My Scottish Internship
The ways of the universe are truly untold, but we all experience moments where these so-called sporadic happenings of the old Earth work not against us, but for us. A miracle if you will.
Originally, I was placed in an advertising internship with Adspad, but when I got to Scotland things changed. Just one more thing to add to the cumbersome list of study abroad regrets, or so I thought.
The internship change was a benefit indeed and a clever result of synchronicity too! Working at Scotland’s oldest free public lending library, Library of Innerpeffray, I slip off into memories of when I volunteered at Milton Hershey School’s library. Though there is no need for checking out books or remembering a library card, the fundamental motif in this-is-Bernard’s-life chapter is “the library.”
What does a library mean to you?
Well, it just gets creepier too, I did have my if study abroad falls through plans–I would volunteer at my hometown’s community library. The world placed me at a library nonetheless this summer, so libraries are good boys and girls!
The Library of Innerpeffray (est. 1680) is nestled quietly among Scottish trees and the tales of history and folklore are concealed by its thick walls. So thick that getting an internet signal is the equivalent to squeezing water out of desert dry stones. Certainly meeting my match as a social media intern.
I’ve only been to the library twice now, but what to say so far about the internship would be at novel’s length. However,the most important aspect thus far is the unique energy that exists because of how old the library is and that it’s founded upon philanthropic efforts. Which align perfectly with the history of Milton Hershey and his establishment of Milton Hershey School. Another jab at the inner workings of the universe, I know.
I personally don’t think anyone could capture in words the exact feeling of the place because each person comes and leaves differently, but what happens inside this library is life-enhancing.
Today, a man who grew up in Australia and fought alongside the American Navy in WWII, walked around the library in such reverence for the collection that noticing a shaggy blonde hair kid typing away on a computer stuck out like a sore thumb. Modern technology and this library? Could it happen? Not to mention, a young person sighting.
The library staff introduced me to the visitors and we all had a profound talk about the ways of language. How “organic” (as my supervisor put it) information and knowledge is when communicated throughout time.
Next thing I knew, I was by myself with this man. He stood there telling me of his war-filled past and I waited for the right moment to ask one question– “Did you ever think of writing a book?” Those words which I thought were innocent had turned into real passion. Apparently, his sons had given him a notebook to write down his passing thoughts so that his grandchildren’s children would know what kind of man he was in his lifetime. He mentioned a quote from when Barack Obama spoke to the American Library Association (He is a retired librarian by the way and represents ALA in Australia) and he finished the quote and stepped away. I turned my head to notice that his wife who had been chatting with my supervisor was waiting on him to finish his talk with me. The time froze. He just stopped and bowed his head down and the tears of his past, present, and future were running down his face. I held back my own.
Moments like this happen when humans connect with one another sincerely.
The library has this rare quality that helps shed your self-awareness at the door and as you climb the spiral steps and enter a room full of leatherbound books and century old fingerprints, your emotions then kick into autopilot. The reactions are genuine and the feelings are real.
I saw a lot of my grandfather in him and found his story to be beautiful and wanted to share it with you all. And to show that the library is truly a valuable site.
Every visitor who comes to Innerpeffray encounters a place where books and the knowledge they contain are valued above all.
-George Chamier, author of The First Light, 2008