Summer Summary / by Hannah Harley

In the months following the Wandering Three's cross country road trip, I have been busy with my summer coursework, two internships, one job, and a whole mess of social engagements that have kept my heart happy and my calendar full.

My internship with Pittsburgh Magazine has been a delightful glimpse into the magazine world. The community there is an exciting and vibrant one, and the environment is encouraging. Considering I have about 6 shoots a month, it keeps up with my busy schedule and allows the flexibility I need to keep cruising. The subjects vary from alpacas to chefs to taxidermied robots. Along the way, I have learned so much about all of the corners of Pittsburgh and all of the good things that people are doing for this city. It'll be a little bittersweet to turn in the last set of images for the magazine, but it's been an eyeopening summer with the talented folks at Pittsburgh Magazine. And I can't thank Chuck Beard enough for taking a chance on me and for all the cool stories he let me photograph.

Taken for the August issue of  Pittsburgh Magazine

Taken for the August issue of Pittsburgh Magazine

Taken at Four Points Alpacas for  Pittsburgh Magazine  

Taken at Four Points Alpacas for Pittsburgh Magazine 

Somehow, I foolishly thought 24 summer credits was a good idea. Granted, it hasn't been nearly as bad as it could have been, but it has been a challenging summer. Trying to stay on top of things while exploring Yellowstone wasn't my best idea either, but I'm getting a better hang of things these days. Online classes are all too apparently my kryptonite.

My second internship focuses on bringing more study abroad opportunities to Point Park University. I am working closely with CEA and our study abroad coordinator to come up with binders filled with study abroad information. As of now, Point Park students only have two options for studying abroad: London and Rome. So we're working to expand that with outside programs like CEA. If you want to go, we're working to make it so that you can.

A group picture of the 2015 orientation leaders

A group picture of the 2015 orientation leaders

And lastly! The job! I've been an orientation leader for Point Park, so this incoming class has been through many an ice breaker with me. I think everyone remembers the nearly paralyzing fear of those first few freshmen year interactions. In case anyone is wondering, I nailed mine.. I made one friend my freshmen year. She, and all of the people I hung out with during orientation, transferred or dropped out by the time our sophomore year began. 

But this job has been incredible at showing me that the littlest things make a world of difference. A smile, 30 seconds of small talk, maybe a buddy to share dessert with.. That all tacks up to a big deal somewhere down the road. And we never know when these moments will happen or who will facilitate them. There's a TED talk that explores the ideas of these "lollipop moments" and how a little bit of interruption, inclusion, and love can alter someone's life. 

In a way, that's the hope with each of these roles. That maybe it's not this big, grandiose event, but maybe through all of these projects, I can make one tiny, little difference or gain the skills to make a minuscule difference for one person. Maybe it's through mingling or dodgeball or by just making someone's job a little easier, but I think it's possible for us to provide the umph the world needs to start getting a little bit better.

That's my update for now -- thanks for checking in!!

Watch the TEDx talk!

TEDxToronto is the official TEDx conference for Toronto, Canada. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, it brings together the city's foremost thought leaders, change makers and everyday people from each discipline and challenges them to deliver powerful, unforgettable and unique TEDxTalks. The theme of the second annual conference was A Call to Action.

Watch the orientation leader's welcome to the incoming class!