Here comes goodbye

2010-05-18_0834938.JPGWell, faithful readers craving geographical knowledge: The time has come for me to bid you farewell.

It has been a fun ride, and I have enjoyed each and every moment immensely.  I remember quite clearly January 17 when I rode the Washington, D.C. mass transit system known as the “Metro” for the first time by myself and walked through the doors of the National Geographic Society’s M Street Building to meet eight other Geography Interns “under the stars”  (that is, in the building’s main lobby, which has a ceiling display of lights that looks like stars). Today, I will exit the way I came in–but with many new friends and a mountain of new memories to accompany me on my next adventure.

New geographies: From open plains to tall buildings

The first thing I learned when I arrived in Washington D.C. was to
orient myself through street signs such as 16th Street and Georgia
Avenue, instead of by landmarks such as the house with the John Deere
tractor mailbox.  I am giving an extreme example, but I assure you it
was a huge change going from open plains to being surrounded by tall
Epic adventures on the 32 Bus

I do not know where to begin describing all the various encounters on
the No. 32 ride-on bus from the Bethesda Station.  I learned within the
first week that the bus never leaves late.  Last night, I listened while
the driver and a passenger had a shouting match over the correct speed
at which to operate the bus. The most memorable incident, though, was
getting stranded while riding the bus during a February snowstorm.  I am
pretty sure the bus driver had never driven through snow before in her
life.  Why some drivers here in the District and surrounding suburbs
abandon their vehicles in turning lanes during snowstorms I will never
However, the bus was not all bad!  It was on the 32 that I overheard two
white Caucasian men (neither of Hispanic descent as far as I could
tell) speak rapid-fire Spanish as well as any of the Hispanic immigrants
from back home in Nebraska.  That may seem pretty un-extraordinary by
some standards, but I was totally impressed and pleased to have such an
encounter with two non-native speakers conversing in Spanish, not
English.  The multicultural component of this thriving metropolis is one
of its best qualities, as far as I am concerned.

Oh yah…National Geographic

Along with all the knowledge I gained from outside the office, I learned
a good deal at work, as well. Obviously I have gleaned a lot about
writing, posting, and maintaining a blog.  I think my favorite part of
the whole process was searching for the perfect photo or graphic to
illustrate each topic.  I had always heard that the photography
standards at National Geographic were exceptionally high, and this
concept has only been reinforced after three months of interning here. 
My work in other social media avenues, such as Facebook and Twitter, has
also provided me with new ways to interact with people, and to
encourage them to make geographic connections with the world around
them.  It has helped me to see how powerful a tool the on-line world can

So now what?

Where will I go now?  I honestly have no idea. I will go back to
Nebraska and take my new knowledge with me and wear my fingers to the
bone applying for jobs, most likely.  There is a possibility that I
could secure a position in North Dakota working at a National Wildlife
Refuge, which I am hopeful about. Wherever I land, I will certainly
continue to promote awareness of geography and maintain my connections
with National Geographic.
I hope you have had as much fun reading this blog as I have had writing
it. May the power of geographic learning and knowledge keep you now and

Becky for My Wonderful World

Photos courtesy of My Shot Your Shot
Goodbye soup–Paul Cotter
Sunset–Melo Ignacio

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