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As a college student, can I truly be sure of the future ahead of me? Of course not – that’s exactly why I accepted a summer internship outside of my major.
Hi, my name is Jay Marsden, and over the next few months I will be spending at least two days a week with the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor as their self titled “Social Media Man,” but I’m sure I’ll lug my fair share of boxes as well. It’s only fair. Mostly, however, I will be responsible for the D&L’s Facebook, Twitter, and soon-to-come Foursquare accounts. Yet, the part of the job that I am most excited for is this blog. More about that in a minute, but, first, a little about me.
I am the son of a Pottsville born “outdoor enthusiast” and a jean jacket clad, Italian culturalist who chose to raise me in the lovely little coal region town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, the place where my heart belongs. Since a very young age my parents taught me to take pride in using my home town to the best of my abilities. So, when most said, “Man, there is nothing to do in this stupid town,” I quietly disagreed (if I remember correctly) and jumped passionately into the green-smelling but refreshing Lehigh river or grabbed my mountain bike to ride what were once known as the best trails in the east.
I am currently enrolled at Penn State as a Secondary Education major with a focus in Social Studies. However, I am not a historian; I simply do my best to enjoy the world in which I dwell, and I would love to share that enjoyment with dorky, misunderstood middle schoolers. Why? Because – to be honest – that’s basically what I’ll always be. For most of my life I have been quite impressionable, moving with the fads, doing what looked cool, and constantly attempting to emulate those who, to me, are “cool.” This changing of fads has left with me with an odd assortment of hodgepodge hobbies. I am now a single-speed mountain biker, river guide, percussionist, attempted collegiate runner, slackliner, rugby player, iphonographer, writer, snowboarder, music lover, and most importantly a Jim Thorpian!
In the next few years I’d like to extend that list to blogger, surfer, motorcycle rider, graduate student, world traveler, road tripper, rock climber, and hopefully, a well rounded human being. And it all has to fit within the traditional college budget. This idea of being well rounded is one of the contributing factors for me to take an internship that I’m sure most education majors would overlook.
For those of you who are wondering, I am only 19 years old so forgive my immaturity, but I still believe that life is all about being happy, having fun, and seeing all that there is to see. Therefore, for the next two or three months, before I head to Happy Valley, I will profile about nine of the many trailheads along the 165-mile long D&L Trail. Should be interesting… When it’s done, it will connect five counties and countless enthusiasts within my beloved home state.
Keep in mind, these trailhead profiles won’t be the type that tells you what your own two eyes can find out on their own. The entries will summarize the vast array of opportunities these locations provide. Hopefully some hidden secrets will be unveiled: rolling single track for the mountain bikers, side trails for the hikers, authentic sites for the history buffs, and maybe even the closest and tastiest ice cream stands. Let’s be honest, is there anything more important than ice cream? So stay tuned, keep your mind open, and like my new employers say, “Get your tail on the trail!”