Growin’ Up – a blog about life after Smith by Lauren Kaelin ’10 : Toledo, home sweet home…

July 31, 2010

Okay, I am not going to lie– Toledo, OH was never a place I imagined myself living. For any period of time. I am more than halfway through my internship at the museum and those reservations have been more or less confirmed.

I took this position at the museum because it was the best for my “career” (whatever that means). I have not regretted that. My experience to date at the museum has been incredible. I work in the Curatorial Dept. and my supervisors have taken an active interest in my interest level and my ideas, which, in my experience is not something often found in these internships. I am excited to go into work everyday and am thrilled that some of the things I am working on will have a tangible product. That being said, come 5pm, Toledo, OH is far from my home away from home.

It is hard to establish yourself in a new city. When I first went abroad to Glasgow, Scotland I spent a few days wandering the city, trying to find my bearings. And it’s hard and often awkward.

Here are a few things that have helped me feel more at home…

1. Finding the NPR station for the area. Listening to NPR every morning will always make me feel at home. Along with a good classic rock station.

2. A movie theater.

3. A bar with a fabulously cheap happy hour, even if it’s a dive bar.

4. The bougiest grocery store. Margaret and I went to the local “Fresh Market” the first week we were in Toledo and while we quickly realized it was not our demographic, sometimes going to a grocery store that is dimly lit and playing classical music is really refreshing. You can buy some $2 organic avocados or the most delicious $4.99/lb potato salad.

5. Joining the local YMCA.

6. Making an effort to see “work friends” out of work.

7. Going to a sporting event. Margaret and I went to the Minor League Baseball game: The Mud Hens last week. $7 40 oz. souvenir cups filled with Bud Light and Chili dogs. The seats were only $9 and there were after game fireworks!

8. What’s within walking distance? The answer to this question in Toledo is- nothing. But in Glasgow, I walked absolutely everywhere and within those first few weeks, you establish a perimeter of your “stomping ground.”

9. The Goodwill.

10. Local coffee shop with wireless.

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