Tag Archives: internship

Destruction, reconstruction, and bakery treats.

When you are the child of a telecommunications technician, you grow up around piles of decommissioned telephones, copper wire and sometimes entire telephone boxes (never police boxes, though, so my love of Doctor Who remains a mystery). Armed with a screwdriver (not sonic) I developed an interest in dismantling things – all things – and gradually started to find the skills necessary to put them back together, with varying degrees of success.

It’s a habit I carried through to adulthood. I like building and fixing microphone cables, half my wage goes to IKEA furniture, and last weekend I had a fair go at changing the tyre on my car. It was messy work and as hard as I tried I just could not channel Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters and prevent my nice, new, white shirt from becoming the next victim of my inept driving. Nor could I save my face, hair, wallet and everything else I came into contact with over the next three days. Just like Google, you could have tracked my entire week’s activities to the minute by the footprints I left behind.

Now, as The Edge’s latest Communications Intern, I get to share my love of destruction, creation, and self-reliance by working on the communications plan for the Creative Community Computing project. If you don’t already know about it, read this blog post from past intern Sophie Meixner – she sums it up beautifully.

After a week of tackling communications objectives under Beck’s gentle and experienced guidance – as well as the adventures in cake that seem to be a recurring topic for interns at The Edge – today was much more hands on. With help from Andrei, The Edge’s Outreach Catalyst and the driving force behind Creating Community Computing project, Abidi and I decided it was time to document the dismantling and rebuilding of an HP Compaq 8100. I unscrewed, unplugged and unbolted my way to victory only to realise that I’d accidentally dismantled an office chair instead.

I’m not great with computers.

After the false start we successfully turned a working computer into a working computer (is anyone familiar with the Myth of Sisyphus?) and I felt ready to embark on achieving world domination, one RAM upgrade at a time.


The Last Post

Up until now I’d never experienced one but let me tell you: caffeine hangovers are a thing. With only three weeks left until graduation I’m surprised my play-hard, procrastinate-harder lifestyle hasn’t thrown me one sooner. But sure enough, several recommended daily doses later and here I am, staring out the windows of The Edge’s basement at an eerily dark afternoon. The darkness is not only a blessing on my flaky eyeballs but it’s also set the mood for my final day at The Edge.

Before I emailed Beck with my application for the intern role I had no idea this space existed. It wasn’t until my mother linked me the ad for the position that I started to see some of the excellence that I’ve now come to expect  daily from The Edge.  (Holy hell it’s starting to rain. Dry bed sheets are overrated anyway.) During my time as a communications intern at The Edge I’ve edited and updated staff profiles (and subsequently gotten to know great people); I’ve gotten to learn about awesome events such as the Zombie Apocalypse Series; and sit in on great programs such as Creative Community Computing. I’ve also drafted radio ads, social media posts and of course there’s the editing (we will never forget the editing).

Unknown-26

Sunnier times.

However, during my time as gleeful imbecile at The Edge I’ve had the chance to get touchy feely with a 4000 year old Babylonian tablet as well as getting up close and personal with a preserved polar bear. I’ve discovered that green ghost drops are a no-go and that clothes can be grown from tea. Yesterday I was looking over Michelle’s shoulder as she took samples of her own blood for use in a music video and today I got to sit in on a seminar on the future of libraries (far from as boring despite what you might think).

For those applying to intern at The Edge: to say it’s a rewarding experience is like saying the sun is hot. You can’t anticipate the kind of shenanigans that you might experience in a week at The Edge, possibly because the staff can’t either. It’s the nature of the organisation and I fear it may be the kind of internship experience that many hope to find but most do not. If you are lucky enough to get called for an interview read up on as many of the events and programs as possible. Even if you don’t get the position you’ll be a far more interesting and knowledgeable person for it.

Anyway, technically I’ve finished my role as intern and am now just loitering in the office. Security has been notified. So for my final slice of cheese: you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

Nailed it.


The CCC Project: Computing, Champagne and Cockroaches

Reason #923 why I love interning at The Edge: Arriving at the office at a quarter to midday (continuing my proud tradition of being the flakiest intern ever) and being greeted with a glass of champagne and a table full of food! While I’m told this doesn’t happen every day, I can already tell that my stint at The Edge will be the benchmark of awesomeness to which I compare all my future jobs and general life achievements. I wonder if they’ll let me stick around here indefinitely if I agree to accept payment in cake and muffins? Seeing as it’s already my preferred form of currency, it’s definitely worth a try.

Last week I sat in on the Creative Community Computing (CCC) workshop directed by Outreach Catalyst Andrei, although I think he’d agree with me that the kids participating in the workshop didn’t need much directing. They were given a computer, a couple of screwdrivers and some basic instructions, and soon enough they’d taken apart the entire contents of the hard drive, put it all back together again, and asked what was next. Coming from the girl who hitches a ride to Meltdown City every time Microsoft Word so much as closes unexpectedly, let’s just say I was in awe.

