SMU-in-London 2008

This summer 48 SMU students are traveling to London to study communication courses, including international media, free speech, creative advertising, British cinema and the global civil society. Some students also are interning with international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Pants to Poverty, and Save the Children, to name a few.

One final hurrah

evie-howard.jpgEvie is a senior CCPA major working at Global Witness. This non-governmental organization is working to break the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption.

The end of six weeks seemed so far away when I first walked the hall and opened the door to the room that was to be my home, my haven, for my time in London. I was scared, confused, worried, anxious, everything that comes with first job jitters.

The only difference for me is I was working for the first time in a foreign country with only a few people I knew, in a place I was uncomfortable in, and away from my parents and friends for the longest time I have ever gone. I have traveled Europe with my family, gone to camp for 5 weeks without seeing my parents, lived in Argentina for 5 weeks with a family, but still all of this was done with either a small group of close friends, a long visit from my parents, or a close confidante having gone before me.

For the first time I was out on my own.

My father was the only person who really could help settle me and make me realize I had done the right thing coming and had done it right. He said this experience would change my life, and I did right because I went to a country where English is spoken, that I had been to once before, that I had loved, I was going through a program run by a professor I think very highly of and feel very comfortable with, and I was going with an open eye to meet new people and experience all of it. I had done it right, now all I needed was to live it up for the next six weeks. And boy did I!

Evie-IMG_2046-sm.jpg My first week included bonding with the other eight interns, traveling to Leeds Castle, walking London through Trafalgar Square, down Downing Street, around Westminster Abbey, Parliament and Big Ben, and stopping in a little local pub for a pint. It only took two days for me to meet and bond with a girl I knew was going to be my friend during and after London. We traveled to Ikea (in the way far out outskirts of London) to help make our rooms more habitable. This experience set up what I knew was going to be an interesting and unforgettable trip.

Work on the first day was supposed to be a meet and greet, but mine turned into an actual day of work. For me, this was the perfect way to start. I was so nervous that having a day of work made the rest of my time at Global Witness feel like I belonged, like I had been there for years.

Working for an NGO such as Global Witness really opened my eyes to the world outside of the States and the UK. I knew of the issues they fought against, but I never really took the time to learn about them. I now know so much about natural resources that I want to know more.

I have such a deep respect for my colleagues and the dedication and devotion they have for their work, the people they are fighting for, and the messages they are trying to deliver to the rest of the world. The word can’t is not in their vocabulary. If it seems impossible, find a way, there is always a way.

I learned some of the most valuable lessons during my time at Global Witness. And not lessons that I could learn at SMU. I learned how to work with a team, how to pursue answers, how to call someone in a third world country! Without my colleagues, my supervisor, my friends, I would not have grown and become the driven person I know I am now. I am on a mission to find another job like Global Witness, but I doubt any other place will have the same impact that my first job experience with Global Witness had on me.

Besides work, I got to travel. One thing I don’t regret is not spending every weekend abroad. I came to London to experience London, not the world outside it. But I did get to go to Scotland and Rye.

Scotland was amazing. Everything is so green and beautiful. The whole place seemed ancient, like it was stopped in time. A group of us went to a local pub called Deacon Brody’s where two men in kilts walked in. It is just the norm there. It was so different and so awesome. There was a guy juggling axes in the street. The lifestyle was so different but so refreshing.

Evie%20-IMG_1661-sm.jpg Rye is a little coastal town in the south of England. My friends and I decided we wanted to experience the coast and see a beach. So we got a hotel in this 13th-century little village. Our hotel, The Mermaid Inn, was built in 1100, and redone in 1402. It was like (again) time had stopped. Everything was so quaint and homey. It was unimaginable and awe-inspiring.

But of course, you cannot stay away from London. This city grabs you and puts a hold on your heart. I took in everything I could. I went to Portobello Road, Camden Market, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament. I walked the Thames and went to the Aquarium, I saw three musicals (Jersey Boys, Wicked, and Spamalot) and saw Romeo and Juliet performed outside in an amphitheater. I experienced all this city has to offer, and while I miss home and I am ready to venture back to the life I have grown accustomed to, I will never forget my time spent with my friends, my colleagues, my classmates, my professors, my parents. My time in London was a time of growth, love, and learning. I have become a different person, for the better.

