Relay: What I Did This Summer

This summer gave me something I haven’t had in a long time, the thing I’ve wanted most in the world

   Summer is over. For me, anyway. I’ve been at The Star for June and July as an intern from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I don’t have to tell you that The Star is a terrific publication — you’ve probably been reading it for years.
    The stories are well researched by dedicated journalists who are serious about their craft. The newspaper that comes out each week is the beautiful result of a few dozen people and their pursuit of excellence. It’s been an honor to be a small part of that unit this summer.
    This internship has certainly taught me quite a bit about the journalism industry. The Star is in a charming old building with dozens of awards lining its walls. The editors have taken my reasonably written stories and other work and they’ve smoothed out the rough edges. Some of my stories needed more buffing than smoothing. I couldn’t have found a better place to learn and grow as I continue to improve my skills as a journalist. If I only had more time here.
   But, it’s back to my real life. I’ve been working part time on a master’s degree in journalism while I’ve worked full time at the university as an academic adviser for undergrads. I love working with young people — helping them navigate their way through college and majors, careers, and their social lives — many of them away from home for the first time.
    This summer gave me something I haven’t had in a long time, the thing I’ve wanted most in the world. This summer gave me time. I’ve had time to visit friends and family and introduce my children to dozens of people who are important in my life. I’ve had time at the beach. We’ve spent oodles of time wandering around Montauk while both of my boys searched for the perfect necklace to bring home. I’ve had time to just watch my children enjoy themselves without schedules of any kind.
    They’ve participated in sand castle contests, baseball games on the beach, a trip to the Lighthouse. They’ve been to an outdoor movie in Amagansett, made dozens of trips to Ben and Jerry’s, played some mini-golf, enrolled in surf camp, and swam pretty much every single day. Their usually blonde hair has been bleached from chlorine, sun, and the sea. Their little bodies are brown despite the tremendous amounts of sunscreen we’ve applied.
    Coming all the way to Montauk from Colorado for the summer has been quite an adventure. Throw two young boys into the mix and it makes things even more interesting. I asked my 9-year-old to describe his summer in one word.
    “Amazing,” he responded with shining eyes and a smile.
    Tomorrow we start our journey home. My oldest son starts fourth grade on Aug. 15 and the little guy starts kindergarten a week later. I’ll go back to work at the university. And life will go back to normal for a while. For a while.
    This summer, the internship, the entire experience really, have given me a lot to think about. I love the work ethic of the folks at The Star and of New Yorkers in general and I really love to write. Introducing my children to a summer at the beach and the wonders of searching for beautiful treasures from the sea has been fantastic.
    Once I get home, I’ll start trying to figure out if there is a way for me to write more, have summers off, and bring the boys back for summers on the East End once in a while. Lofty? Sure it is. That’s okay, though. I love a challenge.

 Kathy Noonan, an intern at The Star this summer, lives in Boulder, Colo.