Friday, June 3, 2011

Looking Forward and Backward: The Future, The Past and Week one of my work

The first week of work is now officially over. I’m really enjoying my placement down at ODEP. My office environment is really friendly and easy to get to. Aside from the fun traffic back-up that happened today, it’s been a great first week. I still have to figure out the split platforms of the metro station, but DC ( so far) has proven to be less a challenge than I thought it would be. I’ve still got to figure out those dastardly split platforms, though. On a happier note, I had the pleasure of being invited to a meeting with Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, and major staff members at the Kennedy Center this week, along with several other AAPD interns, Center this week, along with several other AAPD interns, as well as my colleagues from the DOL and various DC artists with disabilities. It was a great conversation, not only because of the phenomenal woman heading up the conversation, but also for the fact that those of us in the room could connect with each other as artists and advocates. I was drawn to a lot of reminiscing at this meeting, because I owe so much to the arts. The work I did with the ACAP Players (Adaptive Community Approach Program), first exposed me to the disability community and gave me a sense of identity, and it was all through theater. I also found motivation in high school as a potter, and grew immensely with the Summit I was a part of in Syria, whose end result was the Silver Scorpion comic , and amazing new friends. All of us at the meeting had been influenced in a major way by the arts, but many of us (all of us, I think), had lost touch with them before, after or during college. I think one of the coolest and most important things articulated at the meeting was the need for a greater connectivity between artists with disabilities, and a mentoring network to bring many artists together and to ensure that all youth have access to these amazing opportunities. I sincerely hope to continue to be a part of the growth of access to the arts for persons with disabilities. On an officework note, I have one of my first big assignments due in two weeks, and I’m a little nervous. Also, it’s been a while since I’ve worked in an office, so I’m still adjusting to decorum at my placement. Thankfully, my colleagues and supervisors have helped me avoid any embarrassing situations, and I’m also learning pretty quickly. I’m looking forward to more challenges and successes over the course of this internship!

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