And with each summer brings a new opportunity…
June gloom is finally beginning to burn off, and all my school friends are enjoying the break tanning on the beautiful Santa Barbara beach by day and partying by night. I, instead, sit typing at my internship desk, with loaned keyboard, computer, and office space. My days are filled with waking up earlier than I have in years, falling asleep, against my will, exhausted, the moment I get home, battling the 110 north, and having the time of my life at the National Museum.
My name is Alyctra Matsushita. I’m going to be a senior at University of California, Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!), studying English and Asian American Studies. I’m also the Japanese American National Museum’s Media Arts Intern, one of three undergraduate students commissioned for ten weeks to intern at the Museum by courtesy of the Getty Museum.
I’ve been here less than two weeks, but I’ve already learned so much. I’ve met the huge multitude of volunteers–some of them several times over. It feels like every time I walk into a room, I’m introduced to a new crop. Even though there are gaggles of them, they’re each personable and kind—in the mornings they offer the interns coffee cake and other treats, they have potlucks and snacks, and every one has dozens of stories, from war memories and tales that they share willingly with my fellow interns, to gardening secrets and other gossip secretly whispered to more trusted fellow docents.
In the last two weeks, I’ve also learned more than I ever even knew existed about the multimedia world. I’ve gotten to cut and edit tape to be used for the Discover Nikkei website—as a self-proclaimed Asian American Studies nerd, this was especially exciting because I’ve explored the site multiple times for both academic research, as well as recreation. To see the behind the scenes work involved after exploring the site myself was especially satisfying. I also did my first solo shoot—a book party with testimonials from the Japanese Americans from Lompoc!
All in all, the first two weeks have gone by quickly. Getting the hang of things the first couple of days was a bit wracking, but now that I know what’s what, things are smooth sailing. I’m very excited for the next eight weeks, and can only imagine the fun they will bring!