disclaimer: forgot to use this headline (credit – Tiffany or Jon..can’t remember) when I was actually half way done with the internship, so I’m throwing it in now & adding the word ‘over’ to make it seem appropriate…don’t tease the cheese.
With this week coming to a close, I’m slowly losing time to many any more substantial progress on the database before I have to administer security provisions to it/hand out passwords to different levels of management, and then teach the software to my supervisor.
It was a frustrating & exhausting week for me mentally, emotionally, and otherwise – because I’d invested so much into this archive & felt like I wasn’t really getting anywhere. Since mid-week though, I’ve had a much-needed and very relieving conversation with Oscar (my supervisor) about some realistic and necessary goals for the project, and we settled on some really great things. He seemed to emphasize quality over quantity, and the importance of a stable database – two things I’ve tried to really focus on from the beginning. So it’s great to feel like we’re on the same page :)
I also had lunch this afternoon at a Thai restaurant near Miraflores with an Embassy officer in the Cultural Affairs division (where my internship takes its roots), and he was genuinely interested in my experience and observations of life in the museum! I feel like I’ve been able to accumulate some valauble insight into how things at MNA are run – in terms of the difference in management, resources, employee relations, etc. In my time here, I’ve certainly learned a lot about when to adapt, which professional characteristics of mine to change while here, and what to be sensitive toward, so it was nice to be able to share that for the benefit of future U.S. interns here at MNA!
After about two weeks of grappling with software and technological issues in order to export and import database information to more common software, I finally was successful in adapting the records for a transfer to Microsoft Excel this afternoon! yay! I really wanted to be able to get the data to transfer to a software that was more mainstream, because I think it’s very likely that some of this might be useful to a future potential client or researcher, and they might not have FMP or a compatible program on their computer. Even though the information is more user friendly in FMP (mainly for aesthetic and functional reasons), it’s not very utilitarian in that it can’t be e-mailed or sent over the internet in it’s current form. MNA should be able to use the archive for themselves, but also to have the capability to send it to others in a way that serves them best. So I’ve been trying to make that possible.
Much of my breakthrough is owed to Sebastian Encina, a fellow School of Information student who answered my plea for help a few weeks ago, and has graciously (and patiently) responded to all of my amateur questions (thanks, Sebastian!). Although records are correctly transferring now, I still have the problem of a data gap in the existing database, so I’m going to work on importing excel files into a fresh copy of it on Monday. Hopefully this isn’t more complicated than I think it will be, because I have to make it work. Once it does happen (fingers crossed) there will probably be many fist pumps and weird noises echoing through the museum – I might not be able to contain my joy! Then all I’ll have to do is set up security provisions. I think I’ll be satisfied with that, which will be a wonderful feeling after the weeks of defeat I’ve faced thus far.
Today was a small victory, though, on personal and professional fronts! It’s a good end to the week knowing that things are turning up! I’m finally reaching some of my bigger goals here! I’m also glad to have been able to establish better channels of communication with MNA & the Embassy, and am proud of myself for defending my work and effort in the process.
Tomorrow, I’m gonna return to super gringa status & shop Sagarnaga for more tourist garbage to bring home to friends & family :)
Lots of love to everybody at home, & special thanks to those who helped encourage me to push through this week – I’m very grateful!