EVIE-sm.jpgAll the while, I felt the spirit of my grandmother, my friends, my loved ones past whenever I stepped into a church. And I felt Nina with me the whole time. I kept imagining how proud she would be at all the sites her little students went and saw and how much we have all grown. Nina, if it hadn’t been for you, I would never have gotten to experience this. So, yet again, thank you. Thank you for all you have done and all you unknowingly have bestowed upon me. You have helped to shape me into the person I am, and have given me the summer of a lifetime. London is now part of me and I cannot wait to come back.

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You live, you learn

ashlee-rivalto-in-london.jpgAshlee is a senior CCPA major and art minor who is interning at the Offscreen Education Programme:

So here it is, my last night in London. I cannot believe it is already over. As I sang karaoke and danced with Rita, Becky, and the rest of the SMU-in-London gang, I started thinking about what this experience has meant to me. It has meant a lot of things, but above all it has been a learning experience.

I have learned about the challenges of change, the tube’s sweaty madness, the wonders of London, and my abilities as a student and communications professional. In sum, here are the top three things I have learned:

ashlee-n17023156_36599860_7346.jpgOne is Silver and the Other’s Gold
Make new friends. As juvenile as that sounds, I think it is the most important thing I have learned here. I am embarrassed to say, after three years at SMU, I have not truly ventured outside my small circle of friends. My London adventure has introduced me to so many wonderful people. There is an abundance of amazing students at SMU, and as senior year rolls around I regret that I have not taken it upon myself to meet more of them. The girls I have gotten to know during my time here will continue to be a part of my life, and I am thankful for our time together in London.

Ashlee-n18812185_33329571_30.jpgBelieve in Yourself!
I realized what I have been learning in school is ACTUALLY very helpful. I started my internship at Offscreen afraid of the unknown. What would kind of work would I be doing? Was I qualified to do it? For some reason, I was surprised to find that I was. My first few days in the London work scene were stressful because I did not believe in myself. I felt unsure of my writing and editing abilities, considering I had only used them for school purposes. Once I realized I was producing good work that my supervisor found “excellent,” I was much more confident.

My studies at SMU provided me with the skills I needed for my internship. The skills I learned in Prof. Flournoy’s Start I and International Communication classes were especially helpful, as well as Prof. Baily-Byer’s Intro to PR and Dr. Dixon’s race and ethnicity class. Thanks, guys!

ashlee-n18812185_33242602_8884.jpgStep Out of Your Comfort Zone
Like most Americans, 58 percent to be exact, I knew little about Islam and Middle Eastern culture before I arrived at Offscreen. I was uneducated about these issues, and because I was uneducated I was uncomfortable with them. I knew coming into this internship I would be out of my element, and it made me especially nervous. I am so thankful for this out-of-my-element experience.

The people I met, the work I did, and the Offscreen message changed me. I have been missing out on a wonderful culture and wonderful group of people. I had fallen into a groove, and although it was comfortable and safe, I was not learning anything. It was not easy or comfortable, but my adventures in London allowed me to create my own perceptions of the world around me.

All of the SMU students here have been going going going and learning learning learning. It is safe to say I am ready to get back to Memphis and get some shut-eye … finally! BUT as I sleep I will dream of my time here, the friends I met and the lessons I learned.

You do not have to be in London to learn these lessons. You can do it wherever, whenever, however, SO I encourage everyone to get to know a new culture, a new religion, a new friend, and a new you!

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The day the air-conditioning turned on

grace.jpgGrace, a senior art history and CCPA major, is working this summer at WOMANKIND Worldwide in the communications and fundraising department.

I remember it so clearly – I was sitting at my desk in the office of Womankind. Prepared for one of our hottest days yet, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Suddenly I heard that familiar thumping sound. Not wanting to be too optimistic, I brushed it off and continued my work. A few minutes passed since I heard that sound, and suddenly my arms began to cover with goosebumps. I looked around the room, somewhat disoriented, to see if anyone else noticed. Finally, I asked my co-worker Rebecca, “Is there air-conditioning?”

Indeed, the air-conditioning was on. More important, the air-conditioning was on, it was one of the hottest days yet in London, and I think I would have preferred it off because I was freezing! This is coming from a girl who likes to keep the temperature at a frigid and inefficient 68 degrees. As I was pondering this sudden change of heart, it hit me how much I am going to miss my new home.

