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MIT blogger Kidist A. '22

a peek in a week of my summer by Kidist A. '22

trying to enjoy it while it lasts

I cannot and refuse to believe that school starts next week. I don’t feel rested at all, and I’m not ready to be trapped in the pset cycle.01 Seriously, I wish psets were due every other week, and we only had a week to do them. I just hate the feeling of finishing a pset and the next one being released right after. Right when you feel like you're ahead, you're suddenly behind. I know I could just finish the psets earlier than when it's due/next one is released, but psets are hard for me okay:( For now, here’s a brief overview of what my week generally looked like. Some things I do consistently such as my meetings at 1:00 pm and having breakfast afterward. Other things are more random like calling a friend.    

Semi-Consistent

10:00 – 11:00 am

  • I have tried multiple times to fix my sleep schedule and wake up earlier, but I usually end up waking up between 10 and 11 AM. I even pulled an all-nighter once to fix my sleep schedule, but it stayed that way only for two weeks.  

1:00 pm 

  • I have daily meetings with my hosts (my mentors/managers during my internship) and pod (two other interns I work with). The three of us take turns running the meeting and share updates on our project. The most important thing I love about my hosts and pod is that they create a comfortable space to ask questions, which has made my internship experience sooo much better than other work experiences. My pod mates are fun people to work with and just great in general, which I’m very grateful for. One of them actually goes to MIT, and we did Interphase together. It’s really comforting to have a familiar face, especially with this unconventional internship experience. 

1:30 pm

  • I generally have breakfast right after this meeting. My go-tos are egg sandwich with tea, bread and butter with tea, or cereal. Sometimes my mom makes banana bread or pancakes, so I’ll have that. But I’m honestly extremely content with just bread. I cannot express how much I love bread; it brings me deep satisfaction like no other meal.02 </span></span>yes bread is a meal The chances of me leaving this world because I choked on bread are nontrivial, but at least I will die happy.

8:00 – 11:00 pm

  • At some point in these three hours, my mom, sister, and I will do our daily prayer together and have dinner afterward. Praying generally takes 30 minutes, but sometimes we end up talking before or after the prayer for an hour or more. Most of our dinners are injera,03 Injera is a sour flatbread that's usually eaten with stews and is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea. There are so many different stews that even though we will have injera for days, it still feels like I'm eating something different each day.</span></span> chicken/beef with rice/quinoa, pasta, or the occasional take out. We usually watch an episode of Psych while eating. 

The In-Betweens

  • In between the times listed above and below, I’m probably working with the regular interruption of scrolling through social media. Sometimes I’ll have a random question or idea and look up a bunch of random things. Then I realize I have work and get back to it. It’s essentially a cycle of focus and distraction which I choose to see as a ‘break’. 

Monday 

12:30 pm

  • I get on a call with one of my pod mates and ask questions about React. He had already done a similar task for his feature, and I figured it’d be easier to ask first before I lose myself in Stack Overflow. Like I mentioned before, my pod mates are amazing; I love working with them. They are so kind and intelligent and awesome group members. I’m starting to understand why people emphasize having good managers and coworkers because those can really make or break your experience. 

6:00 pm

  • I had a call with my mentor from CODE2040.04 The Code2040 Fellows program connects Black and Latinx CS students with tech companies and helps them engage in racial equity advocacy work through series of learning experiences designed to give the tools and resources to help navigate the tech industry, build a lasting career, and advocate for yourself and your community. The application for this year is closed but keep it in mind for next year!</span></span> We caught up and talked about professionalism and Twitter, and San Francisco and tech bros, and remote work. It’s really nice to have someone to talk to casually about random things and learn new things along the way. For instance, I did know what developer relations was until my mentor randomly brought it up when we were talking about Twitter.  

10:30 pm

  • I call Blogger Kathleen to catch up. She’s just moved out somewhere to the West to live on a Christmas tree farm. Isn’t that the life? After a quick tour, we talked about our jobs, interviews, plans for the fall, and more. 