The rationale of the CCC project is simple: in the digital age, digital knowledge is power. Provide young people with a basic knowledge of operating systems, an ability to fix and troubleshoot, and some hands-on experience with hardware, and they’ll be given valuable knowledge to use in their daily lives, as well as inspiration to continue their technological education into the future.

As one of those annoying students who still believes that journalism can do some good in the world, I’m just a little bit thrilled that I get to write about it. Stay tuned for the story. You know, once I’ve finished all these time-consuming blog posts and taken all these pesky champagne and cake breaks.

In other news, I have successfully stolen from outsmarted arch nemesis fellow intern Sam and I have the privilege of presenting to you: two interns wrestling with the resident office cockroach Gregor. Who said the intern life was easy?

.Cockroach photo


Cheers to Beck and cake.

Greetings. I’ll keep this brief for once.

It’s my second last week here at The Edge and I feel like my time here has gone by incredibly fast. I cannot attest the same for Beck and Tegan whom, having received the brunt of my rambunctious (and more often than not cringe-worthy) behaviour, are probably ready to break open the champagne.

Speaking of champagne, today was the last day for Sally so it was only fitting that we had some bubbly and cupcakes for lunch. Sophie and I thought that it was possibly a cruel joke, building up our expectations of ‘the real world’. Where else does your supervisor caution you to stop working as it’s time for cake?

party image

Cake has been a good friend to me this week given that I’ve returned to editing the first three case studies that I wrote up. It’s not that I don’t like editing; it’s just that I resent it for forcing me to look back at my own work, which I can never really come around to liking. (I’m fairly certain I briefly touched on this in an earlier post.)

Beck has also been friendly throughout the editing process having substituted her red pen for a less soul-smushing blue Staedtler. She’s still trying to beat the commas out of me (they’re my last wall of defence); fortunately I think that as a result some of her masterful ways are rubbing off.

Once again one of my biggest challenges was cutting down several paragraphs into a matter of lines. Four lines to be precise. It started off being quite difficult but became easier as I grew better at identifying the most important information. And I have to admit that seeing a page full of equal length paragraphs was quite rewarding.

That’s it.


Behind the scenes: books and dead stuff

I apologise in advance for any incoherence throughout this post — today was a little bit crazy and at the time my brain matter felt like a packet of strawberry clouds, however now that I’m coming back down to dirty Earth it feels more like a box of used matches. But let me start from the top…

Today I tagged along on a photo shoot for the next two Clever Conventions which saw us visit both State Library and the Queensland Museum.

First up, Emily the photographer, Tegan and I took a trip up to the John Oxley Library Reading Room on the 4th floor of the State Library to take a few photos and get a sneak peak at some of their artist book collection. These art-books are fairly awesome and vary in size and age. There was one that took two people to manoeuvre and another that was 4000 years old. There was a Steam Punk E-reader and a book made from hundreds of fish. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to post here, but keep an eye on The Edge’s social media or better yet book yourself a ticket to the next Clever Convention (Curated Collections), which will be held in the John Oxley Library Reading Room on Tuesday, 8th October (book here).

After finishing up at the State Library we moved next door to the Queensland Museum where we got to go behind the scenes into some of their preservation rooms. It was unreal! It was probably around this point that my nasal passage begun filling up with my fizzing brain matter. While we waited for another group to finish up, we casually chatted to one of the staff there as she de-meated (for lack of a better term) a Bandicoot —  even their lab was enough to make me feel like I was on a primary school excursion. However the real awesomeness was in the next room, their catalogues of sorts, where the majority of their specimens were kept. In here we got to see all kinds of preserved animals and skeletons. Peacocks, armadillos, dry wretch-inducing rattle snakes and all other types of preserved creatures were inside. Cue childish wonder.

Albatross

This is Albert. He is my BFF.

Elephant Skull

An elephant and I having an ‘elluva time.

And finally, the Pièce de résistance — none of us were prepared for this. I think I let out something between joy and terror.

samandbear

…it’s too much to bear.

What do we think? An Attenborough in the making?

 


Zombies and Screaming Bananas

Yesterday was the official start of my second half of interning. Due to some university jibber-jabber regarding my course, I was required to alter the focus of my position for the second half of my stay, and as such, now have a bigger focus on writing content. As I said in last week’s post, I’ll be beginning with writing up some case studies for the future website, the first of which was The Zombie Apocalypse series.

