My service activity at the National Mall this week was just what I expected. It was a nice experience with nothing but knowledge heading our way and vice versa. We were thought about what goes in the compost and what simply goes straight into the trash. Many of these things I didn’t even know myself. I always thought that the white forks and spoons we use at birthday parties were thrown straight into the trash can. Well, actually they are made out of corn. And because of this, they go into compost. This was the most interesting I learned throughout my time as a volunteer at the National Mall this week. But the most interesting part, and the proudest thing I felt was knowing that most of the people throwing their foods away, for the most part, aimed at the correct bucket. It was only a few times where I had to walk up and pick up the trash from its incorrect bucket and throw it into compost. Overall, a great experience and I look forward in helping out the DC Devils Alumni chapter in doing any community service work, especially in the outdoors. That is, of course, when I (hopefully) get a job here in the nation’s capital at some point in a few years.
What I learned this week was something that humbled me. I don’t have the hands-on journalism work level that I thought I had. For example, this week I had an assignment for my internship that was quite complicated for me. I had to go find 8 Latinos and ask them what plans do they have for the rest of the summer. Sounds simple at first, right? Well, about that.
The very first Latino I approached were easy to talk to and interview and take a picture of for the front cover of the newspaper. However, after the first few interviews, I was started to get rejected by people for a simple interview because they don’t feel comfortable appearing on local media. All that is fair and understandable. But that was the first time that multiple people on the street were rejecting a 3 minute interview with me all in one day.
I went home thinking that maybe I should work better in my communications skills. Maybe my lack of experience with professional journalism really showed and it prevented them from feeling comfortable of talking to a media member who just wanted to see how their summer is going and what they will continue to do in the following months.
Basically, I was humbled knowing I still have a lot of communication skills to catch up to in the future.