Friday, May 30, 2014

Reflections on a 35 Year Career Part 3 - The Third Internship

A writer writes!

After the 1977-1978 school year, I returned for the summer months (May-August) to my internship in Indianapolis.  I returned to the apartment complex I had in my first internship experience a block away from the Army Finance Center.  I believe I worked in the Position Classification department which eventually would become the job function I was assigned to when I graduated from college. The work involved applying job grading standards to a set of duties, to determine how much the job should pay. I worked with a variety of older workers.  Only one of those was African American. My future supervisor was also a specialist then.  I recall that he got into a car accident when he left work early when he was supposed to be on the job still.  The highlight of that summer was when friends came up from Evansville for a concert.  I also think my roommate to be came up for another concert that summer. Either I rented a car or I had already gotten a car from my parents to use.

I do recall continuing my effort to upgrade my wardrobe.  The years in high school of having only a few clothes to wear were still fresh in my mind.  So, I made up for those years by purchasing several outfits that made up for those years!  I also wore most of those clothes to my job, outfits which looking back were not truly appropriate for the office environment.

I met another college co-op who was coming to the Finance Center and let them stay at my apartment until they were able to find other arrangements.  Also, another student from Evansville joined the internship program and he took over my apartment.

I recall staying to myself still during the summer.  I continued having very few friends.  I may have had one or two dates that summer.  My attention was still focused on my job, finishing college, and my upcoming role on campus as the President of the Black Student Union.  I recall typing up documents related to what I wanted myself and others to accomplish during my tenure as BSU President.  But, my verbal and people skills were not sharp enough to truly be effective as the BSU President.

When I returned to campus that fall, the highlight of the year was organizing activities including a Gong show that featured African American involvement from the Evansville community.  My roommate did a reprise of  our "Commode" group act we had done the year before joined by other friends and we almost won gong show talent competition.  It was pure fun.  I still have a photo of the costume I wore that night to include a toilet seat toy guitar that I "played" during our act.

I wasn't a super academic student, but I interacted with a variety of people during my years in Evansville.  It was my first exposure to a predominantly Caucasian environment on a day-to-day basis.  Thanks to the other African American students I interacted with, I survived those years.  I recall that I was too active at times, something I learned as I got older to not do.  You only have time to devote 100% to a few causes.  Spreading yourself too thin means you are not fully engaged as you should be in an activity.  During the return to campus, I believe I met my first wife who was then beginning her Freshman year.  We started off slow as friends and became more involved as the semester continued.

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