The last week of my internship may have actually been the most challenging for me. As I described in my last post I had to complete a very large project before the end of the week and I had to do so under challenging circumstances working from home. It seems silly complaining about be able to work from home but it created challenges I was not expecting. I struggled to feel like I was at work because of my association with the space of my room as a relaxing space. I would find myself drifting off while working or fooling around because I just did not feel like I was at work. As well I never really felt like I finished my work day. Most days this work I was so engrossed, I ended up putting in extra hours which in itself was not a problem because of the amount of work I had to do, but mentally it was challenging to distinguish work time from free time because I did not physically change locations. However at the end of the week I did finish the work and I am very excited to see the final result.
Something I try to do at work my goal in order to read context clues and anticipate actions that need to be taken. At work I think ti was really important that when I was given an assignment I completely thought it through in order to decide the importance of the assignment and its implications. This allowed me to anticipate what I needed to do beyond what was explicitly assigned and complete was expected implicitly or exceed expectations. This makes me a more efficient worker especially because my boss was not always present in the office with me which meant that I could not always communicate with him in real time. Being able to anticipate what needed to be done allowed me to use my time more efficiently as opposed to having to wait for my supervisor to respond every time I had a question or finished an assignment. This also helped when I received vague feedback. For example there were a few reports I wrote that I when I turned them in my only feed back was that I need to write more. More what? In this situation I would look back at the report I try to get a better understanding of what we were trying to say and afterwards I would have a better sense of what needed to be added. As well if I was still stuck I would ask my supervisor for clarification. Something my supervisor did that was very helpful was in this type of situation he would send me a few sources with ideas that should be added.
The other challenging aspect of this week was that it was my last week and I wanted to get in a few more things in Madrid before I leave. Any time I was not spending time in the city this week I felt guilty that I was wasting my time. Monday I went to the Royal Palace which was really fun and I even got in for free which is always a plus. And on Wednesday I ran all over the city looking for a t-shirt for my dad and other souvenirs I have had my eyes on including a really cool Children’s book “Manual de la Bruja”. Thursday I went to Parque Retiro and finished the book I have been working on for a few weeks which felt very final. Retiro has been one of my absolute favorite places in Madrid to spend a afternoon. I read three books while in Madrid, which is more than I read in the last year, and reading in Madrid is part of the reason why. I think a part of my heart will always be leaning against a tree trunk in Retiro. And today I had lunch will all the other people I have met on this program and we all are saying our goodbyes tonight which is very sad. I’m not entirely sure I can put in to words how a have come to feel about Madrid and leaving is going to be very difficult. I really feel like I have become part of this city and have found a life here I could continue indefinitely. Luckily for me I will return in a week after traveling and then I will have to say my final goodbye.
Tomorrow I am leaving Madrid and heading for Paris which I am very excited about and then I will be headed to Brussels before returning to Madrid and finally heading home to the States.