Survival Spanish – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Survival Spanish

I’m sitting here, reading my letter from the very first week of the program, feeling just as nervous as I did then. For the same reasons I am still anxious: I want to do a good job, I want to impress my bosses, and I want to come off capable and intelligent. The difference is that instead of being anxious to start my experience off on the right foot, I’m anxious to convey that I learned a lot and that I’m the better for it at this program showcase. I just found out that BOTH OF MY BOSSES WILL BE THERE which somehow makes my anxiety both worse and better.

For that reason, this blog post will take shape as a method of stress relief. Journaling would be a good way to put it. The fact of the matter is that I am all the more intelligent and capable for this experience. I got to use a great deal of my prior skills in and out of food service and research in conjunction with the development of novel skills from unfamiliar experiences. I learned that I could run a cardio-buster workout with small children, for example. I learned that I could perform field research with ease and draw on a great deal of survival Spanish. For the love of Christ, five and a half years of Spanish didn’t go to waste!

I struggle, though, with the sheer number of projects we never finished. At the beginning of the nine weeks, Aries and I created a master schedule for all the projects we wanted to get done before our time was up. At the time, we had no idea how much time we would spend running pop-ups and field research. We were sure we would spend plenty of time in the office and that our running pop-ups would be infrequent and low maintenance. In fact, we learned that we would spend most of the week in and out of Peaches & Greens, running pop-ups all over Detroit. We drove anywhere from ten minutes to a half an hour and back sometimes to run pop-ups in Mount Clemens.

Granted, there were some projects we adopted midway through our time here that proved more important than the stuff we had scheduled, like the field research, EBT training, and my cobbling together the beginnings of a compost system at our production facility. In truth, the internship position isn’t about us. Fresh Corner certainly isn’t catering to its temporary employees. Val & Noam put our hands to use where they needed them, and they were still so generous and considerate with our time and skills. Ultimately, if we had just pursued the projects that we had scheduled in and completed them, we would still have been objectively less productive than if we just did the work that Noam and Val needed us to do. Truly, I am grateful to them to have learned that lesson.

I’m taking some time to sift through all the projects that I’ve completed for Fresh Corner since I arrived, and I’m impressed with myself. I feel like I can tackle this showcase and conquer it handily. I’M GONNA DO YOU PROUD NOAM & VAL YOU JUST WATCH

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