Between 2011-12, The Edge held three different Zombie Amockalypses, with the prototype, Future Cities: Zombie Climate Apocalypse, stemming from the 2011 Fringes Ideas Festival. The focus of The Edge’s undead debut was equally divided between surviving zombies and the environmental conditions of a hypothetically greenhouse-gassed planet. From there the program evolved with the influence of the Gaming programming period, and for the final two ‘Outbreaks’ the focus was cast upon the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) perspective.  Workshops were delivered prior to the final instalment, showing participants how to zombify themselves (make-up) and get the most bang for bullet out of their NERF guns.

Zombie Climate Apocalypse

Somebody give this guy a hand!

One of my favourite parts about reading up on the program was stumbling across survey responses (a part of the application process to participate as a survivor/’player’), particularly for the question: As you are fleeing your house, you pause to gather three things. What are they? Answers varied from, ‘Clothes, Food and my copy of Kevin Costner’s Water World, limited collectors edition’, to ‘Whiskey, the horse and string cheese’. These photos are just a few of the hundreds taken, if you want to see more I’d suggest checking out the Future Cities: Zombie Climate Apocalypse Facebook page.

Zombie Apocalypse

Why are all the good ones always taken?

Amongst all the writing about zombies, I did manage to sneak in a go on Mick’s Banana Piano.

Unfortunately I can’t really offer any explanation as to how it works. But essentially Mick (Programming team) had hooked up a bunch of wires to separate sections of banana, and then plugged those wires into his computer. With each different section of banana that I prodded, a different animated banana would jump out of its skin (fair enough really) and give an Autotuned scream.  The closest I can surmise to how it actually operates is that the wires project the bananas’ sunglasses-wearing souls onto the computer screen and that’s why they scream when I touch them.

Banana Piano

Beans are no longer the only musical fruit.

Please let me know if you have any technologically informed alternative suggestions.

 


You can’t have your glass half-empty and eat it too

I’m not sure that the title is exactly what I’m looking for in terms of thematic foreshadowing — but my life is full of mixed metaphors, so tough.

I’m proud to announce that I’ve officially hit the halfway mark of my internship with The Edge. 80 hours of intense literary mastication, and I’m beginning to feel like my shiny intern gloss is slowly being scraped away and the soft, mushy parts where my self-esteem used to be are now non-specific clusters of minerals and trauma… I’m completely joking mostly, so far it’s been awesome fun and a really great experience — exactly like the brochure said!

Amongst other things, I’ve finally put the staff profiles behind me. The whole process was quite in-depth and the last points of editing included tone, length (I edited them all to fit in the same amount of lines) and general avoidance of repetition between profiles (particularly members within the same team). I’m glad to be moving on to something new and I’m probably 70% happy with what I handed to Beck, but I suppose that’s always the way with one’s own work. As I’ve said in previous posts, one of the best things I’ve taken from the experience so far is to know when to let go of something, and to also place less emotion into my general work (note the aforementioned transition of mushy parts to non-specific clusters).

Coming up next week I’ll be starting work on writing content for current programs as well as a select few of the previous projects that have gone on here at The Edge. I got to choose from a list and naturally my first pick was the Zombie Climate Apocalypse. I’ll also be writing about the Mad Scientist Tea Party (a great party theme in my opinion) and the Science Fair, so keep your eyes peeled — or for a less coarse approach, pulped — for a look at some of the great stuff from The Edge’s past. I’ll also try to include a couple of the best photos I come across during my digital trawling.

zombie 1

One of the many photos documenting The Edge’s Zombie Climate Apocalypse

I suppose what I was trying to woefully allude to with the title, is that if you don’t have a positive outlook, chances are you’re not going to enjoy your internship/whatever you’re doing. And usually to get to the super-cool-fun-stuff you have to trudge through the tough and tedious, and remaining positive through the latter can sometimes be a mission. So far, that hasn’t been the case in my experience and whether it has been because of the people, the content or the general work environment, even usually menial tasks (e.g. capitalising) at The Edge result in stumbling across something new and interesting.

Wish me luck for the second half of my stay! I’m looking forward to it, but with the finish line imminent I’m not sure whether my own emotional glass is half-full or half-empty. Stay tuned for more self-cognitive epiphanies.

At this monumental point in time, a piece of advice for future interns: always eat the cake. If you don’t it will go stale — or sour if it’s a cheesecake.

 


HTML: Hurting Tegan’s Mind for Laughs

Hello again. Mid-way through week three I finally got my State Library ID (sky-punch!). Instantly, my credibility, acceptability, and I daresay vanity, are through the roof (the lime-green background really contrasts nicely with my awesomeness. Some disagree — colour-blind fools!). No more negotiating access with the cleaners! No more awkward inaudible intercom interactions! The possibilities are endless. Alas, I’m still yet to acquire printing privileges. (Slowly but surely I will build their trust…).

