I chose publishing for a few reasons. The prospect of being simultaneously sedentary and critical had allure, I suppose. Serving in an editorial capacity also fit my strengths, which – among other things – include the ability to determine the best position for a comma in a given sentence and a propensity for reading things and then writing things about what I’ve read. Finally, pursuing an internship in publishing would magically complete the specialization in nonfiction writing that I had been trying to fulfill.
What does the word education mean? Most commonly it connotes diplomas and degrees, long hallways lined with lockers and grassy soccer fields, library carousels, chalk dust; it makes us think of the loans we have yet to pay off, the teachers we loved, the other students we learned with, and the places we learned in. These associations, symbols of knowledge, experiences we’ve had, are essential, but they barely skim the surface of what education can be – of what education should be. We learn constantly, all our lives adding new information to our perception of the world around us, so what is it that makes us limit our idea of education to the buildings where it is administered or to the textbooks we have read? Why is our idea of education so small, when its definition is so broad?
My experiences at The Massachusetts Review have taught me what it is like to be work with adults, and therefore “real,” work-world experience, but the beauty of this particular internship is that the adults are a group of highly literate writers! On any given day when I walk in the door there may be a heated discussion about the merits of a third-person limited perspective, or perhaps Jim Hicks will be enthused about some obscure Bosnian translation he just secured the rights to use. There is always something interesting going on at The Review.
As a future high school English teacher, working at the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative (MMSI) gave me the opportunity to look at the educational community of Massachusetts from a unique perspective. MMSI works with high schools around the state to implement and strengthen Advanced Placement (AP) programs in math, science and English, with a special focus on increasing enrollment for black and Hispanic populations in all three subjects and female enrollment in the hard sciences (chemistry and physics).
This past semester, I interned for Magic Helicopter Press and the NOӦ Journal. It was a great experience in that I had the opportunity to put to use many of the skills I’ve been acquiring and sharpening since coming to Umass-Amherst as a transfer student last spring. I had the opportunity to do a little bit of everything – proofreading, copy editing, reviewing submissions and writing features such as interviews and reviews, but my primary role was that of blog editor for the NOӦ Journal sister blog site, and that was not only challenging, but fun. What made it so was getting to rub digital elbows with so many intelligent, creative people. It wasn’t very much like “work” at all.