50 Days of Artpace: We All Begin Somewhere (Week 1)

Friday, June 10th

I woke up today extremely tired. I mean, it was no joke. But like yesterday, I got up and got ready. I was out the door and to the bus stop before I knew it. No time for Cereal Time this morning.

I got to the bus stop around 7:55 AM and so I took a picture of myself again. I’m not sure whether or not I am subconsciously interested in my progression over time, but it certainly seems that way doesn’t it?

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It’s Friday and I’m pooped out before the day has begun!

I’m pretty sure I slept on the way downtown. Honestly, I needed the few extra winks. Seriously. But once I got off the bus, I took a moment to take some more photos. Certain sights which I see everyday are repetitive but captivating. And some sights which go unnoticed, are noticed now!

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By the time I got to work, it was 8:40 AM (as usual.) The front door was locked, by Ray, luckily, was around to let me in. Since I was extra early, I decided to go and wait in the Archives room.

Ray, for whatever reason, had nothing better to do and followed me into the Archives room. We actually sat down and talked about our lives, and childhoods, for about 10 minutes straight.

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This is Ray Ybarra. He’s basically the janitor but, he’s way cooler than that…

I actually found out a lot of interesting stuff about Ray. He’s apparently got two kids (both boys) and they’re almost graduated out of high school at this point. He was telling me a story about how he never liked being forced into anything so he never forced his boys into doing anything they didn’t want to do.

It was so funny because both of his boys played football and he was telling me about a time where he wanted to jokingly tackle one of them. One of his boys almost took out his shoulder messing around like that, and I couldn’t help but laugh about the story.

What I think is interesting was that his boys decided to go live with their mother rather than with him. Why? I have no idea but Ray seems very content with it. He still loves his kids to death. I think that’s really something special because Ray is such a good fellow. Honestly, I can only speak good things about him.

But like me, he did have a, well, “boy’s” childhood. He was rowdy, hard-headed, loved-to-be-with-friends kid. And like me, his parents, specifically his mother and grandmother, didn’t take no mess from him. He got beat plenty of times, sometimes with whatever was nearby.

What I didn’t know, was that Ray at one point was into illicit activities. Yeah, he was drinking as a teenager (of course he never let himself get caught because his mom would beat his ass! [excuse the language]) and he did other things among that. But, somewhere along the line, he gave his life to God.

The whole conversation was wonderful honestly. I just wish I could remember it all. Shortly thereafter, Zaneta and Hyland walked into the Archives room. I can’t remember exactly what was being said by them but we were all in a good mood this morning.

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Zaneta Taylor. She’s looking might good today! Love the scarf.
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Hyland O’Brien. She’s super sweet and just plain awesome!

Zaneta informed me that her and Hyland would need help later in the day because some phone interviews needed to be conducted. Remember those applications I was looking at on Tuesday? Well, it was time to finally call these applicants and get more information out of them.

Funny thing though, I missed the memo that Fridays were casual clothing days. We could wear jeans and t-shirts so that was nice. But that didn’t really matter for my situation because I worked everyday after my internship so I dressed conveniently, not stylishly.

However, before any of the interviews happened, I had to continue cataloging the Winter of 1999 binder. I had barely even touched the binder since yesterday but, I just wanted to get it done!

I retreated to my office to finish that work. At some point around 11 AM, I got distracted and noticed my writing utensil holder. Why did I notice it? Well, I needed a quick break from cataloging, and I couldn’t help but really notice where all of my utensils were going.

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Yep. It’s a toilet paper roll. I’m definitely in the intern office…

After noticing that quirky object, I went back to cataloging. I continued on that until Zaneta requested my presence in her office, along with Hyland. Since we both were working in the same office, we just went up there together. Zaneta basically prepped us with the situation for the phone interviews that needed to be conducted today for the new Teen Art Council members.

We were at a point where we needed to refine some of the questions we were going to be asking. While I didn’t contribute much to the brainstorming, I did take up the task of reformatting the document the questions were on. After all, I excel at Microsoft Word!

Honestly, I was kinda surprised that neither of them knew how to make a table in Word or reformat for nested levels or anything. It seemed pretty basic to me. But I got that task done in my office. I also took the applications of the people I would be interviewing downstairs with me so I could review them before calling them.

Before I knew it, it was lunch time! Since today is Friday, that means that the food trucks would be parked in front of the Artpace courtyard! While I did pack my own lunch, I figured that I should at least give the food truck a try just to be a part of the spirit of the tradition. Every Friday, the food trucks are parked outside so it’s pretty much a tradition.