If this city can reform my air-conditioning habits in just six week, it clearly has a hold on me. My last week of work was bittersweet. Leaving means that I get to go back to the States and see my family and friends, but it also means leaving behind my new family and friends.

This past week has been chock-full of activities – as usual. On Monday, I visited my favorite Lebanese restaurant in Bayswater. On Wednesday all of the interns gave a presentation to the rest of the students about our experience working for an INGO and celebrated with a Chinese feast accompanied by our favorite SMU professors, then continued on for a night on the town with our new friends, the Cricket players. On Thursday we treated ourselves to some nachos at the Texas Embassy. Which brings me to Friday – today.

I am writing this on my last full day in the city. In both mourning and celebration I headed out to see the National Gallery. For those of you reading this who are planning a trip to London, this is a must-see. Wandering through the galleries I realized I had clearly saved the best for last. I was welcomed by paintings of the masters from a variety of time periods. One room brought me Titian, the next Delacroix, a few doors down I was greeted by an entire room of Monets, Van Goghs, Seurats, and Renoirs. As an art history major I couldn’t have been happier with the way my trip has ended.

Left on the agenda for today is to pack and head out to an evening showing of Romeo and Juliet in the open-air theatre of Regents Park. Oh, what I life.

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An incredible experience

Kaitlin.jpg Katie is a senior CCPA major, with a minor in Spanish. She is working for the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies (CCPS).

Here I sit on Friday night – I’m done with work, I’m done with class, I’m almost done sightseeing, and I am leaving Sunday morning. It has been an incredible experience living and working in London for a month, and I can hardly believe it is all over. I have learned more from this trip than I every thought I truly could.

NGOs and the people who work for them are unlike any corporation or business I have ever come across; they are extremely dedicated and passionate about their jobs and their cause – often an element that eludes the corporate world.

To be honest, I was a little uneasy about doing an internship for an NGO before I got here, but once I met my supervisor and the director and founder of my organization, my apprehensiveness was eased. They are easy-going, fun people, and to them, their work is a way of life, not simply a job – something that is actually quite awe-inspiring.

The Centre for Capital Punishment Studies taught me things about capital punishment that I never thought I could learn. The issues that face the world (forget the United States …) and the death penalty are truly shocking. Did you know that some countries still execute people by stoning?! Horrible, right? Anyway, off the touchy subject … I am going to miss working for the CCPS. It was an extraordinary 5 weeks.

Updates from the week: our group presentation was amazing; everyone did a great job, and we were so happy with the results. Yay for the SMU Interns! We went out for an amazing celebration afterward, the perfect way to wrap up class and work. I would recommend a London internship to anyone; it is a cultural experience that you will never forget.

As far as my continued sightseeing goes, I went to Westminster Abby today, and its off to the British Museum and Buckingham Palace tomorrow before the Regent’s College goodbye party tomorrow night. I fly home on Sunday, yet I feel like I just got here.

It’s funny because halfway through this program I felt that I had already been here for a long time and that I had a really long time yet to go; and here I am, only one day away from leaving, and I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by.

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Finding an inner passion

Hendrika.JPGHendrika is a President’s Scholar and a junior, double majoring in CCPA and marketing with a minor in art history. She is interning with Save the Children UK, assisting the Child Rights Information Network:

I am now preparing to leave, realizing I am tying up the ends of one of the most memorable experiences in my life. To think over the past six weeks is to see the doubtful student I arrived as and the experienced intern I am leaving as.

Working with CRIN has allowed me to evaluate who I am as a student, as an American and as a future professional. Not only have I had the opportunity to implement the skills I learn in daily CCPA classes … researching target audiences, working on news releases, wading through newspapers articles and searching news sources on the internet, but I have also discovered what passion is.

In order to work in the NGO/nonprofit world and be successful, one must have passion. Not a mere interest or wavering enthusiasm, but something that goes much deeper. Those that work daily under-staffed, under-funded, under-resourced and underpaid are fueled by a burning passion to make a difference in the world. The one and only incentive that can supercede the long list of challenges and obstacles.

As young adults graduating from a prestigious university, we tend to focus on the size of our paychecks and the title of our future jobs. Should we think instead of the actual difference that we (a minority) can make in the world as educated and enlightened individuals? Such a task may not be presented with a glorious salary, but does that make our work any less important? I think not, but perhaps even more noble.

