#3 – Things Coming Together in Shanghai

大家好!

After a period of difficulty and uncertainty, things are starting to seem like they are coming together. And from what I’ve learned, this is actually very typical of “life in the big city” here! Lots of struggle, even lots of uncertainty, but a feeling that things will get better – or maybe even already are – and will come together at the end of the day.

One thing that I’ve heard from a friend here is that “in China, what we have most of is people!” It was meant to be funny, but it was also meant to convey something about life here, it seems; while I’m sure we all have heard the phrase “no (wo)man is an island” before, it seems that people genuinely embrace the idea behind it here. The people are all there with one another – especially the ones who find friendship with one another, but everyone else as well – all either knowingly or unknowingly sharing whatever difficulty and uncertainty with one another. Even on the crowded subway, at the end of the long day, this is not hard to see here. There is something powerful about that, I think.

Anyways, the internship is definitely looking like it will come together as well. For the past couple weeks I’ve been learning a lot about Python, network programming, multithreading, and other programming concepts – and putting them into practice through a project (am finally thankful for EECS 280 and 281, lol). I’ll be finishing this project this weekend, and starting next week will be working directly with my supervisor to help him perform more advanced (for me) data scraping and analysis tasks. All things considered, this will probably end up being absolutely one of the best experiences I could have hoped for.

All in all, this has been a very interesting, informative, surprising, and plain “good” experience so far.  Almost nothing at all has turned out like I expected (which is surprising, because I really thought I had done a good job of ridding myself of expectations before arriving, lol), but at the same time… Despite the struggle and the uncertainty, with a bit of heart and hard work (and maybe a few friends to share the journey), things should come together just fine. Hopefully.

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