The Final Countdown

Over the past week my time has been dominated by the draft of prospectus of the guidance document on the Council of Europe recommendation. I have used sources from the NGO’s own publications in my research, as well as materials published from national governments, other NGOs, and the Council of Europe. And, I have continued to familiarize myself with the unique vocabulary of children’s rights within the context of the judicial system. At the end of the week I got some feedback on the project so far, which allowed me to better budget my time in this last week at the office. Otherwise I am finishing up my data visualization project and a few other small projects as the internship winds down.

I have found that after six weeks I am more integrated and comfortable in the workplace. I know the names of everyone at the office and everyone knows me, even the people that do not work in the same location as me every day. This integration was exemplified last week when a coworker who works in a different department of the NGO asked me to help her apply some formulas in a spreadsheet of French Excel. I had previously only been working in the English syntax version of the soft wear so it took me a moment to pick up the French syntax before I could help here with her problem. However, I was proud that I could identify what she wanted done in excel and find a solution when the problem was presented in a foreign language.

As part of my work, I sometimes have the opportunity to accompany children to visit their parent’s in prison through the work of my NGO, but this past week the prison service’s requirement for foreigners visiting prison changed. So, I could not go on the prison visit as I had hoped. The experience showed me how sometimes non-governmental work can be very sensitive to even slight shifts in policy.

I have been very lucky over the course of this summer that a Pitt student also on the IIP has an internship with a theater marketing firm. She has been able to suggest some funny and interesting shows that I have attended with the other students from Pitt. This past weekend I was able to see a one man show performed in English in an adorable petite theatre, that without my Pitt connection I otherwise would have missed. To any future Pitt students who participate in IIP Paris, I recommend that you take advantage of the opportunities that the network other Pitt students on the program can make available.

At the end of this week the program finishes and I will say good bye to Paris. Friday evening I’m taking a train to Bordeaux. (Pictured is the July column that sits on the sight of the former Bastille prison, a block away from my apartment)

Cheers,

Max

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