Summer Camp for Grown-Ups

Allow me to apologize for my radio silence; since my last entry, I have wrapped up my junior year at the College and have relocated from warm, humid Virginia to less-warm, just-as-humid upstate New York to a little place called Cooperstown.

“What? You’ve never heard of Cooperstown? Oh, but you’ve heard of the Baseball Hall of Fame.” I’ve had this conversation at least a dozen times. While the name alludes to the presence of a town, it’s actually a village, with less than 2000 full-time, annual residents. This small village is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and host to the Little League World Series; there’s plenty of small shops that cater to baseball tourists and a few B&Bs, in addition to a huge lake. Compared to back home, I’d say, “there ain’t nobody here”.

Then what, you might ask, am I doing in such a rural area for the summer? I have been graced with the wonderful opportunity to work with another world-class opera company, the Glimmerglass Festival. My official title is “Artistic Administration Intern”; primarily I work to create daily schedules to keep track of nearly 500 people, organize tickets for VIPs that trek in from NYC, and make sure that people have cake on their birthdays (note: there are currently 4 sheet cakes and a dozen gluten-free cupcakes sitting on my desk, and my mouth waters at the sight of chocolate buttercream… see my cupcake post from Spring ’13 if you don’t believe me).

Life here has certainly taken some major adjustments to get acclimated to. I don’t have 3G/4G coverage – thank goodness for roaming – and I don’t have Wi-Fi when I’m not at work, so I am very behind on Netflix compared to all of my friends interning in more urban areas. Driving anywhere takes a long time, and there is no Starbucks or Target or Panera within a 50 mile radius. A trip to Wal-Mart is a big deal, and every time I get a latte from the only coffee shop in town, I am nearly reduced to tears thinking about the convenience of Aroma’s back in the ‘burg (another note: I have lived about 50 paces from Aroma’s for three years now).

I have forced myself to enjoy this change of pace. I run 5 days a week here on long stretches of road where there are no cars, only cows. I went swimming in a giant glacial lake, only to hike a beautiful state park and climb up a waterfall the next day. Because of the abundance of dairy farms, fresh ice cream is everywhere, as are local eggs and inexpensive yet delicious NY cheddar cheeses. It gets dark enough at night to see stars – unlike the light-polluted Mid-Atlantic region, and nothing is as fun as sitting around the campfire with my new friends, setting marshmallows on fire and watching embers crackle. Soon there will be weekends of picnics and operas and sunshine at the beach. There are plenty of gems worth exploring here, and while it certainly isn’t home, it’s not a bad place to be for the summer… kind of like camp.


For some cool photos, check The Glimmerglass Festival’s Flickr!

Categories: Arts & Culture, Careers, Student Blogs Tags: , ,
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