The Culture of ThermostatsPosted Jun 11, 2015
A blog from our talented summer intern, Quincy Kittle:
Imagine a five-year old girl wearing an outfit with enough sparkles on it to blind incoming traffic, adorned with bright red lipstick, perched proudly on top of a horse. Welcome to horse showing culture, comparable to a beauty pageant on top of a horse. I’ve grown up completely immersed in this environment, always having horses at my home in Clinton, Michigan and horse showing ever since I had enough core strength to sit straight on a horse. Labeled the “horse girl” in my small hometown marked me as an expert on anything involved with horses, therefore it was assumed I would pursue an equine related career. In contrast to popular opinion, the horse is not the field I am studying, but instead I am learning about the culture behind horses, actually the culture of everything. I am pursuing a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics along with minors in Spanish, and Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy at Michigan State University.
Now how did someone who grew up as the “barn girl” end up with such a mouthful of an undergraduate degree? I have always been curious as to what drives human action and how culture is defined. These questions, although nearly impossible to fully answer, have determined the beginning steps of my career. Culture can be anything, and everything that surrounds us. Culture is tradition, is emotion, and is even change. Culture’s breadth has led me to try and understand its origin and impact upon individuals. I aspire to experience as many different cultures as possible during the span of my lifetime. This aspiration has led me to where I am now, totally absorbed in the culture of thermostats.
I am heading into my fourth week interning at the Thermostat Recycling Corporation, where I am surrounded by experts on anything associated with mercury thermostats. I never imagined that I would learn so much about those tiny boxes on the wall, boxes that I previously only knew as my salvation on a hot summer’s day. A large part of TRC’s program is based off of strong relationships with participants in our recycling program. Thermostat culture is centered on partnerships and trust building. I have had a great experience working with TRC’s staff, they have all taught me so much in only one month. Thermostat culture is inviting and educational. TRC has an ability to be innovational, everyone here works very hard to come up with new ideas that can improve our program. Thermostat culture is evolving.
Being entirely immersed in thermostat culture this summer is something I never thought I would experience, but I am very excited for what these next few months have in store for me. Plus at the end of my time here, along with horses, I can add thermostats to my list of cultures experienced. Here’s to a summer full of culture!