Look at who can FOCUS ON ONE TOPIC!!!!!!!

Hahaha just kidding. I’ll break this down.

This is basically a ‘ahhh… surviving WORK’ post and a ‘I spent too much time on the internet yesterday!’ post in one. But also a Life List Club and ROW 80 -related post. I was going to have links here to each different part of this post but am having trouble with the HTML… =/ Feel free to skip or skim!

Work + Concentration

Today I had a reaaaaalllly hard time concentrating at work. This is my eleventh and last week of my internship, in which I’ve organized this Metro bus wash monitoring project – largely independently, doing research and visiting sites on my own without too much orientation (except for one very helpful mentor who knows all about controllers!). Sometimes I had reports or a presentation to do, oftentimes I was on the phone asking salespeople for specifications or quotes, and at one point I was even doing water testing – in our three-foot square temporary kitchen in the office… =)

However this week I just have two deliverables – a last project report with instructions on how the project should be continued when I’m gone, and a Powerpoint presentation with that same information. I was planning to have that report done by today… but I. could. not. focus. It was really strange. I usually work with my headphones on, my email accounts open, and maybe before 9 or around lunch check out a fun site for a few minutes or chat (we have an hour for ‘lunch’ and we can adjust our hours… well, by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ as I’m now the only intern in the office, with just two project managers…). But I have goals for the day in mind, write them down, break them down, and get them done. Each day.

Maybe the ‘finishing up’ part is the hard part for me. If I was going to continue to be involved in the project, I think I would be getting this out-of-the-way faster so that I could… DO STUFF! Like PROGRAM! INSTALL THINGS! Find INTERESTING data and ANALYZE IT! But this isn’t really a ‘final report’ as much as a ‘progress report,’ but it’s my own ‘final report’ – I guess I find it hard to finish something that doesn’t seem finished to me. Even though what would count as ‘finished’ (or at least result-worthy) to me will need even more weeks of time and installation – weeks after I leave. And if I finished that report today, and that presentation Tuesday, what would I do for the rest of the week? (Edit them. Add to them. Discuss them with my supervisor and mentor. Duhhh. Tell that to my subconscious or whoever calls the shots around here.)

Finishing things has ALWAYS been difficult for me, though. I kind of wonder why. Whether it’s taking a social research project past the research level, planning an environmental club at MIT, designing posters for the UA Sustainability Committee at MIT, getting exercise groups at my living group organized – I’ve entered each with enthusiasm and found my feet stuck in cement when it came to pulling them through. If there’s a ‘Just FINISH IT Group’ in the blogger-sphere… take me THERE.

Well, I am finishing my report TOMORROW (Tuesday – leaving early to FINALLY get my visa to China as well!), and the presentation by Wednesday/Thursday. Despite my short time here, it will feel AMAZING when I am finished with my part of the project!

Internet + Goals (update!) This weekend I somehow had too much time on my hands, and wandered all around the internet. Around blogs, in particular. This is how I discovered the “Life List Club” and “ROW 80” – two groups that encourage people to make goals and give support in the forms of posts and comments. And that’s why I went a little crazy yesterday and started my own “Life List Club” page and “ROW 80” page (the latter is a writing challenge). And I don’t regret it one single bit. That statement will probably have more weight when I say it on say September 22nd (the end of ROW 80) or July 31st, 2012 (the end of the first 12 months of my “Life List” – and my first set of goals). I encourage everyone to check out both clubs – Life List Club and ROW 80 – and try them out!

I thought I’d just give an update for my first day for both, not that I’ll be updating these lists daily:

Life List Club – I’m planning to add ‘drink 8 glasses of water a day’ and ‘sleep 8 hours a day.’ I think in junior (or senior?) year in one class, when my English (or government?) teacher asked what the most valuable lesson we had learned over the summer was, one girl said “Drink water. Trust me. It is SO important. It CHANGES YOUR LIFE.” Did I listen? Of course not. But I remembered. Water has helped me soooooo much here – every day is better with enough water.

And the same goes for sleep. When I was trying out rugby last spring at school, even though I wasn’t quite in shape, with ten hours of sleep I had enough energy to be involved for my whole B-side game (and awkwardly block the forwards while I was at it because I was a n00b and didn’t know where to go… ANYWAY…)

Got to work half an hour late (one of my goals is to be on time) – we technically do not have strict hours so it did not realllly matter – the reason was that I packed my food and left it and had to buy food on the way >.< New goal: ‘REMEMBER YO STUFF?’

