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In The Words of The [Summer 2014] Intern

October 31, 2014

As I sit behind the In Other Words desk for the last time, memories of the last three months wash over me. It’s August, and I’ve spent roughly 200 hours here throughout the summer. My first day I had no idea what I was doing, and could barely take a credit card payment (mind you, our machine was down so we were using an archaic credit card imprinter). Three months later I know my way around this store as well as most, and though I’ll still give you a blank look if you ask me how to sell a gift certificate, for the most part I feel at home.

My first few weeks at In Other Words were, to be honest, somewhat isolating and unfulfilling. The store traffic was slow, and sitting at a desk by myself for 3.5 hours didn’t feel like the radical work I’d been hoping to do. Isn’t capitalism anti-feminist anyways?! It was the June Feminist Meet-Up that really changed my perspective. Allison was excellent as a facilitator, and I still have her “feminist mad-lib” taped above my desk; I am the most fiercely independent person since dinosaurs roamed! After attending the Meet-Up I realized that, for me, the magic of In Other Words is in the events and in its role as a community center. There is a fantastic event here almost daily, and there’s potential for more. I have dreams of an intersectional feminist speaker series with local professors and activists, of queer crafting groups, of workshops on allyship and organizing. My time here has always felt like it was running out, but leaving I feel confident that the beautiful people who volunteer here will continue to make this space amazing. I may not have participated in loud activism with posters and marches this summer, but the quieter activism that In Other Words does daily through community building and self-education  is just as important.

Kaïa Austin

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