June 28, 2007

My Summer Schedule

Well, summer has been going on for about 3 weeks now and I realized that I haven’t really shared what I’ve been doing! That’s just unacceptable for an avid blogger such as myself, so here I am to dish out some info on the FAQs about my summer.

MIT has this cool system that makes it mandatory for me to pay $1,500 dollars at the end of the summer towards my tuition. Me, as in not my parents. This particular transaction has to be under my name. I’m guessing that this is to prevent my parents from paying for all of my college and just coasting through without contributing some moolah. That means that I need to do something that earns some money this summer…like get a job. More specifically, I ended up with two jobs.

I applied for (and received) an internship at ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation). While it may not be printers, Pixar, or satellites, it’s still a decent time and I’m getting paid pretty well. I work full time (8-5, Monday through Friday) and get paid $1,673 every month. I started out with very little to do. It turns out that the office I was placed in only found out that they were getting me the day before I showed up. They had a cubicle for me, but now work. Luckily I have this fancy laptop and was able to keep myself occupied for about the first week. I had to resort to a puzzle book at one point, those were desperate times. This week, my third week of employment, they finally realized that I was doing nothing and decided to remedy it. Before I knew it I had several huge projects dumped on me (enough to last several weeks). This is when I get to talk about the project from hell.

The project from hell is quite complex and will probably be hard to explain, but here’s the just of it. ODOT’s new way of keeping track of finances divides things up into three categories: Pre-Engineering (PE), Right of Way (RoW) and Construction (Constr). ODOT’s old way of keeping track of finances did some of this separation, but never actually grouped it into these three categories. My job is to go through thousands of project listings (all on paper because they neglected to save the spreadsheets that the original records were kept on) and write down all the numbers from these three categories, which are in turn grouped into 6 more categories. These new 6 categories forced me to get creative about organization. I had been using three colored pens for PE, RoW, and Constr, but now I had to sort those too. I dug around the office and found 6 brand new highlighters! I started writing and highlighting and cross referencing and spreadsheeting and crying and complaining and shuffling papers and sorting and calculating. I’ve been doing this for 4 days now and am almost halfway done.



There’s my cubicle with my laptop and my papers and highlighters. I have to go through these charts



and write down numbers (while color-coding)





and then shove all the numbers into several spreadsheets.





It’s laborious, but it pays.

I’m also working at the Carousel again this summer. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that I work at a Carousel, even though I’ve been working there for over a year now. Funny how these things don’t make it into blogs. I work there on Sundays from 10-6:30.

That means that I work Sunday through Friday and have Saturdays off. It’s a very busy summer! I’m ending all of my working in preparation for college on August 12th. That will be my last day at the Carousel, and my last day at ODOT will be August 10th. I leave for MIT on August 18th. That’s my summer in a nutshell. Anybody else working a lot this summer? Let me know!

7 comments:

José P. said...

Congratulations, you're growing up (and earning ~$1,700/month)! :D

José P. said...

Oh, and you're also going to MIT (win^4)!

Kate said...

Your Department of Transportation work sounds very...stimulating. I like the color-coding, though. That is pretty awesome!

I think you mentioned the Carousel once or twice, by the way. You said something about doing safety training and a day that you were sick.

Anonymous said...

your idea of the student contribution bit isn't actually true

it's just a suggested number. usually you and your family decide how much each of you will contribute.

after all, the financial aid uses a "suggested" amount needed to get through the year at MIT. the actual amount is usually lower

my first year, i worked full time during the day and then worked for a demidec (test-writing company) at night (and mostly low pay). and then i just used that money for essentials/food, which MIT obviously doesn't keep track of. but i guess that would account for my contribution

but yea, anyhow, the student contribution bit doesn't have to be paid in your name or w/e

i've rambled long enough, and you're probably sketched out =D

Paul said...

Ouch, that sounds...rough. But it will pay the bills. :) Actually, it kind of reminds me of this really funny article from The Onion.

My job for this summer basically involves playing with cow bones, and I use the term "playing" loosely. I'll be blogging about it soon, coming to an Internet near you.

Edgar said...

Your blog reminds me of my part-time job at the office of the dean of the college of engineering of my institution. I had to do the same laborious work and it also boosted my organization skills! Way to go!

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