ROW 80 – I planned for 500 words a day and have 287 from yesterday. Plus (not including) this snippet I wrote while trying to get started:

Hello world…

Today be the first day this girl woman specimen thing here err-writes for this here err-challenge-err when she’ll be writing 500 words a day. 500 words a day folks? That right there is almost as frightenin’ as that ol’ Jack Sparrow thinger come to life agi’n man. But she insists she c’ do it, ’tis only a paaai~ge (or two paiges double spaced methinks laddie?). So what can I tell ya. Notin’ I can do ‘ere ‘cept sit ‘n watch ‘n wince ‘n chew me tabacco or bark cause they’re cheap ’round these isles an’… “SHUT UP I’M ACTUALLY DOING THIS!!!”

So anyway… I got work done, but I still need to get in the habit of creating SCENES. And writing all the back-story. Without just barfing out exposition. How does 723 words tonight sound? Possible? Feasible? Maybe not really… since I have an oovoo call with friends, and am getting out of work early tomorrow, I’ll do some tonight and catch up tomorrow. WooHOO!

(Just started using this wordpress spell-check thing and it doesn’t like me much at all, especially my talking to myself and my WooHOO’s, oops…)

All right, end of updates! MUSIC TIMEEEEEEE

Day in worklife… and Shopping!!!

Vid of the day:

OK. For the purposes of this post, surfing = shopping. Surfing = shopping. Got it? Got it? Right? Come back at the end and it’ll make sense. Like after when I start talking about shopping 3/4 of the way through this post. Did it make sense? Yes? No? Maybe? Probably not? Whatever.

So I will post something different, like about the Sierra Club or sustainability or books or something, soon. But it’s only one week until I’m moving in (oh wait, one week – 1 day! Nooooo!!!).

I’ll just do what I’ve done other days and try to cover the life of an MIT prefrosh preparing for college (and working, and sitting at her computer for hours when she should be exercising, and yelling at her computer for being slow, and not catching up on sleep…)

So I wake up to find an angry mom yelling at me for not doing the kitchen (well, I did everything but the pots and wiping the counter… ^_^;;;) so I cleaned the kitchen and then ran to work, tripped on the sidewalk and fell on the nail of my thumb and my knee (both seem OK now… I think XD;) and then got there in time to splurge on my favorite gluten-free apple spice muffin from the farmer’s market before running into the ferry just in time.

We got to work… nothing really exciting, we pruned a bit but all the stuff is going to grow back anyway and we’re only back for two more days… and then we went to the bookstore and did stuff, and then there was nothing to do so we went into the computer and I showed my “colleagues” the videos from yesterday’s post =) They seemed to especially like the second one XD

Then, while we were waiting for the Governor’s Island Ferry to take us back, I suddenly spotted a bag. Not just any bag. The STRIVE 2009 Earth Day Festival bag! Basically I helped start this festival this year which took place at our school, long story that deserves a post or so of its own, but I found out that that woman had taken her kid to the festival and had a “great time” XDDD So that made my day =)

Which was a good thing because then I started walking to the back of the line for the ferry. It took about ten minutes to get there. There was a bee’s nest and the bees were seriously bouncing all around like angry yellow sparks just a few feet away from us. (That’s something to mention to my supervisor.) Anyway, I get there and Marelina calls me and she’s like “Hey! Marcela! Where are you! We’re waiting with the employees in front of the boat!”

So at the end of my fifth week working here I had to walk all the way back up the line for another ten minutes like I was a dolt and it was my first day there. Don’t even ask.

OK, time for the more interesting part of the day (besides STRIVE, that tops everything off):

Dorm shopping!

Guess what happened. You would never believe it. Not in a million years. It is a rare event. I can’t believe I saw it happen with my own eyes.

I… bought clothes that I actually kind of like!

And at Daffy’s. Shirt and yoga pants. I brought out $40 and the lady at the register was like, “Um… you don’t need that.” So my first clothing purchase of the summer (my two shirts from the spring don’t really count) amounted to <$20!

Yay Daffy's!
New Outfit!

Grr why is this sideways? Bad lighting… oh well, it looks better from the side anyway =)

I also got a cool comforter for $17 and 8 food storage containers for $6 and a pillow for $8 and a reusable bag for $0.99 and more at this place Lena showed me called LOT-LESS =) Gotta go back to see if they have headphones too…

Oh and I almost forgot the backpack! Modells’ is having a cool sale where you can get two backpacks for the price of one. But I don’t think I want TWO backpacks (each backpack has a warranty so you can replace it if it gets broken or whatever), so I got an Adidas Martin pack on sale for $35 + tax =)

Still gotta get the sleeping bag and mat, maybe from K-mart or Paragon if all else fails…

Then my dad helped me bring it all home, and I found that we had a delivery… a small rectangular box…

So I put it in the reusable bag and said, “Hey ma, could you see what’s in here?”

Very creative, I know.

But she looked and it was – voila! An iTouch. (The one that comes with the Mac.)

Mom + iTouch =

Mom with her iTouch!