So Long, LAVO

The last week hit me like a train: it was my last one at Lassen. I helped with the Day in the Park centennial event and had a blast with all of my coworkers. Afterwards, we went to get burgers and milkshakes and I went home to one of my awesome roommates. There were lots of weeks that had days such as these, and it’s difficult to grasp that these days will soon be memories of the past. It will be even more difficult when it’s time to say goodbye to everyone who made this internship so enjoyable. I will miss my roommates who were the highlight of my evenings. I believe my internship would have been a completely different experience if I was not placed with such great people under one roof. I will miss my coworkers, who are all amazing to work and hang out with. I have learned so much from each of them, and while I’ve heard of horror stories about unmotivated and poisonous people in the workplace, I feel so fortunate that a passionate group of people came together for the sake of one goal: to preserve and protect Lassen’s resources for present and future generations. I will miss my boss, Jason, who is one of the most humble “muckety-mucks” (as Deirdre calls them) I’ve known. The happiness and wellbeing of those of us who work for him are always at the forefront of his mind, making him an excellent leader, person, and friend. He has set a high standard – I know that it will be impossible for my future bosses to meet that standard. It is because of him that the staff of Resource Management is the envy of Lassen’s employees.

And finally, I will miss my supervisor, Deirdre, who has always pushed me to the extent where I’d exceed my own expectations of myself. From surviving the very few dry days in the office to our amazing hikes together, Deirdre has always been a beacon of support and encouragement. Her mentorship has been invaluable, and I have already started to apply her advice to many aspects of my life. I’ll always be grateful to her for having selected me to join Lassen’s team, if only for a brief moment. Without her, the incredible experiences I’ve had would never have been realized. I only hope that I left a good enough impression on her so that she may take on another lucky intern next year and give them the same amazing opportunity. I know that with her, Jason, my roommates, and coworkers that I’ve spent so much time with, this will not be a permanent goodbye.  These friendships I’ve established have been built in a short period of time are sturdy ones, and I can’t wait until I see them again.

And so ends my weeks at Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is a beautiful place with grandiose volcanoes, rushing rivers, and coniferous forests sprinkled with calm, scenic lakes; but it is also a place with amazing people. People that, within 10 weeks, have made this landlocked, alien, volcanic area my home. I leave this place resentfully, but I know that I’ll be back soon. Until then, LAVO. 14139347_10209480233420870_2010878945_o

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