Internships and Landscape

In the spirit of my last post (doing what you love for free) I have accepted an internship at this awesome Chicago org called Open Books.  I am excited to be part of an organization that is working to combat the literacy crisis in Chicago. Did you know: 53% of adults in Chicago low or limited literacy skills? (I stole that fact from the Open Books website–where you can find more about literacy in the U.S.)

While I hope to learn about how Open Books works as an org, build some great relationships with the students and with teachers and staff, I also hope I learn about the landscape in Chicago. Who and what is where and how.

It’s funny. Biking around Chicago actually makes it feel smaller and easier to navigate. I think it has something to do with being a part of the landscape you are traveling through (whereas in a car you separated). I hope that this internship does a similar thing– that through relationships I will create a network that make Chicago feel less like black hole into which I have been submitting my resume and work applications. And more like a city of Big Shoulders.

Chicago has a lot of nicknames. Big Shoulders come from Carl Sandberg’s poem “Chicago”:

Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders.

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