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Hey! It’s the El Tacomiendo food truck! I’m cool with street food!

Well, I didn’t plan on getting anything big at all because I already had my own lunch. I browsed over their menu.

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Wow. They have so many options! What will I get?

I decided on getting one chicken taco. I paid $1.75 for that taco and I got it just as it came. It came with cilantro, lime, onions, jalapeno, a slice of tomato, and green onions. Normally, I’m not a big fan of jalapeno but I wanted the experience to be authentic so I didn’t change anything.

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Ooh! Look how…authentic it looks! I can’t wait to try it!

Thank goodness I didn’t change a thing! It was so delicious and delectable. Oh, I wished that I hadn’t packed my lunch so that I could buy a whole set of these tacos instead! But I also needed to save my money so I had to settle.

I squeezed that lime onto the taco and the smell that the taco gave off just sent me to heaven. Plus, the food was hot! Fresh ingredients for the whole thing and they cooked it in front of me? How can I not enjoy it?!

Well, that taco was gone in literally 10 seconds. Short-lived, yes, but I’ll never forget the experience. Absolutely to die for! I ate the taco in my office and then I relaxed for the rest of my lunch break.

After lunch, Hyland came down to my office to inform me that the interviews were coming up soon. On my list to interview were two guys: Santiago and Angelo. I interview Santiago first and, well, he left an impression on me. Honestly, he was quiet and to the point but, I could feel his warmth through the phone.

I don’t know. I just had a gut feeling that Santiago would be a good addition to the council. But, the conversation was only 30 minutes. It’s strange how you can connect with someone so quickly that you’ve never met before.

Right after finish that interview, Zaneta came into my office and asked me how it went. I told her how I felt and that I was excited about Santiago. Zaneta was excited for me too! Soon thereafter, Hyland came in and we came up with a plan on how to divide up the interviews so we didn’t burn ourselves out. We decided on switching off for every candidate.

Then before I knew it, it was time to interview Angelo. Now, I was very excited to interview Angelo because I remembered how I felt when looking at his application. He made an impact on me even before we spoke on the phone. The thing about Angelo, is that while he is profane, he’s genuine in his desire to make a difference and help others.

I very specifically remember him telling me on the phone that he’s “tired of people who don’t really give a shit and don’t want to make a difference in the community.” Immediately, I connected to him because I understood that desire myself. I figured that being on the council would be a very beneficial thing for him personally and for the community!

But I’ll never forget when he told me why he’s so passionate about making a difference in the community. He implied that he had a history with child abuse and that he didn’t want anyone else to feel alone if they were going through that. I mean, how can I not get attached to that?!

And the conversation ended before I knew it. I hung up the phone and was left in awe. I had two great phone interviews back-to-back and, well, both kids I couldn’t get out of my head. But I couldn’t sit still for too long because I had to get back to cataloging.

I was thinking the whole time though about the interviewing process. I mean, I’ve already looked through a number of paper applications and had to pick out the ones that stood out to me and that taught me something.

But the actual interview is an entirely different thing! Having to speak with applicants and take notes on impressions made, credentials and the like, while not getting distracted with their personal stories is challenging! You have to stay on task and not get attached, even though you want to.

And all of that only made me think about others who’ve had to interview me in the past. I started to understand even more how they might feel. With some people you get attached, but you have to remind yourself not to, as heartbreaking as it is. So for all the interviewers out there, I feel for ya. We as applicants don’t make it easy for you. I get that now.

Well, I made sure to return my notes along with the applications to Zaneta. She did of course ask how Angelo’s interview went and I told her how I felt. Honestly, Zaneta only got more excited about the candidates. But, I did have to cut the conversation short because I had to get back to cataloging.

So I returned to my office and finished cataloging as much as I could until about 4:30 PM. I stopped at that time because Scott informed me that he would be leaving early, along with the rest of the staff. Why? Well, they were throwing a going-away party for Chris (the one who was in the same office as me.) He asked me to return the Winter of 1999 binder to his office and said that I could pick it up next week.

Well, I packed up my stuff, cleaned up my office and made sure to get everything where it needed to go before Scott locked his office. By that time, it was time for me to leave for the day myself. I locked up my office, and was on my way out the door.

I got to the bus stop and got on the bus when it came. I was deep in thought although I can’t remember what I was thinking about. I believe I was just still stuck on the interviews and how this whole first week went. It was a lot to take in after all.

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Yeah, I was just thinking about a lot…

But the bus ran its route and before I realized it, I was at my morning bus stop. I got off the bus and that was the end of my 5th day as an intern.

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