Learning at any age!


I’m teaching a SUNY Lifetime Learning class for seniors, Use Your Energy to Welcome Change, One way I keep my own energy moving is to connect with younger people at other points of the age spectrum. I love to mentor SUNY student interns through the publishing aspect of Roots & Wings. It can be a reciprocal win-win for us all: interns have a hands-on learning business experience, practicing essential skills, while their perspective can be very helpful to me.

 Here’s what Lauren Boudreau wrote about becoming one of my two current interns at ROOTS & WINGS:
            “Take a moment and close your eyes; picture yourself at age ten stepping into an amusement park for the first time. You are overwhelmed by the lights, the music, the rides seeming to break all laws of physics. You are excited yet scared at the same time, but not to worry, your parents are right there holding your hands.

            This scenario is pretty much exactly what I felt the first time (and many times after) I stepped into a career and internship fair. The chills that ran through my body were only numbed by the fact that I knew I was not alone. There were hundreds of other students just like me waiting to start their lives.
            This year’s fair included companies in my field (publishing) and when I saw Puja sitting at her small table labeled Roots & Wings I knew this could finally be my big break.

            It did not take long after the Fair for her to ask me for an interview. As I sat in my car across the street from the Bakery where we were to meet, my hands were shaking and my teeth were chattering in the cold December weather. However, when I started actually speaking with Puja my nerves calmed down. Thankfully, I got the job! Since January I have been an intern for Roots & Wings!

At first I was a little worried at what I could possibly do to improve this one-woman company. I quickly found out that even though Puja is the sole proprietor, there is so much work to do! I am never bored.

            What I really like about this internship is that I can do it on my free time. Puja will send me pieces to edit via email and I can do it at 3 AM if I want to (I don’t). At times when I go to Puja’s home office, I feel relaxed—I am even  distracted by the sheer beauty of the surroundings, looking up to the ‘Gunks.’ (Roots & Wings also serves as a getaway for BnB guests.)

            The most fun assignments are when I get to edit her material. I remember being so completely satisfied with myself when after I sent her some edits, she ended up going with most of my suggestions! It’s truly the best feeling ever, feeling that you did something worthwhile.

            I’m learning a lot also. I’m more aware of writing clear and concise sentences than I was before, especially for the type of self-help books Puja is writing and publishing. You must use colloquial language and organize it in a way that easy for readers to understand. Editing is truly an art form and must be done with a careful eye. As I have learned, good editing is what truly makes a good book.

            Words cannot express how grateful I am that I get to do this. One day I can only hope that I turn these valuable skills into a full-time job!”
Roots & Wings Interns Spring 2013 - Lauren on left; Tracy on right.