Would you like optimism with that?

2 08 2010

It’s been a long working week. Combine employer and internship sponsor, and you’ve got one ‘fun-filled’ time ahead of you.

Or from the one Monday until the next Friday, in my case.

Working at OUPSA has been great – surely you must know that from my work-related blog entries thus far. I seem to be pleasing everyone I work with/for, and I’ll be briefed on a new project tomorrow, which is pretty great, because it shows that they have faith in my capabilities (plus it saves them time to do it themselves, too). But when you’re in the office from let’s say 08:15 until 17:00 every day, the last thing you want is to work over a weekend.

I didn’t have much of a choice, but it was fun anyway.

From last Friday until this Monday (which is today, of course), my fellow interns and I had to be present at the Cape Town Book Fair: working at the PASA stand, attending talks/ workshops, and trying to find contacts for a project we as a group have been assigned to… more on that later (and it’s pretty exciting!!)

Typewriter at the PASA stand - loving that old school vibe!

I’ve already told you about my Friday at the Book Fair. Saturday I worked at the PASA stand from 10:00 until 12:00, while also doing a stint at the children’s section to ensure that things were running smoothly. I spent most of the time before 13:00 there, as well, before heading off to a talk on ‘How to get Published’ at the Pan Macmillan stand (I didn’t learn anything new). From 14:00 until 15:45 I went to a talk with the title ‘What is the future of the book in the Digital Age?’, and although I found it interesting – since I’m working in the schools education sector of OUP – they should have specified that they’ll be looking at the future of books for learning purposes. The rest of the day went by rather quickly, and then it was time to go home with a head full of information (and a headache to boot).

On Sunday we all had a meeting before going our separate ways. I attended a talk from 10:00 until 11:15 called ‘Thinking from the South’, which really reminded me about my good old university Thursday-seminar days… 🙂 My mum and older sister came to the Book Fair, giving me an opportunity to see them and also point them toward certain stalls/exhibitors they might find interesting. I, naturally, scored out of the deal, because my mum read my last blog entry and bought me the Dan Brown book I wanted *sheepish grin* While they were browsing about, I went to some of the stalls to try and persuade some people to give me their business cards so they can play a role at the event we interns are responsible for (yes, I know I said ‘more on that later’, and I promise I’ll tell you soon). Smudgy was pretty happy with my mum purchasing the book for me, since she got a plastic bag out of the deal:

For once she's not playing with a plastic bag...

Anyway, I spent the rest of the day in talks (‘Written Culture in a colonial context’ from 13:00 – 13:45; ‘Writing after Apartheid & Berlin Wall’ from 14:00 – 15:45, though I could only stay until three; and ‘The self-publishing shift’, presented by Crink, from 15:00 – 15:45) before heading off to work at the PASA stand from four ‘til six in the pee-em 😉 During all this we interns also made time to have a discussion about this project we have to work on that I have mentioned twice already: World Book Day 2011. How cool IS that?! I did some research on themes used in the past, and we had a great time brainstorming this morning…

…and me, being over keen at times, arrived at the CTICC at 07:40, while our meeting was scheduled for – wait for it – 08:30. How was I supposed to know the traffic would be all right for a Monday morning on the way to Cape Town? So… yes… we brainstormed, went to a talk hosted by PASA from 10:00 ‘til 10:45, and then I had coffee (well, tea for me) with two of the other Cape Town based interns. Lovely, lovely people 🙂

Following that, I’ll have to quote the Pussycat Dolls: “I hate this part right here…”

We were briefed on our Portfolio of Evidence (PoE), which was all right; and we talked more about the Book Day thing, which is also great (although I have been given a few tasks that will keep me busy). But then came more information… or rather, two more projects. One a group project, and one individually. I cannot say much at this point about the group project, since I would like to use discretion regarding some of my intern duties. Still, I can say that what we have to compile a proposal for has never taken place in South Africa, which places us into a tidy little niche of stressed-out-until-further-notice country. As for the individual task… let’s just say that I was mistaken when I thought I left my thesis writing days behind me when I said bye-bye to Stellenbosch.

I have a killer workload with a glass full of worries and a side order of (as yet to come forward) desperation.

If you see me, I’ll smile and be friendly. But I’m not too sure I can give you some optimism with that.

[Aside: Some of my fellow interns see me as meticulous and organized, which is great, but also as a workaholic. Surely that cannot be too bad… can it?]

I haven't reach this level... yet.

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