Thank You

This week has been tough, as I’m sure those keeping up with this blog can tell, and I just want to take a minute to be thankful for the care I’m getting while I’m here. The grad mentors care about me, check in on me regularly, and listen when I express frustrations. Because of this, when I needed time off this week to see a sick relative, I felt safe enough to do so, which isn’t a given for me. Instead of worrying about what would happen if I dared to ask for time off, I was able to get it, and with very little hassle. And when the family member took a turn for the worse and the scheduled time off I was granted didn’t work out, I was able to easily change that time to be sooner so that I could see my aunt one last time before she passed. I am so grateful that not only I was given this chance, but that I was reminded multiple times it was okay to ask. I was reminded the importance of family and reassured that asking for this time wasn’t somehow a failure on my part, and I didn’t feel as if the request would be used against me later. This has not always been my experience. Requesting time off has been a hassle, has been something I dread doing, and something I avoid at all costs. In the past, taking, or even asking for a day off has resulted in passive aggressive comments about my commitment to my job, or other punishments (though, of course they’re never called this) to make up for the request. I am beyond grateful for how supported I feel in this environment, by these people, and in the REU. So this post is just to say thank you to everyone who is making this program so supportive and making VRAC such a nice place to work at.

When we got here someone said that this REU was an effort of love, and I honestly thought it sounded disingenuous to say that, but I see it now. The people here really care about us, individually, and care for us, and try to give us the best training they can. We are given homemade meals regularly, they check in on us individually on a regular basis. When we express concerns or frustrations they listen, and they give us advice. It is truly wonderful to be in a work environment that actually feels positive for once. So yeah, thanks everyone. I really appreciate it.

photo of my mother, grandma, and me from yesterday when I went to see my family. Even though the reason was sad, I want thankful to be able to see my family.

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