Miranda Miller: Serious subjects and lots of fun

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2016

This summer with Rowan County Cooperative Extension has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me as an intern, student and future teacher. It was such a great opportunity to be able to work alongside people who play such a big role in their community, and to be a part of it all was more than I could have asked for.

When I first came to Extension, I was quite nervous, as anyone would be at their first job. But everyone was very welcoming towards me and my fellow interns. It was as if they were just a big happy family, always willing to help each other out, but still always ready to play the next joke.

We were all welcomed into our new family with open arms and lots of paper to shred. Although we did shred too many loads of paper to count, we did a lot more than just the average busy work you would expect of an intern. There was always something different for us to do at the office, including going on farm visits, making recipe videos, entering information into a database, constructing a compost tumbler, conducting an over-the-phone survey, and helping prepare food. And with each task, I learned something new.

One thing that I did throughout the summer was identifying different plants and diseases. At Extension, you can bring plant samples to the Horticultural Agent, Danélle Cutting, and she can answer your questions about them. But this summer, she often tasked us interns to research and determine the plant type, what disease it had, and how to take care of the problem. This helped us stay refreshed in our research, and we also learned quite a few things about plant diseases.

One of the bigger assignments we had this summer was to prepare for and help coordinate the 4-H Summer Fun Camp, “Birds, Bees, and Butterflies,” with County Extension Director Amy-Lynn Albertson. As a future teacher, this was an amazing opportunity to work with the energetic kids and help them learn. We prepared the crafts, snacks, and activities the week before to make sure everything ran smoothly; this helped me to understand how much teachers actually have to put into their lesson plans to prepare for every situation. Overall, those three days were very informative and also lots of fun!

There were so many experiences and projects that we did during this internship. They all helped me to get a better understanding of how much time and effort these people put into their community. I know that I might never have a work experience like this again in my life, and I am very thankful to be able to say that I worked with such amazing people. And if I had the choice, I would gladly do it all over again. I will never forget the friends and memories I made at Rowan County Cooperative Extension in the summer of 2016.