Hustle

Over the past two months I feel like I’ve lived the mantra everyone hears in photo school- hustle, hustle, hustle.

Since ending at the Bay Program, I’ve been running around and working so hard it feels wrong when I have a minute to stop and catch my breath. During the week, Monday and Wednesday-Friday, I’ve been working at Education Week as a photo editing intern, doing everything from searching wires, to assigning photographers, to toning and helping with layout for print.

On Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays I work at Kent Island Scuba, where I am also a divemaster candidate with NAUI. There, I help people get acquainted with the sport of scuba diving, help veteran divers find the gear they need, and focus on learning as much as I can from my incredibly knowledgeable boss.

But the hustle doesn’t stop there.

Saturday mornings I film football games as a freelance gig.  Throughout the week I accept Rover bookings to watch and walk peoples’ dogs.

Sunday evenings I volunteer at the local animal sanctuary, as a way giving back to a community I’ve fallen in love with, and to get some stress relief by cuddling with cats while cleaning their rooms.

I’ve also adding taking better care of my body to the list of things a hustler like me does; every weekday morning I spring (or really roll) out of bed at 5:20 to get to yoga for 6:15 in Annapolis. After years of beating up on my already injured back with college lacrosse, yoga has become the best physical therapy for me.

I don’t say this to be braggadocious or receive praise, but to recognize for myself that I have the hustle I’ve been hearing about since day one of photo school. Maybe I always knew it- I was the “try hard” in grade school, which carried over into high school. I think part of me is one of those people who always thinks there is more I could be doing, even if there aren’t enough minutes in the day to add another activity. But, during a recent meeting with someone I greatly admire, I was told that I was there because I hustle. This person has never even seen my photo work, only worked with me in a different but still professional setting, and yet trusted me to do work for them. They noted it was because they saw how I operated- my work ethic, my overall attitude to the work, and how I present myself in a professional environment. I think it was the pat on the back I really needed after two months of straight up hustle without a break.

So here’s to the hustlers, the overachievers, the try-hards of the world. We’re making it happen, salud.




Changes

What a busy time it has been! September has flown by and with the change of seasons I have some big changes as well!

On August 31st, my internship with the Chesapeake Bay Program concluded. The summer was more than I could have ever hoped for and reaffirmed my goal to work in environmental journalism. With determination and focused hard work, I’m sure I will be able to carve out my path. Check out one of the last pieces I did for the Bay Program here!

And now I’m on my way to learning and growing more as a photojournalist. Two weeks ago I started as the photo editing intern at Education Week and began my journey to dive master at Kent Island Scuba. While the days are long and the commute less than ideal, I am proud of the work I am already helping produce.  

To see what I did during my first weeks at EdWeek, check out this Instagram story about Hurricane Maria and the effects that are still being felt one year later.  (Click on the highlight “Puerto Rico”)


Oyster Delivery Day

I haven’t always loved oysters. When I was young, I was turned off by the raw, seemingly slimy creatures and their uneven shell homes. But, as I got older and my palate expanded, I fell in love with them. I was lucky enough to grow up in New England, where you can sit on tall bar tables on the side of brick sidewalks and eat oysters that may have been in the water that morning. Some of my favorite memories in high school, and later on college breaks, were going to Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth, N.H. with my friends and enjoying an evening of good food and company. It’s funny how small things like food and location can do so much good for the soul.

Working in the environmental field, I began to love and appreciate them beyond being served on the half shell at my favorite oyster bar.

The first time I saw the ever popular demo of “this is a tank of bay water” and “this is a tank of the same bay water, but with oysters inside,” I was in awe. How could such a small, squishy creature turn murky, brackish water into a crystal clear pool. Upon doing more research, I discovered just how important oysters are to the ecosystem. From filtering sediment and contaminants out of water to creating habitat for fish and other invertebrates, the importance of oysters in the efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay cannot be understated. These small bivalves can filter fifty gallons of water per day, making healthy habitat for the return of underwater grasses, among other creatures.

Because of this, oyster restoration has become a focus of many environmental groups. This past Saturday, volunteers flocked to Phillips Wharf Environmental Center to pack oysters seeded with spat (baby oysters) into cages. The cages were then picked up by a fleet of “truckers” - volunteers who brought the cages to various private docks around Tilghman Island, Md. Over 250 cages were filled and delivered by noon.

Efforts such as this is what propels environmental movements forward. While it’s undoubtedly important and helpful to have legislation and lawmakers in our corner, much of the work is done like this- with community members volunteering their time towards environmental action they know to be important.

If you’re looking to find a group to volunteer with, or to learn more, check out the Find a Group page at chesapeakebay.net!


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