1:50 am

  • I go to bed around this time and read for around thirty minutes. After almost two weeks, I’m finally halfway through Americanah. My original plan was to finish the book by the end of last week, but I think I’ll be able to finish it before school starts next week. 

Tuesday 

12:00 pm

  • I have a few blogs that I’m working on simultaneously, so I work on them before my meeting at 1. 

2:00 pm 

  • I have my delicious egg sandwich for breakfast while watching Legend of Korra. I tell myself that I will watch only two episodes, but I end up finishing the entire show. It was really good, and now I’m filled with post-show sadness. I gloom for a bit before I realize that I need to go back to work.    

10:00 pm 

  • I call a friend and dump all my LOK sadness. It helps to talk about the good and bad parts of the show. Outside of that, the call was mostly me increasingly panicking over the realization that school starts in less than a week. I just want to escape into the Spirit World and never return.    

2:30 am

  • I go to bed a little later than usual. Usually, by this time I would have stopped reading and fallen asleep, but work and other personal projects have kept me up.    

Wednesday 

12:00 pm

  • I respond to emails, which takes way longer than it should because every detail must be scrutinized lest I make the inevitable typo or grammatical error. 

1:00 pm 

  • I have a call with my host. We talk about the last things I’m doing before the internship ends, and she helps me solve a bug. After our call, I get breakfast and try to implement her suggestion. 

4:00 pm

  • I’ve been trying to improve my make-up skills, so I take a break from work to play with makeup. I took some pictures afterward. By the time I was done, it was 8 pm, and I started freaking out because the entire day was over. I prayed and had dinner soon after and went back to work. 

2:45 am 

  • I go to bed even later than yesterday. I was working for the most part and was too exhausted to even read. I think my head hit the pillow, and I just went straight to sleep. 

Thursday 

2:30 pm 

  • I have a meeting with my other host. It’s usually relatively short since I share my current status in the pod sync the hour before.

9:00 pm 

  • My church class got moved from 6-8 pm to 9-11 pm since school was starting for many others. Today was the first day with the new time, and it was kind of exhausting though I know I’ll adjust.   

4:30 am

  • I go to bed really, really late. Like Wednesday, I don’t bother reading and go straight to sleep. Thursday was uninteresting and marked with very slow progress. Each build of my code took 15-20 minutes, so I essentially had three tries every hour to fix my code after every bug or error, which was incredibly frustrating. Most of my day was just spent working on that.   

Friday 

1:30 pm

  • I get an email notifying me that I got into my CI-H. Even though I got the CI-H I planned, did it stop me from redoing my entire courseroad? No:) Planning the classes I want to take gives me a false sense of control and stability over my life, a lie I don’t want to stop believing. 

4:00 pm

  • I downloaded a bunch of Adobe apps for freeeeee, thank you MIT. I have been trying my hand at photography this summer, and of course, Photoshop is the most popular and industry-standard photo-editing software. I started watching a bunch of tutorials and was quickly humbled back into doing my work. 

1:00 am 

  • I didn’t sleep much last night, and I was pretty exhausted the whole day. I went to bed relatively early, and even though I was tired, I found it in me to read for an hour. And with that, I concluded my long and tiring week and tried to enjoy *holds back tears* my last weekend before school starts. It was a boring week though I like its simplicity. But the show must go on.       
  1. Seriously, I wish psets were due every other week, and we only had a week to do them. I just hate the feeling of finishing a pset and the next one being released right after. Right when you feel like you're ahead, you're suddenly behind. I know I could just finish the psets earlier than when it's due/next one is released, but psets are hard for me okay:( back to text
  2. yes bread is a meal back to text
  3. Injera is a sour flatbread that's usually eaten with stews and is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea. There are so many different stews that even though we will have injera for days, it still feels like I'm eating something different each day. back to text
  4. The Code2040 Fellows program connects Black and Latinx CS students with tech companies and helps them engage in racial equity advocacy work through series of learning experiences designed to give the tools and resources to help navigate the tech industry, build a lasting career, and advocate for yourself and your community. The application for this year is closed but keep it in mind for next year! back to text