Currently, I work for Glen Helen Nature Preserve as an assistant marketer, a job I got as a Miller Fellowship and then decided to continue on for a co-op. My duties are primarily the creation and propagation of marketing materials such as social media posts, posters, and flyers. I also help with miscellaneous tasks around the office, with event set-up, and with photography for new materials. There is always a healthy variety of tasks to perform and I find myself enjoying the ones that got me out of my chair more often than not.
The physical place of the job is huge. Most days I work in the Vernet Center offices, but I occasionally have to hike to the Outdoor Education Center or the Raptor Center. A couple of times I even got a ride out to Camp Greene, a former Girl Scout camp that Glen Helen acquired. Each of these places come with its own unique atmosphere, with the Raptor Center being peaceful, the Outdoor Education Center feeling much like a camp, and Camp Greene honestly feeling like more of a good gathering place.
My co-op class was Sound, Sight, and Sentiment: Phenomenology of Place. Throughout this class, we explored what exactly creates a place (ultimately, I’ve found it is wherever we choose to find ourselves), whether it be a physical spot or within something such as music or a piece of literature. Our experience is what our minds perceive, not necessarily bound by the simple geographical reality of our position.
My personal definition of place is simply what I mentioned above. A place is where I find myself. If I step back and realize that I’ve lost myself somewhere—even if it’s not the traditional sense of being lost, but rather lost in time—then I’m probably experiencing some sense of place. A place demands our temporal attention, and we either give it freely or it affects it, distorting our perception of time. Much like how time seems to pass slowly in boring lectures or on the train, yet seems to fly by in an interesting locale. That isn’t to say that either the slow passing of time or fast passing of time is inherently good or bad, however. A good conversation, if you’re lucky, can seem to stretch on for hours, while in reality take up only a short amount of time.
Photo credit: https://www.yellowspringsohio.org/