A Tried and True List

I didn’t want to seem too eager about this whole blogging thing, so I decided to wait until someone else posted a blog before I wrote another. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And now, I’m just going to post. Because I want to, that’s why.

 

I want to talk today about balancing creativity in my internship. I’ve been there, oof, 5 times now? I think? It’s been three weeks, but with Presidents’ Day, I got a day off (yup, everyone except AU does, it seems. Perks of working for the government). And while I’ve been here, I’ve been struggling with knowing when to turn on and off my creative brain. If it’s on and I’m doing busy work, I’m falling asleep. If it’s off while I’m writing, I’m just stringing words together without any style. Because people like me like lists, I’ll give you a list today, readers. This is a list for myself and for other interns or future interns.

 

1)      Find some satisfaction in the mundane: On my second day, I had 99 problems, and faxing was ALL of them. I’m pretty sure I told this joke to all of my friends, so if you groan too I won’t be offended. I literally was assigned to send 99 faxes. I stood next to the fax machine for about an hour and a half, because you can’t send 2 faxes at a time. So there I was, typing, scanning, sending, again  and again. But when I finished with the tedium, I had accomplished something measurable. That stack of 99 letters was boring, but the completed pile was a very fulfilling thing. After work, I found this really funny article about faxing in Japan. Apparently, it’s still a thing there.

2)      Take your breaks: Most of my life here at IMLS isn’t faxing, it’s writing and researching, which can really zap those brain cells whether it’s a Monday morning or a Thursday afternoon at the end of a long week. Everyone at my office sits at their desks for lunch, and so I do too, but while I’m eating, I’m not doing work. I’m usually reading articles online about stuff that entertains or interests me.

3)      Stay off Facebook: I haven’t done it yet, and I’m not planning to, but when I do homework, Facebook and Twitter eat my time (I’m not on tumblr for that reason). I used to think that Pintrest was easier to let go of, but it’s really not. I stay off social media even during my breaks, so it’s a treat when I get back home.

4)      Ask for more: Seriously, this is the most clichéd list of dos and don’ts ever. I’ve read this blog before. But I think there’s a reason this stuff gets said time and time again. Soo, if you run out of work or are stuck on a project, ask to talk about it with your boss/supervisor. Mine was pretty impressed with all the work I’d done, even though I thought it seemed pretty standard. And then she said she’d give me tips, next steps, and more information the next time I come in, after she reads it. Never know if you don’t ask. And being bored all day is so not worth it.

 

The one thing I don’t have figured out yet is how to not get a headache looking at a computer screen for 6 straight hours. My brain and my eyes hate me at the end of the day.

 

Thanks for reading through. See you next time.

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