I am not suggesting that one should reject or turn down those high-ranking jobs but perhaps evaluate other ways one can make a difference. If we were to approach every day with the same enthusiasm and passion that fills the air of nonprofits, what would stand between us and changing the world as we know it?

Just something to think about.

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The purpose of our work

Katie%20Reynolds.JPGAn update from Katie, a University Scholar and senior CCPA major with a minor in psychology. She is working for an International Non-Governmental Organization called Mencap in London for six weeks this summer:

While preparing my speech for the Intern Presentation to the rest of the London program, I realized the magnitude of the work that my organization does, and it made me extremely encouraged by all the work that each individual does at Mencap.

I chose to talk about how to become a force for change by debating in public forums and bringing to the forefront issues that some people may not want to hear about. This topic was perfect for my organization because at Mencap we have a large campaigns department that lobbies the government and works with politicians from all parties to try to improve the lives of people with a learning disability. We have had a lot of success recently with such hard-hitting campaigns as:

Don’t Stick It, Stop It – Campaign to stop the bullying of children and young people with a learning disability

Changing Places – Campaign for fully accessible toilets throughout the UK

Breaking Point – Campaign that calls for families of people with a learning disability to get short break services because 8 out of 10 parents have reached a breaking point.

Death by Indifference – Campaign for equal healthcare treatment for people with a learning disability.

DBI-families-resized.jpgThe Death by Indifference campaign was a follow-up to the Treat me Right! report published by Mencap in 2004, which exposed the unequal healthcare that people with a learning disability often receive within the National Health Service. This report led many families (pictured) of people with a learning disability who had died to contact Mencap and tell the story of how their loved one died because the medical staff who were treating their sons or daughters would not listen to them.

Mencap used six of these stories as case studies to publish the Death by Indifference report in March 2007, including the story of Martin (pictured), a 43-year-old man with a learning disability who died in the hospital after he suffered a stroke and went 26 days unfed.

katie-Martin.JPGBefore Mencap had even published the follow-up report, we could see the effect it was going to have when the Government came out with a pre-emptive announcement that they would set up an independent inquiry into the treatment of people with a learning disability in the NHS.

Just today, the findings of the report were published by the Government in which they found “appalling examples of discrimination, abuse and neglect across the range of health services.” The inquiry also found “convincing evidence that people with learning disabilities have higher levels of unmet need and receive less effective treatment.” The inquiry shows that everything Mencap said in the Death by Indifference campaign was right, and Mencap will now be campaigning for the Government to carry out all of the recommendations that they have set forth.

It is successes like this that show me the purpose of the work we do at Mencap and encourages me to continue to be a force for change.

The work that Mencap does really is monumental. It’s because of campaign runs and published reports that individuals with a learning disability, all across the UK, are getting that much closer to having the same rights and being treated with equality.

If you would like to know more about current or past campaigns by Mencap, please go here.

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The Go-Go-Go of NGOs

ashlee-rivalto-in-london.jpgAshlee is a senior CCPA major and art minor who is interning at the Offscreen Education Programme:

The Offscreen 2008 Student expedition ended Saturday, July 19. To celebrate the achievements and outputs of the expedition, Offscreen held a celebration event Saturday night. The night was a truly unique experience. I have worked on many aspects of the expedition, and although I realized the importance of the program and the strong ideas and aims behind it – I finally saw it all come together that night. I figured out why Stephen (Offscreen founder) sleeps, eats and breathes Offscreen.

Each student gave a presentation on his or her personal Offscreen experience. These presentations were touching, informative and allowed me to see, for the first time, the true meaning of Offscreen. Changing perceptions, creating cultural bridges and mutual understandings through education and art really works.

The students involved in the expedition became new people. They learned more about the world around them, they learned how to communicate and relate with types of people they had only heard about through the television, and most importantly they were given the tools to inform others. All of these students will take what they have learned back to Oman, Bahrain, the UAE and Lebanon and hopefully change the perceptions there.

But this change will not be automatic. Sometimes the change will not even be recognizable. The change that these students, Offscreen and all NGOs are working to achieve is not always immediate, and it is not easy. But when changes are made, however small or large they may be, they take us closer to a better world.

