Blog Installment #3

July 17, 2009
By Travis Beck

So my internship is almost over already. I've been on more than 30 assignments. On some occasions I've had to deal with my share of miscommunication between the photo department and the newsroom. The climate is much like being on separate islands — we're connected by a common theme -- work. I'm fortunate that the photographers are located in a huge, nearly abandoned section of a dwindling Los Angeles Times building. It's silence and faint gleams of desk light paint the mood of the workplace.

When I first walked through the halls, I noticed the huge, empty filing cabinets stacked neatly against the walls but failed to connect the dots. Looking a bit closer, I noticed the dozens of business cards taped to the cabinets. Some were missing but most remained intact with the names of the last people who used them. I don't think I'll be meeting any of these people anytime soon. But beyond this sad reality is a promising future, I hope. The photo staff is nice and helpful here, and they all have a playful sense-of-humor. We talk rather bluntly in the office. I think it kind of goes with the territory.

Upon receiving phone calls from friends and family back home, I find myself being annoyed and at the same time entertained. They say, "Hey, how are you? Oh, I bet you've having a blast, the time of your life, things couldn't be going any better right?"

Wrong.

My internship is great. Being in a new place is comfortable now that I know some people -- yet I find not knowing people also feels good. There is a lot of hype about California being an amazing state where only the privileged dwell and everyone is at the beach sun-bathing or in Hollywood trying to become famous.

What's truly amazing is how I got here, and how different the process would have been just 10 years ago. California may be the most coveted state with the best weather, but the sights and sounds become static after awhile.

The point is I had to get myself into a routine -- quickly. I've grown accustomed to getting up earlier and living a different lifestyle. I'm used to not wearing a shirt and having the ocean in my backyard. Although I'm becoming familiar with the area and its highways and by-ways, I still get lost every day, just like I do back home.