Jeremy Blackman was an intern with My Wonderful World during the summer of 2008. He is well remembered for his interests in food, art, and creative combinations of the two (ever heard of a Happy Meal pizza?) A native of Turlock, California, in the Central Valley near Modesto–he grew up on almond farm–Jeremy recently completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley. I caught up with my old buddy “Jerms” to find out how life’s treating him, and to glean whether or not his internship had a lasting impact on his post-grad plans. I’ll let you be the judge.
Well hello all you My Wonderful Worlders,
I know, I know, it’s been too long since you last heard from me. Honestly, I cannot believe that an entire year has nearly gone by since I began my summer internship at National Geographic and wrote my first blog post for the My Wonderful World campaign. I really don’t know where all that time went. One day I went to sleep a happy-go-lucky guy, interning and living it up in our nation’s capital (as happy-go-lucky as anyone subjected to unbearable swamp-like humidity could be!) and the next I awoke right back here in good old Berkeley, California, enjoying my last few days as a Cal undergraduate (amidst sunny, beautiful, not-humid-one-bit weather).
So what have I been up to these past months? Well, after departing from D.C. last August I made my way north to New York City, where I spent the rest of the year interning with a small art non-profit called The Laundromat Project. The organization works with artists in the Bedford-Stuyvessant neighborhood of Brooklyn to construct engaging art exhibits in local laundromats to engage community members in new ways. Anyone who tries to argue that geographic knowledge is not important in today’s world obviously hasn’t spent time working with projects and organizations such as these. In order to understand how art could be used as a tool to spark social change, it was essential that I spend a lot of time both researching Bed-Stuy’s unique past and conversing with neighbors about how drastically the community’s urban landscape is evolving as more and more people of diverse ethnic and financial backgrounds move in.