Meet the Baby Monkeys: Our Summer Interns
Greetings, Vonnegut fans! This summer, the Monkey House that is the KVML gained three interns: Brittany Coley, Rachel Kisken, and Emma Jones. Meet them below.
Brittany: I’m a recent IUPUI grad, and my favorite Vonnegut work is God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
Rachel: My name’s Rachel! I am going into my second year at Wellesley College, where I am majoring in Peace and Justice Studies. I’m from Connecticut but have spent some time this summer in Indianapolis with the Museum. Indy is much different from the Northeast: your sun sets much later than in CT and your people are genuinely kind! It’s all startling.
Emma: Hi, I’m Emma. I’m an incoming junior at Hanover College. I’m a double major in English and Spanish with a minor in business. I’m from Columbus, Indiana, and commute to the Kurt Vonnegut Library five times a week. (And I thought Columbus’s 5 p.m. traffic was annoying.)
Why do you like Kurt Vonnegut?
Brittany: I like Kurt Vonnegut because he has a way of revealing the truth about himself and life in a way that causes readers to take a pause and consider how his words ring true in their everyday lives.
Rachel: The first time I read Kurt Vonnegut was for my junior year English final in high school. We were assigned to read Slaughterhouse-Five. I am grateful for the assignment – I instantly fell in love with Kurt’s dark humor. Kurt’s themes withstand the test of time so that reading his work seems as fresh as having a conversation with a close friend.
Emma: I love Vonnegut’s snarky one-liners. We have one of the best on the wall of our museum: “Your planet’s immune system is trying to kill you.” That sass is characteristic of his work. But he also had such huge compassion for people, even when he’s making fun of how dumb they can be, and such hope for the future. That shines through in some of his work, too.
How did you find out about the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library?
Brittany: I found out about the museum through my professor, who invited Julia Whitehead (CEO) to come and speak about her efforts to memorialize Kurt Vonnegut by starting the museum. I was so touched by her story that I approached her after class and the rest is history!
Rachel: Like any Vonnegut fan, I planned my mecca to the library as soon as Google told me about it. It was incredible to visit and learn about the man behind my favorite books. Learning about Kurt’s life enriches reading his books, as you can see how honest he was about his thoughts at each point in his life.
Emma: It was kind of an accident. My friend Brianna was an intern here last summer, and she had nothing but good things to say about it. I remembered how much I’d loved reading Welcome to the Monkey House as a high school kid and decided to apply for an internship here myself.
What’s your favorite part of working at KVML?
Brittany: What I like most about working at KVML is the opportunity that I have to hear what others think of Kurt Vonnegut and how his writing has changed their lives in some way. Very touching!
Rachel: Sharing information about Kurt and seeing someone’s reaction is the best thing. I love seeing how Kurt’s work has impacted fellow fans or even just casual readers of his work.
Emma: I love meeting people and learning about their connections to Kurt. We’ve gotten people from all over. I gave a tour today to a woman from Russia. The other day I met some people from Texas. It’s so amazing to think those people came so far to see something that I’m part of.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Brittany: My favorite flavor of ice cream is Cookie Dough. Mmmmm..
Rachel: I had a pistachio honey flavor which was out of this world once, but I usually lean toward something minty.
Emma: Back before Blue Bell’s Great Listeria Scare, I used to love their Butter Crunch, which is vanilla ice cream with chunks of Butterfingers. Now I just settle for anything with peanut butter or a nice vanilla bean.
What’s one book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet?
Brittany: A book that I have been meaning to read but haven’t is John Grisham’s The Innocent Man. He is my most favorite author and that is the only book that he’s written that I have never read.
Rachel: I haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale yet. It’s on my list, I swear.
Emma: We have a copy of Catch-22 in the lending library section of the museum. I still need to read that.