One thing that I’ve slowly realized over the past few weeks is that working here has really helped me improve in doing one thing; listening. The people that come into POTS seeking guidance with their problems all have unique characteristics and represent a diverse range of backgrounds. As soon as I became relaxed enough to really take it all in, the rewards that I got for listening were great. A few of the people that I’ve been lucky enough to listen to have some unbelievable stories that really should be told to people other than an intern at a legal clinic. The problem is that some of these people don’t think too much of their own stories and feel as if what they have to tell is just what everybody else in the world has experienced. The great thing about the stories is that they aren’t all based on current or past struggles, but rather moments in their lives that they remember like any other day. It’s been pretty cool connecting these stories to various important events (having their family leave Poland and France during World War II, for example). For me, these experiences that were previously imagined to be small to the teller, add a bit of personality to these kinds of events that are only read about in history books.
This 4th of July in NYC turned out to be a great one spent with a few friends throughout the day. A friend from home and I took advantage of the day off from work and went around several parts of the city and terrorized them a little bit. Despite the heat and mobs of tourists everywhere (even though we were essentially just that), we ended up making it to the Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, and then ate two huge cheeseburgers covered in corned beef and pastrami. The heat and the burger got the best of my friend who called it a night while I met up with some other people in order to see the firework show on the Hudson River. I can confidently say that it ended up being the best firework show I’ve seen in my entire life and turned out to be the perfect way to finish up a long, fun day.
Kevin Gallagher '13