some friends, and we sat on the boat and ate and talked as the sun went down and the we drifted by the beautiful NYC skyline. Again, it was an experience I will keep with me forever. Here pictures of some of these experiences:

Overall, this was probably my favorite week here in New York. I want to keep this excitement going for my next few weeks here, and I already have some fun things planned. These are memories that are incomparable and cannot be imitated, and I am so grateful to have a summer full of them!

Days Ahead, Days Behind

After a couple of weeks of getting acquainted to the craziness, excitement, stress, and beauty of New York City, I returned to West Chester this past Tuesday for a couple of days with my family to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. For my whole life, July 4th has been a big deal for my family, and we have the same traditions that we look forward to repeating year after year. It always begins with a trip to upstate New York to visit my grandparents, where we’ll usually catch a baseball game in Binghamton, have a nice breakfast overlooking the vast landscape at grandma and grandpa’s remote house on the hilltop in Oneonta, bounce from store to store in downtown Cooperstown, and finally spend the rest of the afternoon lunching and lounging at the beautiful Glimmerglass Lake. This recipe is always the same, almost methodical, but why change anything when what you’re used to is the best you can imagine?

After spending this time with my dad’s parents, we always continue our trip by traveling to Hamilton, NY, where my aunt, uncle, and cousins live. My other aunt and uncle and my grandma on my mom’s side meet us there, and it instantly becomes our annual family reunion. In Hamilton, there tends to be more fluctuation when it comes to the events of the day. Sometimes we’ll go to the farmers’ market, sometimes to the lake for a swim, and other times we’ll have a fire out in the backyard as the sun sets and the sky moves from its baby blue to murky midnight. However, there are some things that never change – we always have a family poker tournament, family tennis outings for some and golf for others, big cookout dinners, and scenic hikes. Each year guarantees hours of sitting out on the Johnsons’ big front porch, sipping cool drinks and talking about anything and everything until once again the murky midnight is upon us.

This time spent with my family in July is one of those traditions that I look forward to every single year. Often times throughout the year my family and I will reference funny memories, interesting experiences, and inside jokes. We’ll laugh at the song that was sung at the parade six years ago with more gusto each time its mentioned. My brother and I will reminisce on the games that we made up with our cousins years and years ago, like Spiderman baseball and the rockslide game. My cousin, aunt, and I will laugh thinking about the disastrous cakes we have frosted in the past as we continue to improve year by year.

I had just as much fun as ever this year, but I also began to think more than ever about how even though so many things are the same, so many things are also changing. This is natural, I know, and I recognize that some change is definitely good. But I can’t help but feel the nostalgia; sometimes it creeps up gradually, and other times it impacts me at an unexpected and extreme force. When did we play Spiderman baseball for the last time? When did the cousins start drinking wine instead of grape juice? When will it no longer be practical for my immediate family to take a road trip with just us – mom and dad in the front seat, me and Jack in the back?

Life goes on and people grow up. I may be sad thinking about this sometimes, but I do know that with this change comes a lot of new and exciting opportunities. Some of the best days of my life haven’t even happened yet, and who knows what memories and inside jokes will created at the next Fourth of July holiday and the one after that? Who knows what people I will meet and what things I will do in between? I am looking forward to all of the amazing things that are yet to come in my life, but it’s weeks like this that remind me that sometimes it’s okay to look back every once in a while and appreciate all of the moments that have pieced together like a mosaic to make me the person that I am today.