As I wrap up my internship at Marfa Public radio, here are some reflections:
It’s really hard to boil something very vast and extraordinary down to a statement (especially while still sitting in the office!), but suffice it to say this internship has meant a lot to me both professionally and personally.
As soon as I arrived in Marfa, I felt completely immersed. Before coming here, I’d been living and working in cities that felt overwhelming. As someone just starting out, the largesse of these places sort of muddled my focus, too much to try to understand all at once. Marfa is great because it really allowed me to hone in. Because it is so different from my own experience, I came in without any notions of what the community would be like, and I was able to focus on learning about it, and trying to find ways to engage with every part of it: the sounds, the landscape, and the people who live here.
The real key to this internship is the fact that the staff is truly extraordinary. Everyone at MPR is here because they are dedicated – going above and beyond to help and support each other. I arrived with very few skills; my experience was in a typical intern realm, tasks ranging from editing to getting coffee. Here, you dive right into some pretty real stuff; on a professional level, I now know how to go about reporting and how to find the right story to tell. I have a new understanding of public radio, how it works, its role in knitting together disparate places and how important that is. I also know how to operate a sound board without freaking out.
On a personal level, I feel like I know how to talk to people again. As a so called “millennial,” my life is full of opportunities to disengage. Public radio is about voices, but half of the equation is showing up and listening, talking, contributing, letting go of the fact that the sound of your own voice might sound really weird and just doing it.
This has been a long statement and it’s not even the half of it. There is so much more than this: dancing in the driveway, DJing the oldies show with Sara, staying up late to edit the youth media podcast with Sally, and other very precious memories that are already getting me weepy. 6 months doesn’t seem like too long of a time, but it was long enough for me to develop a really intense connection to this very wonderful place.
Marfa is a small town, and walking outside of the station and looking up, you can really feel the weight of that. There is just so much sky and, at the risk of sounding really crunch crunch granola about it all, it’s very humbling. This radio station broadcasts so very far across that sky, and that’s pretty darn miraculous. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.