Last week was my first week at WDET and I am still trying to figure out the exact goings-on of the “office.” To my current understanding and interpretation, it is a relaxed but professional work environment. Most people dress semi-professionally. Jerome did tell me that we work on radio so appearances do not really matter. But, he also did say that you should not dress to be embarrassed in front of the mayor or governor because they apparently have been to WDET quite a bit! Anyways, I just tend to wear dark jeans and patterned button-ups either tucked-in or out depending on what the look calls for. Most other male staffers also dress the same so I do not feel out-of-place. The other male interns also dress similarly, except sometimes they come in wearing like athletic zip-up jackets, which is fine I suppose. I am not sure, maybe I should also stop dressing so “professionally” or something…
I am still trying to remember everyone’s name, especially those who work immediately around me. If I recall correctly there is a Laura, an Eli, a Mary, and a Collin. But there is obviously more to remember. I try my best to interject and make commentary when there is banter going on, but it is just like any other social interaction. You do not want to say too much or not say anything at all either. So, when the topic of the recently erected Waiting statue came about it was awkward to give my opinion.
Some people were saying how it was weird but overall a good addition to the public art in downtown Detroit especially since it was made by an acclaimed artist with international recognition. I wish I would have brought up the notion of “public art” in connection with the statue because it is literally not public art. The point of public art is for it to be funded from government sources to be put on display on a public space. Not for it to be privately commissioned to be put on private property.
I was listening to Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness the other day and it was an episode about renaissance art and apparently very wealthy families would commission artists to make them art for their private collections so they could show it off to their friends and display how knowledgeable and rich they were. Getting sculptures done was like peak intelligence and wealth whereas a painting of a Madonna and Child was just mediocre. And that is ironic because what sparked this office discussion was a piece playing on the air where listeners were calling in to give their opinions on Waiting. This woman from Troy said that the sculpture reminded her of a Madonna and Child painting in the Detroit Institute of Arts. So, I just thought that whole connection was interesting…
It is also an interesting dynamic to tow because it seems most everyone at WDET is White expect for Jerome who is Black, the front desk ladies who are also Black, and a couple of women as well as a man who are black and work on the other half of the building. i also believe that most of the other interns are White except for Collin who is Black and this other intern who I met on Friday, but her name escapes me at the moment. So, it is interesting being the only Latinx person there, which is not foreign to me. But I do wonder if I read as Latinx since I am not what you think of when envision a Latino male. But perhaps I do since my summer color is coming in sooner than usual. Thank you climate change!
Hopefully this week I get more acclimated and fit in more. I am wanting to get closer to my fellow interns and work more as a team, especially since Jerome has referred to us interns as “the I-Team” before. So, I want to start a group chat or something and eventually hang out outside of work. But maybe that is too much to do right now considering I am one of the newest interns. I do not know. I will try suggesting it or ask of there is already a group chat made!
(initially written in journal on 5/28/18)