This is why NGOs continue to fight for change no matter how many battles they have won or lost – there is always something more to be done. NGOs do not stop. Their pursuit for a better world seems to be a neverending struggle. As they continue to fight they may lose funds, lose employees and lose supporters, but they will never lose faith in their cause. This constant battle for change is what makes NGOs unique.

For example, after the student expedition ended last week, I walked into the office to find it very empty and very quiet. I thought Stephen had given everyone a day off to recuperate after the 14-day nonstop work they had done during the expedition. This was not the case. Everyone was at the studio (2nd office located in East London for design team) hard at work. With little to no sleep, the Offscreen team was uploading more footage from the expedition and working on the Edge of Arabia Exhibition coming up in October, which will bring 15 Saudi contemporary artists to the UK.

ashlee2.jpgSleep? You can sleep when you are dead … now it is time to make a change. So the battle continues to educate the world and create a common link between all people, whether it is through art, the sharing of ideas, or one Middle Eastern student’s inspirational journey – that is how Offscreen fights for change. How will you?

ashlee3.jpgI would like to thank Hendrika, Allison, Katie, Kellyn and Rachael for coming to the Offscreen Celebration. Your support means a lot!

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The Mermaid Inn and a royal horse show

Kaitlin.jpgKatie is a senior CCPA major, with a minor in Spanish. She is working for the Centre for Capital Punishment Studies (CCPS).

This last weekend, (literally, our last free weekend to travel! – wow, time is flying) some friends and I went to this quaint little town called Rye and stayed overnight in the cutest B&B I have ever seen – The Mermaid Inn. The Inn was built in the 1100s and rebuilt around 1402, and besides the necessary modern updates, it really hasn’t changed since!

The floors are creaky, the layout of the Inn is like a maze, and it looks exactly as you would expect a 15th-century house to look! Apparently, it was a house used by smugglers way back when and has a lot of history to share. It is actually quite a famous spot, too, and has been visted by Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Warren Beatty, Charlie Chaplin, Pierce Brosnan, Andy Garcia and Johnny Depp (just to name a few). I would encourage any future travelers to check it out for a night. Both the Inn and the town of Rye are a refreshing change from the busy streets of London.

To top off my weekend, I spent all day Sunday at The Longines Royal International Horse Show. I ride and compete, so attending this prestigious international competition was a chance of a lifetime for me. It was amazing to see all the international riders gallop across the beautiful grass field and over 5-foot fences in the International Ring – but since I honestly know how boring horse shows are to those who are not interested, I won’t bother you with the specifics.

This upcoming week is our last week in London and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. Only one more week, but it will be a busy week – including work Monday-Thursday, a Monday night Jack the Ripper Tour, class, our (interns’) presentation to the London SMU group, Romeo & Juliet in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Friday night, as much sightseeing I can cram into Friday & Saturday during the day, and a farewell party Saturday night … whew.

I’ll be back with updates from the final week of our London adventure.

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Last week in London

evie-howard.jpgEvie is a senior CCPA major working at Global Witness. This non-governmental organization is working to break the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption.

And here we are, the final week, the last stretch till we all board our plans back to Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida, California … Wherever we are going, we are all leaving behind a city that has changed us. We are leaving with experiences that will last our entire lifetime. We are changed, we are different, and it was all for the better.

Evie_2180-jacqueline-sm.jpgI started my last weekend with my friends at the famous Absolute Ice Bar in London (they have these all over the world). We enjoyed drinking out of ice cubes and sitting on blocks of ice with cushions on them. I then spent my Saturday enjoying the sun on the beach in a little town in the south of England called Rye.

Evie_2182-jacqueline-sm.jpgI went with my two friends, Katie Rose and Grace, and enjoyed going back in time to a cobble-stone, 15th-century world of fishermen, smugglers and pubs. It was surreal. I thought every step through this little village was like jumping into the Pirates of the Caribbean. I imagined wearing a big hoop skirt and walking to the market, to church, to the pier to wish well to the fishermen. It was extraordinary.

It was nice to get back to London, though. As much as I love the countryside and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, I missed it. I missed my park, my little pub, my overcrowded tube (well, maybe not that much).

