Now that I am getting the hang of this updating thing, I can better document my experiences under this QEM internship. Even though there aren’t any pictures to go along with my entries so far, mark my words, next week’s update will be full of pictures of delectable food.
So my work week started off with an orientation to the National Science Foundation headquarters and it was very pleasant. Although the majority of the orientation was a reiteration of what is expected in a professional environment, I feel it was still important to hear considering young adults would be given access to sensitive information collected by a government agency. It is the kind of clearance that would give one a sense of power and complete anxiety. It is like a double-edged sword.
And getting to the good part, I met one of my mentors. Dr. Alejandro Delapuente. He is a dapper dresser and an avid cyclist from Peru, the land of great cuisine. And over our first lunch together, we took a stroll out in front of the NSF building where there were too many food trucks to count. Actually, I lied, there were probably a dozen. He made it clear that there was a Peruvian food truck there but that it was unsatisfactory (the actual word he used would not be appropriate to mention) and suggested I try something else. I guess Peruvians are very passionate about their food.
But the rest of my week was spent huddled at my desk. My desk neighbors my mentor’s in an office we share alone. It is quite serine in there, the kind of quiet that is only broken up by the taps on our keyboards. I prefer it because it makes for a calm mind while reading over proposals and writing code.
As far as food goes I have been the opposite of adventurous. I am still finding my bearings at NSF, so in I have failed to venture too far from the building as I am unfamiliar with the territory. So I have eaten Subway for lunch three times this week. One exception being at the coffee shop at the mall next door that also happens to serve burgers. Now, some would say that is a terrible combination, and those some are very right. I made the mistake. Coffee, good on its own. Burger and fries, good. Burger with coffee to drink and iced coffee at that, quite bad. Trust me, I made the mistake.
If I leave you with anything, reader, it’s that iced coffee and burgers do not mix. At. All.
Sergio A. Melendez