If you don't follow blog.shimer.edu, you've missed a remarkable crop of posts from students in Shimer's summer internship programs. More posts are reportedly on the way, but for now, agriculture appears to be the order of the day, with a bit of librarianship and video production around the edges.
KC Stresak furnished "An Introduction to my Shimer Internship at Growing Power":
While I was looking at colleges in high school, a large part of Shimer's intrigue for me was its home in Chicago. I believed that being situated in a large, thriving city would offer an education that would enhance classroom discussions, and I'm not bashful in boasting the correctness of that belief! There are unique and creative activities and organizations happening on every corner of this city that give reality to the ideas and theories we discuss around the octagonal table. Something that has really struck me during my stay here Chicago are the urban agricultural projects. With Chicago being such a "foodie town," it’s hard not to pay attention to the higher quality of local food, as well as the fair ethical practices that embedded in locally grown food. As my interests rose, I discovered an incredible organization located right in my own neighborhood called Growing Power.
She has already returned with an update, as well:
This week at Growing Power has been a crazy one, but as I was forewarned, every week is crazy on the farm. A hectic schedule can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Whenever I start to feel the pressure, I always remind myself of middle school math. As I first learned a new formula, I always struggled through the exercises. I didn’t think I would ever understand the process. But as one day folded into another, another formula was presented and to my ever-renewing surprise, I understood the past day’s work as it built upon the present.
(Incidentally, this is not the only Shimer connection to Growing Power, as founder Will Allen has also been interviewed by Shimer alum and freelance writer Yael Grauer.)
Naomi Neal kept the agricultural theme going with an introduction to her work at Tryon Farm:
I’ll be completing my studies with a yearlong stint in the Shimer-in-Oxford program, beginning this fall. At Oxford, I’ll continue my exploration of the German language, as well as the investigation of humankind’s impact on the environment which I began in Bioethics.
It’s this interest—in living sustainably—which led me to the internship at which I’ll be working this summer. I’ll be working at Tryon Farm, which is (not a farm but) a rigorously planned housing development and intentional community in Michigan City, Indiana. Tryon is the brainchild of architect Ed Noonan, who served the past two years as Shimer’s interim president.
Turning from agriculture to apiculture, Ed Vlcek reported on "My First Day as an Urban Beekeeper":
It may seem a bit unusual for a Shimerian to choose to learn the fine art of beekeeping, but I have for years had a fascination with agriculture and the bugs that make it happen. I chose to intern as an urban beekeeper as a way to explore how we can alter the content of our daily lives, practically, in immediate (and often delicious) ways. Bees are in many ways at the forefront of the shift toward more sustainable, urban-based food. In learning how they live and work, I hope to learn how to live and work in new ways as well. The Catholic Worker Peter Maurin said that "the scholars must become workers so the workers may be scholars." Maybe that's my guiding principle this summer.
Brad Krautwurst furnished a bibliophilic counterpoint to all of this agrarianism with "A Summer Among the Books":
Before coming to Shimer, my career plans bounced around frequently: at some point I have wanted to be everything from a computer technician to a tattoo artist to a journalist. However, one of the things I have gotten out of Shimer has been somewhat of a cementing of my career ambitions, or at least of what degree I will be obtaining in grad school. I have more or less decided I will be getting a Masters of Library Science degree, but I am still switching between wishing to be an archivist, or some breed of librarian. The internship I've secured is aimed to help me decide between the two by giving me real-world experience in both.
Primarily, I will be working in Richmond, Virginia at the main branch of the public library. I plan to devote about 25 to 40 hours per week, and I will be arriving in Richmond around halfway through June and working for about two months.
And Shimer's own viral video artist, Dorian Electra, has checked in from Texas:
This summer I'll be doing two internships, one with Emergent Order, a media development and production company in Austin, Texas and the other with writer, Virginia Postrel in Los Angeles. I discovered Emergent Order through EconStories, the work of director John Papola and economist Russ Roberts, specifically through their viral music video-rap-battle between economists Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes (watch "Fear the Boom and Bust"). When this video was released in early 2010 I fell in love with it and became inspired to make my own music video in a similar vein (watch "I'm in Love with Friedrich Hayek"). I sent my video to John and he really enjoyed it. Since then, we've kept in contact about new ideas and we had been talking about the possibility of me doing an internship with Emergent Order since last summer when they moved to Austin and I was working on my second economics music video "Roll with The Flow."