Interns at The Edge

Speaking of privileges, this week I was also instated as an editor for The Edge’s WordPress, as my workload this week included editing, editing, proof-reading and editing. This made for some interesting results.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WordPress (those such as myself), when creating a new post you can either view it under a ‘visual’ or a ‘text’ tab. The former shows it as it will appear — usually — and things like bold or italicised text and images will be shown. However the latter shows everything thing in text — what I’ve been told is HTML.

To provide further context, and to elaborate on the ‘tasks’ I mentioned early, I’ve spent this week solely editing the blogs of the Residents and Catalysts here at The Edge. With the 39-page State Library style guide in hand, I set out on a crusade of correction, ‘em’ dashing instead of ‘en’ dashing and capitalising the ‘t’ in The Edge.

But back to my experience with HyperText Markup Language (or possibly more apt: Hurting Tegan’s Mind for Laughs), which has proven thus far to be a worthy adversary. So worthy in fact, that it’s given me a comprehensive ass-whoopin. The last time I had anything to do with HTML was in high school, when I wanted to make my Myspace page cool. (I have a sneaking suspicion that my incompetency with HTML directly correlated with my lack of friends. Then again, maybe not.) So naturally I managed to mutilate almost every blog I touched on one level or another — there were mysterious spaces after links, text rendering had a mind of its own, and paragraph and line spacing were non-existent. Thankfully, Tegan managed to solve it and re-introduced me to my first bit of HTML, with what is known as a ‘paragraph tag’ [pærəˌgrɑːf – tặ/g/].

Aside from generally sabotaging them, the blogs gave me an awesome insight into the kinds of projects that are going on behind the ‘behind the scenes’ at The Edge.

Anyway, I’m off to whisper sweet-nothings to my State Library pass — and then to laminate it so I can wear it in the shower…


Off to a Ghostly start

edge interns

As I look out of the glass windows of The Edge office, almost at pedestrian level with the South Bank Boardwalk that runs along the Brisbane River, I wonder how many of the passers-by admiring the view realise how close they are to the busy, buzzing hive of technology, brainpower and ideas that lives only metres away.

I know I’ve certainly discovered things I never knew existed in my grand total of two official days as an Edge intern. I found out 3D printers are not science fiction but an actual reality (remind me to look back at this post in five years’ time and cringe at my naiveté); I learned that it’s much cooler to never act surprised at the obscure and baffling items strewn around the Edge offices (a personal Bingo game next to a homemade arcade game machine next to bags and bags of Ghost Drops!) and most importantly I discovered how stylish I look dressed in a vest made completely out of tea.

The Edge is one of those sprawling, open-plan offices where everyone seems to get a huge amount of work done while still managing to look cool as cucumbers. The great thing about this place is that although it looks like some kind of trendy, hipster café, with quirky posters on the walls and a floor-to-ceiling blackboard wall, they have really great programs here that help various people in a real and genuine way.

As a journalism student, I’ll mainly be involved with writing up two of these fab projects onto the website, both of which concentrate on combating the emerging phenomena of the ‘Digital Divide’: the Mobile Media Lab project, in which an indigenous community in Rockhampton is provided with a toolkit of iPads and MacBooks; and the Creative Community Computing project, where a group in the community is given computer hardware lessons, leaving with a new set of skills along with a refurbished computer to practise on. I’m thrilled to be helping out, and hope I can bring some exposure to these worthwhile projects.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be chatting to participants and those involved, exploring the most effective way of displaying the projects on the website, and trying madly to get Ghost Drop dye off my tongue.


Seeing Red

Copy editing

This week I got to sit in on my very first staff meeting at The Edge – I feel more professional already! The meeting was relocated upstairs because Tegan and Beck gave an official presentation of the new plans for the website. It was awesome to be involved in the planning of such a big project and to be given the chance to contribute. I’d delve into further detail but I’m afraid it’s all rather top secret. Needless to say, exciting things will be coming up in the near future.

With week one down, I started off the second feeling like I was starting to get into the swing of things; certainly with all of the official introductions sorted it was time for me to translate some lovely chats into something that looked like a Staff Profile. By Thursday I’d knocked off a large chunk of the profiles and had a consultation with Beck, the Communications Manager (and also my supervisor). Initially apprehensive, I came out relatively unscathed and could still see plenty of white amongst the red on the page.

Jokes aside, it was quite a helpful process and Beck was full of constructive criticism. It’s definitely made me more relaxed about seeking help or advice on my writing, and to be less emotionally invested in my day-to-day work.

In other news, I’ve written a draft for my very first radio ad! The ad will run on 4ZZZ and is advertising two of the Clever Conventions from the Spring Series. Although it’s still a while off, the suspense is killing me. If you can’t wait until then to hear about the upcoming Clever Conventions, have a look in our Programs section on the website.