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Though I didn’t plan for it, my winter internship brought me about as far away as possible (in the contiguous U.S.) from the arctic tundra that has been Hanover this term. I definitely cannot complain about the lows in the 50s and I’m always highly amused by the fur parkas native San Franciscans feel the need to don in that weather.

After a week of crashing at a family friend’s apartment and reassuring my mom that I wouldn’t be living under the bridge, I found a place in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Dogpatch. The place I’m staying is called a Hacker Home and it’s affordable housing for the 12 entrepreneurs, job seekers, techies, and designers I share a huge apartment with. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had roommates from Finland, France, Bulgaria, Mexico, Canada, England, China, Indian, Taiwan and a Dartmouth ’03. My French was even deemed acceptable by one of my French roommates.

As for what I’m really here for, I am loving my internship with Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. The sustainable product certification program was co-founded by William McDonough D’73 and is a quality assurance label that validates a company’s claims of a sustainable product. I have been working with the Certification Standards team on clarifying the rules that govern the certification levels along with other technical and research projects. My favorite part has been hearing the success stories of companies’ innovations and the Cradle to Cradle vision for the impact the company wants to have.

On the days I’m not at work, I’ve been exploring. It took me one long day of walking five-plus hours to become a big fan of the city’s public transit, but now I have gotten used to relying on it as well as Google maps to get me everywhere. My work, gym and apartment are all on the bay side of the city, so I’ve spent plenty of time at the Embarcadero and the Piers. I’ve ventured a view times to the Pacific coast, and Golden Gate Park and the Coastal Trail are worth the hour-long bus ride every time.

I am loving everything about my off-term, but am counting down the days until I get back to Hanover and my DFH family. I’ve had plenty of time off to keep up my training, and I can’t wait to crush it at our spring tournaments.

- Ellen Meyer ’15