What a summer. With my internship at Lane County 4-H beginning to wrap, reflecting upon my experience these past eight weeks has been insightful. If last year you had told me I would be spending my summer serving as a small animal judge at the Lane County Fair and setting off two dozen Alka-Seltzer volcanos I would have thought you were crazy.
This summer I made Tofu smoothies with second-graders, learned to run a fair management software, and became an expert on the Danish scoring system, which we use to judge livestock and static projects at the fair. While it might not sound like it, all of these unique experiences have contributed to a further understanding of what it takes to serve the needs and wants of the Eugene and surrounding Lane County communities.
This experience has provided clarification for my professional goals post-graduation, and has provided insight into the work environment in which I hope to pursue. Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and working in this position, which I might not have previously considered, served as highly insightful for my professional development. If I would have stayed within my comfort zone I would have not had the experience to meet families and kids where they are, understanding their needs and intentions in a way that’s impossible solely from a classroom. It has taught me a lot about flexibility, and adaptability and reiterated my respect for the sacrifices parents make for their children.
I want to thank everyone at OSU Extension for creating this opportunity and Lane County for hosting me this summer.