I am currently sitting on my bed, 1:00 in the morning typing up this blog post because I am traveling this weekend and I want to free myself of obligations. First week of work, finished! It has definitely taken some adjusting to. But before I get into my internship, some fun things! As my job doesn’t require me to arrive until the afternoon, I have been taking advantage of my mornings by going on long walks and exploring the city. My routine has consisted of eating a small breakfast in the morning with my host mom, wandering around a different neighborhood each day and ending up at a café where I get a coffee and a light lunch before beginning my journey to northern Madrid for work. Some of my favorite new spots have been the Jardines del Campo de Moro, free public gardens located behind the Palacio Real. I accidentally stumbled upon them one morning while walking around and I turned a corner into a gate and was presented with a picturesque view of the palace. I was most surprised by the lack of people there, given it was about 11:30, but there was one small group of tourists and almost no one else. I wandered around the gardens (so beautiful) for another 45 minutes or so before heading to my subway stop. This has entirely been the theme of my morning walks: wandering around and accidentally finding a major landmark or event. I attached the picture from the gate of the gardens of my view of the palace. My jaw seriously hit the floor when I turned into them, mostly because it was not advertised at all, and essentially vacant
In other news! My internship has been going well so far. The first few days were definitely shocking. My schedule is very different in comparison to other students on this program and because of this, I have found myself with a lot of free, alone time. Like I said, I have been going on long walks in the morning, but also, I am a bit worried it will lead to some isolation as I return to my homestay at 11:30 pm and am absolutely exhausted. I have met up with a few other students on the program before but it’s a bit difficult with my hours. Because of this, I discussed with my supervisor and EUSA program director about switching up my hours a bit to allow me to return to the city earlier. With my new hours, I will be able to eat dinner with my host family most days, and potentially be able to meet up with more friends without being too tired more often. This issue has been more of an exercise in self-advocacy rather than time management, but they have both been prevalent. After my first two days, I noticed that I had not had time to speak or interact with my host family, which was troubling as they have been extremely helpful with my language progress over the past week. I also was worried that my obscure hours would lead to me skipping out on plans or activities which would be unfortunate given the fact that we are only here for two months. So, after speaking with my boss and program director, we were able to make a new schedule that allowed me to both spend time with my host family, while also ensuring I get the best learning experience out of my internship. With that being said, I am extremely content with working later the days I agreed to, as the last patients of the day on Mondays and Wednesdays are the patients my supervisor has said I will learn the most from and at the end of the day, I want to gain as much experience as possible. Within my job itself, time management has not been much of an issue because I am never alone, and I am constantly working. There are new patients every hour from the moment I arrive until I leave. Occasionally, appointments are group-based therapy, and I will be supervising games and activities for 2-5 kids. My time management outside of my internship has unquestionably been more prevalent. For the upcoming weeks, my goals are to be more scheduled with my plans in the morning. Instead of going on aimless walks, I am going to go to museums and landmarks. Since I can’t explore in the evening, I need to make sure I complete items on my list in the morning. This also means that I should wake up a bit earlier than I do… My second goal for the coming weeks is to find a book I want to read in Spanish that I can read on the train so I can keep practicing the language. I commute for 2 hours each day and I can be using that time more productively.