Student Snippets


Flash to 502

Last Saturday I showed up to the Concord Free Public Library ten minutes late, pumped full of adrenaline, wet from the rain, and clutching a Dunkin Donuts coffee and old-fashioned donut. It wasn't necessarily how I wanted to start my very first day at my 502 internship!

The night before, after playing board games with friends, I set four different alarms for the next morning. I was prepared to wake up around 7AM, get ready, make breakfast, and hop on the Fitchburg Line for a 9:18AM arrival in Concord, Massachusetts. When Simmons had originally ranked potential internships, I had chosen those with weekend or late night hours within the Boston city limits. When I found out I'd have to hike all the way to Concord, I was initially disappointed. But the prospect of the collection excited me - I'd be working with the records of the Concord Minute Men re-enactors, one of the first and most respected re-enactment groups in the United States. I had worked at Renaissance festivals and been to battle re-enactments before and I couldn't wait to see what weird and interesting materials I would be interacting with for the semester.

But my plans about my productive morning did not work out - somehow, not one of the four alarms went off and I woke up leisurely at 8:45... 20 minutes after my Saturday morning train left Porter Square. I immediately went into panic mode, trying to figure out how I could possibly get to Concord. My supervisor, I knew, would only be there until 1PM and the next train wouldn't get me there until noon. I had messed up big time and I wouldn't be able to start today. The delay was a nightmare for my schedule - and I was already looking at an extended internship due to my limited availability.

Suddenly I realized that my friend, who had hosted the board game playing the night before, had mentioned that he had access to a car. Hopping around my room trying to pull on my jeans, I called him in a panic. "I totally know that this is out of the blue and you'd be doing me such a huge favor but you can say no if you can't do it..." I rambled into the phone as my friend groggily woke up. The car in question was actually his roommate's car, so he stumbled to her room, woke her up, and asked her. I fed my screaming cats in hectic anticipation.

He could borrow the car. 

"Just let me splash some water on my face and get dressed and I'll be there ASAP."

Like a tornado, I whirled around my apartment to find my rain boots, my umbrella, my notebook. Neither my laptop nor my lunch made it into my bag.  I whipped down to the stairs and into the nearby Dunkin Donuts. My friend was there minutes after I picked up my old-fashioned donut and coffee, a sad excuse for the pancakes that I had originally planned to make. It was 9:10AM.

Of course, it was close to torrential downpour as we wove down Storrow Drive and onto the highway. My poor friend, though, didn't complain and even offered to wait around downtown Concord to drive me back.  Despite my terrible navigational skills (the adrenaline running through my body completely destroyed any hope for focus or following directions), we made it to the beautiful Concord Free Public Library right at 9:40AM.

I must have looked a fright to my supervisor and the other Simmons intern. I hadn't had a moment to eat my breakfast in the car and I was (understandably) forced to leave it at the door of the special collections' department. Famished, crazed, and wet, I somehow managed to review the entirety of the collection by the end of the day and catch an afternoon train back to Boston.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about the Minute Men collection this semester so I'll leave you with this little heart-warming story about friendship, Dunkin Donuts efficiency, and how not one of the archivists thought anything of my frantic entrance. Come to think of it, their acceptance might be very telling about the profession as a whole.

Until next week!