Monday, October 13, 2008

Rohit's American Adventure:Chapter 17. Summer 07: Internship blues, Bible study and Peggy's graduation party

Getting an internship was my number one priority for the summer, as internships turn into full time job offers. I did not hear from the big guns, Microsoft and Google, so was kind of disappointed. I did keep trying and sending in that resume of mine every day. I did get some interview calls but it did not go to the next stage as I did not have citizenship. In the meanwhile, I was working in John Hopkins as an intern, thanks to Patti. Patti was in one of my classes in my first semester and she was kind enough, to bring me on board when I asked her if there was something I could work on. I was working on projects beyond my background, one of them was an AIDS awareness project and the other one was Avian Flu. I was working with an excellent team, who valued my opinions and suggestions. The commute to Baltimore via the MARC train was a pain but that was the only way of getting there. Patti was one of the few people, who I really admired. She was smart, hardworking and knew her strengths. I remember my first day in John Hopkins. Patti picked me up from Camden Yards and was driving me towards John Hopkins campus. She was telling me how unsafe the areas around John Hopkins was after 10pm. I could not continue with the project at John Hopkins for a long time as I had got an internship on campus. I met Jen Moore at random on my way back from John Hopkins to Penn station on the John Hopkins shuttle. I had a normal conversation with her when I got into the shuttle and was amazed when I came to know that she was also interning at John Hopkins but in a different department. Well,she expressed her interest to visit India and gave me her email address before I could get down for my stop.

I was excited about my internship on campus as it was something on lines of what I wanted to do:project management and I got free lunches at the awesome diner. Everything seemed to be going as per plan until I got the email from MTV regarding a possible internship opportunity. Now here is the flaw, it was unpaid and it would be unethical to leave the new internship I had got on campus. My weakness of inability to take a decision was exposed again. On one hand, I had an opportunity to intern at MTV, which would be great on a resume and the other hand I had an internship on campus which I had just got. The internship at MTV was unpaid, so living in NYC was definitely going to burn a hole in my pocket.So, after a lot of deliberation I figured out, I would do my internship on campus for 20 hours and commute to NYC and work on Fridays and Mondays. I was about to start work in MTV on July 7th but then my supervisor said I could not start working before July 13th as it would take at least a week to get the id's and work space set up for me. However, if I started work on July 13th, I was not meeting the minimum criteria of a 8 week internship. So, after all the planning, I ended up losing the internship for no fault of mine. I did have a great time working with Mr. Ming at the dinner. He was fun and very easy to get along with. I was happy as I got a chance to do what I wanted to and did not have to worry about cooking lunches. I enjoyed amazing meals at the dinner which kind of became predictable after a certain period of time.

In the middle of all this running around, I was doing bible study for summer. My friend, Jason Float had organized Summer bible study group and I was part of it. I made a lot of friends there and learned about Jesus. I had been touch with Jen Moore through a string of emails titled,' nice meeting you on John hopkins shuttle'. I decided to pay her a visit and was really excited about spending time with her. I was still without a phone, so there was no way of letting her know that I was running late. I finally called her from a local phone at Penn Station and was happy to hear she was coming to the station to pick me up. We took the John hopkins shuttle to her apartment , where I met her friend Sara. so the plan was to spend an entire day sightseeing in Baltimore till Jen's friend, Diane would meet us in the evening. I enjoyed my first visit to coldstone thanks to Jen. It was so confusing to choose the right ice cream flavor. I decided to stick to traditional chocolate and was not disappointed. We checked out Baltimore harbor and were just hanging out. We even witnessed an American wedding which was cute. I got to know Sara better. She was home schooled and was going to have a knee operation in the next few weeks.
Jen was getting more excited by the minute as she was going to meet Diane. Diane came off as a fun, loving person and was great to get along with and yes she did have a thing for guys wearing purple shirts. We parted ways that evening, with me catching my Amtrack train back to DC and the girls heading back to Jen's home. I have not spoken with Jen since my last visit.

The most awesome thing to happen in summer was Peggy's, Kurt's sisters graduation party. I was invited to it by Kurt's mom and was excited. I love Kurt's family because they are a big family and everybody loves everybody. We drove to NY with Kurt's other sister, Kate who is a photographer. It was beautiful entering NY city in the wee hours of the morning. The thing which I enjoyed the most was the hug and kiss, which Kurt's mom gave me, when we reached Kurt's mom home. I got up next day to be greeted by an awesome breakfast. The Lasnier family had dropped in. Kurt's mom had her jabs at me, whenever I added sugar in my cereals. She was a dentist and was having a ball pulling my leg.

The Lasnier family was fun. I enjoyed meeting Kevin Lasnier. Kevin was this raw bundle of energy who shared the passion of food with Kurt. When I arrived at the party, I felt like I was in heaven. It was an outdoor party and I could see flyers with Peggy's face, shouting out congratulations. This was a big party as this was also celebrating, one of the Rothberg girls, Calli getting into high school and Aunt Mary's sons getting into Hartwick college. I was so happy to see Aunt Tricia after a long time. I helped her set up the tent. From the last time, I had met her, I now had a phone but was still without a drivers license. I started munching on the food and was happy to meet Kurt's extended family. About 100 Manspergers had come to the party and it was great get together event. I enjoyed playing ping pong and observed that Kurt always liked to play solo. Even if he had a partner, he would take most of the shorts. We went bowling later on in the night. I sucked at it but Kevin kind of enjoyed coaching me. I met Ahmad Ismail ( my non drinking partner at Kurt's first party) there and it was good to catch up with him. Kevin's parents drove us back , which was very kind of them. It was one of those weekends, which will remain in my mind forever.