Before I left for the weekend, I enjoyed going to work and getting away from the ordinary. At work, I have helped proofread the Annual Report as it hits its final stages. I cannot wait to see the final product. Of course, it will be long after I’ve returned to the States, but my supervisor promises to send me a copy. Since we are close to the end of the Annual Report, my supervisor handed me off to one of her colleagues who needed help with some phone calls.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but if I was needed, I was there to help. We had a few volunteers, but the one working with this colleague went home because of family issues. So Ellie, my supervisor’s colleague, asked for my help.

When I met with her, I soon learned I would not just be making some ordinary phone calls. My organization is filled with employees who travel the world to gather the information they need to write their reports and bring to the surface these corrupt and violent conflicts. Ellie would be traveling overseas to one of our conflict countries in order to gather more information. My job was to help set up her company, logo, website, email, post address, etc. I was going to help create an alias and help, in the long run, a country get closer to a less corrupt and more free life.

I cannot believe this is my last week at work. I am not ready to leave my job, and I want to stay and see the results of my work. But I know that would mean being here for years. I never knew how rewarding work could be, and how I would be unaware of how long I was working for something. Time really flies when I am at work. I plan to stay in touch with my colleagues and stay abreast in their efforts to “break the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption.”

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We are here to work, you know!

grace.jpgGrace, a senior art history and CCPA major, is working this summer at WOMANKIND Worldwide in the communications and fundraising department.

The past two weeks have been just as amazing as the two before it. In between my various projects for Womankind and all of our class meetings and assignments, I have managed to squeeze in a few more fun activities before I leave my dear city next week.

After coming home from Scotland, I had a full week of work but made sure to punctuate it with a visit to the London Eye, a showing of Mamma Mia (the actual musical, not the movie), a discovery of a fabulous Indian restaurant in Primrose Hill, I walked around the fashion exhibit of the Victoria and Albert, and snuck off to Paris for the weekend.

But the London life isn’t all glamour; I am here to work and go to class after all. And that brings me to telling you about this past week. Monday and Tuesday were business as usual – early morning class followed by a full day of work. On Wednesday, however, I awoke with that awful “I’m sick” feeling. I dragged myself downstairs to meet for class and soon realized that I could not make it to work.

It is not so much that work wears me out (because a large portion of it involves sitting at a computer – not too physically exhausting), but getting to work in London is quite an ordeal. I walk at least 15 minutes to the tube stop, up and down and around the stairs of the first tube station, and then on the train, where I am usually awkwardly crammed up against a stranger. I then rush off that train to find my next one (again, more stairs, and more walking) then onto that train and then ten more minutes of walking to my office, where I trudge up a few flights of stairs.

This whole process takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and has given me a new understanding of what “rush hour” in London means. Though it may sound like it, I am not complaining because I believe it is all part of the process of genuinely becoming a Londoner, but there was no way, feeling how I did, that I could undergo that process without fainting. So I curled up in bed and tried to nurse myself back to health with some Gatorade. (Stay with me everyone, this has a point, I promise.)

Now I remember the days when being sick and staying home, watching T.V. while someone lovingly prepared soup for you, was considered a great day (relatively, of course). So when I thought I would stay back from work on Wednesday, initially I thought it wouldn’t be so bad – I could get better, catch up on some much-needed sleep and perhaps relax a little. And I did all of that, but the odd thing was – I missed work! (as in, I wished I was at the office instead of in bed).

I can say for certain, unless there was a field trip that I was missing at school or unless I was really ill, I never found myself saying I’d rather be at school. But here I was, seemingly lounging, and what I wanted was to be at Womankind. This is truly a growing-up point, I would say, when you realize that the work you are doing is so important and so exciting to you that you actually enjoy doing it.

Grace-London-165-sm.jpgAnd I knew all along during this process that I was enjoying my job, but it wasn’t until this moment that I realized how much I love it and how much I will miss it and my darling co-workers (photo right) when I go home in just one week.

The following day I was still a bit sickly so I opted to stay home, but this time I had a plan. I called my co-worker Emma, the technological go-to at the office, and in my raspy, sort of sad-sounding voice, I figured out how to access my files in my dorm room so that I could work from bed. Admittedly, I couldn’t put out a whole day’s work, but just accomplishing a few things on my list made me feel so much better.

As I am writing this I feel hugely recovered – a quick trip to Rye (a town about 2 hours from London near the beach) and some fresh air has rejuvenated me. I will return to my last week at work with enough energy to take on the world – or at least tie up all of my loose ends.

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