Friday, July 15, 2011

Simon's first blog

I’ve just completed a week and a half of working with Hester Street Collaborative (HSC) as an intern. I can already tell and say that I’m going to like the upcoming weeks I have with HSC. The other interns and I are having a great time. We are workers from SYEP and we get paid for what we do, but we are interns for HSC and that’s what makes this different from all the other experiences I’ve gone through for SYEP. This is something on the next level of learning.
On Wednesday, July 6, Vincent (my co-worker) and I took at tour around the office. We learned about the goals and motives of HSC. They want to help the community create a community that is compatible with them. I guess what I mean is that the city wants to help the community but it isn’t working out. The city has created a design and a plan for creating parks but this is their idea, not what the community wants. HSC hears the voice and the ideas of the community and bring it to people who can make it happen. I feel like as if I’m going to be part of something big, maybe not now but I believe that this organization will achieve its goals. Not only because it’s to help others but also because of the kind-hearted people that work here. They truly want to help and make a change for the community, and I feel like I need to help HSC in every way I can while I’m here to bring them even if it’s just a few inches closer to their goals.
Two more co-workers joined us from the SYEP program the following week. On Monday we introduced ourselves formally (not really) to each other, the staff of HSC and the interns. The reason I say not really formally is because the atmosphere was not tense or anything. It was pretty chill and everyone was enjoying the game that Gauri had set up for us. The ice breaker game was “Two Truths and a Lie.” I was paired up with Dylan and we learned about each other. We got a little bit carried away on sticking with one topic and we quickly changed so we could get at least two truths. We met back at the meeting table and played the game. Everyone saw through my lie because it was outrageously ridiculous. But the others were harder to guess. Overall we got a little bit closer to each other and the results were good.
After the introductions we went to the garden next to P.S.134 with Jess to water the plants. We learned briefly about the plants grown in the garden with Mauricio but we went more into detail and the history of the garden with Jess. After discovering the past of the garden, we went to work. We watered the plants, added nutrients to the compost of the garden, and added a new coating to the benches in the garden. We left and just worked on making a logo for ourselves for the rest of the day.
Mauricio, our supervisor and also our teacher, taught us the silk screen process. We needed to learn this so that we can make ourselves logos that would define who we are and how we connect to it. This project was to prepare us to create some sort of logo for HSC that we could put on post cards, gift cards and other things that we can give to our funding partners. I found this project very enjoyable. I was able to create a design using something I grew up with and it means a lot to me. To be able make this design and create a shirt using it, I found this project to be overwhelmingly exciting.
His method of teaching is very unique and effective. Mauricio started from the last step of the silk screen process to the first step. So the steps to the silk screen process goes as the following, well from what I remember. I may be missing some steps so don’t put your trust in me. We first cleaned a screen and applied some emulsion. This prepares the screen for print making. The screens were left in a room for a couple of days to dry up. While they were drying up we came up with our logos over the weekend.
The logo I came up with was very simple and yet attractive according to my co-workers. I bet they were just being nice. It was sunglasses with the word (I made up it when I was younger) on the lenses. It read NAGAROMO. It means something like have fun but make wise decisions too. We finally used Illustrator to add some finishing touches onto the design and we printed it out on the transparency. We then proceeded to execute what we’ve learned from Mauricio and printed our design onto the t-shirts. I was satisfied with the outcome because it was much better than I had expected.
On Thursday, we went to the garden again to water the plants. We finished adding the nutrients-filled soiled into the compost and we watered it. After that we went to Allen Street to check up on the “mallterations” to see what paint and how much paint we needed to fix up the benches made by the previous interns. The benches need a lot of repainting and some of them need new tires. Finally after a long afternoon, we called it a day.

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