OK so I know Week 4 isn’t quite over with yet but it’s been a pretty cool week. The highlight (so far) is probably the fact that a car chase for the “Need for Speed” movie is being filmed right outside my office building. They cut off all street access around Campus Martius and had certain areas (like the front of the building) that you weren’t supposed to walk in because you might mess up the shot. All day today we heard tires screeching as a Mustang raced around Campus Martius with a State Police vehicle following close behind. Not sure yet if we saw any actual celebrities in the cars or just stunt doubles but maybe we’ll recognize someone tomorrow! (I would post of photo but we weren’t technically supposed to take them so I don’t think I’ll mess with that… yet…)
Anyway, I know that wasn’t technically part of my internship but it was really cool and I thought I’d share. One pretty cool thing this week (that was actually related to my internship) was the man we met at Paradise Valley Park. I and another intern had a long discussion with one of the park-goers, a 50-year old man who had a lot to say on a variety of topics. The topic that he felt very passionately about and linked many other issues to was race. We were asked to give our opinion on the Trayvon Martin case as well as a lot of other current/recent issues. He told us how he didn’t feel that “black” was appropriate to describe a person as and that he would never want to be called a variety of terms including “black.” He also talked to us about what we thought about U.S. soldiers being in Afghanistan and Iraq and related a variety of issues back to racism and white privilege (although not in those terms). It was interesting to discuss these issues and impressive that this complete stranger felt comfortable sharing a variety of ideas with two complete strangers with little to no introduction of any kind. It was also very enlightening about who we’re working with/for when planning events for parkgoers to enjoy. Yesterday happened to be a day when recorded music was playing at the park (not a typical park event) and this man and a variety of other people described how amazing it was that this music was playing and how much he loved Paradise Valley Park (when we had finished discussing the more controversial topics). This experience made me feel that I’m actually learning something about the people who use our Parks. It was great to have this unsolicited conversation that went so much deeper than a survey ever could!