Internship – Week 15

As part of the coursework, interns have to keep a weekly journal of our experiences. Blog entries are acceptable and I thought this would be a great way to keep everyone updated on my library activities at the Lilly Library!

November 30 – December 4

Monday, November 30th (4.5 hours):
Today was dedicated to completing notes for my class on Thursday. Isabel Planton, one of the reference librarians who’s already taught this class, pulled some of the things she’s shown in the past. This included drafts of Sylvia Plath’s poem The Babysitters and corresponding material showcasing Plath’s life. She kept diaries, calendars, and scrapbooks of her time babysitting. These materials are examples of literary editing of poems. Isabelle also pulled the drafts of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions along with his original drawings; literary editing of prose. Orson Welles has a few scripts and storyboards for his movie Citizen Kane; editing of move scripts/film. We pulled Ian Fleming’s drafts of Dr. No and Goldfinger; these are the literary manuscripts not film scripts. I decided to pull George Lucas’s The Adventures of Luke Starkiller… better known as Star Wars; another example of film script editing, which he did during filming. Isabelle suggested Raymond Carver’s correspondence with his editor Gordon Lish concerning Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Finally I thought we need to pull something related to the science editing process. I pulled some early papers from Herman Joseph Muller’s collection concerning fly genetics, mutations, and the effects of radiation. That work, over several decades, earned him the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

I accomplished a lot of research today!

Wednesday, December 2nd (4.5 hours):
I got a thank you letter from the homeschooled group! It is so incredibly sweet of them to write me a note! Enclosed in the letter was a note from one of the moms and two notes from her kids with a drawing. The perfect way to start today!!

…and then I get two more job rejections via email.

Bummer. But, you know… it’s okay. Everything will work out that way it should, I just have to be patient.. All I can do is keep applying for jobs.

The materials I’m pulling for my class tomorrow are actually acting as a salve. Within the Sylvia Plath and Kurt Vonnegut materials are rejection letters. They didn’t lead the happiest of lives, no, but accomplished writing several wonderful pieces of which they are now known world-wide. They got rejections… but they kept at it. That’s the key.

I need to work on the bibliography due for this internship. Only 2 more weeks left!

While reviewing the materials for the class tomorrow, I went a little overboard on examining Robert Hooke’s Micrographia. The illustrations are really interesting though! Just check these out:

Magnified image of a fly's head and eyes
Hooke’s drawing of a grey dronefly’s head under the microscope (Scheme XXIV, via Wikipedia)
Close up illustration of cork cells under a microscope
Hooke’s drawing of cork under a microscope; first time “cell” is applied in biology (Scheme 11, via Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 3rd (4 hours):
Today was the Biology Writing class to whom I showed the process of self-editing! It went pretty well. There were about 20 undergraduate students and though it was a Biology course, they were doing a project on poetry. The result was me showing a plethora of things to them. I managed to get them to smile and stay engaged, which means it was a success. Somehow I forgot to display the Orson Welles materials, but I spoke about him for a moment… they generally seemed more interested in the Star Wars script I displayed instead. The Robert Hooke Micrographia and Vesalius went over well too, as did the Muller documents – all the science documents that I added to the presentation. I felt like I was a little all over the place while talking, speaking as thoughts came to my mind, but overall it went well.

Woodblock illustration of a human muscular structure in motion
Andreas Vesalius. De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem … Basel: Ex Officina Joannis Oporini, 1543 (via Anatomia Animata online exhibit)

Seeing as how this will be my last class at the Lilly, I should take a moment to compare them while this is still fresh in my mind. I’m definitely more relaxed while speaking in front of a group than the first time (see this Week 6 post for an explanation). I also know the material better. I didn’t prepare well enough for the first Hispanic Culture class, but that was probably because I didn’t write the notes for that class. The notes and materials were handed to me and I was expected to regurgitate the information; I didn’t actually know it. It was wonderful, beautiful material… but I didn’t know it. Comparatively, I didn’t write the notes for some of the things shown in today’s class, example: I would claim that I didn’t know the Carver/Lish stuff exceedingly well, but I worked with it the past two internship sessions and did a little of my own research. I made the notes mine which made it easier to talk about them and relay information to the class.

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