Pressure: On

Tensions are rising, frustrations are building and the negative energy is beginning to seep through. It’s totally understandable, of course – with Week #3 coming to a close, everyone’s feeling the pressure of getting all three stories in before deadline on June 7. (We leave Spain June 10, but Carlene’s made it very clear that if we expect to be published, we better hunker down and get our shit done. She said it in a nicer way – but that’s what she meant.)

Throw in a dash of cabin fever (we’ve all seen each other pretty much every day since May 5, and more for those who’ve been roommates that whole time), a little misfortune (stolen iPhones, broken laptops, missing items, uncooperative washing machines) and a place where only one of 17 students can speak the language, and you have yourself a recipe for extreme stress.

I myself have gone the last three weeks relatively unscathed (thank goodness). Though things are far from ideal, I’m on schedule with my second story and my sources have been helpful.

But that also means I’ve been a bit of a sponge for some of the unpleasantness that the people around me have been feeling. I kind of wish that at some point, I’d learned some breathing or meditation techniques to help me help others calm the heck down. But all I can do is offer measly comfort (“It’ll get better,” or  “I know you can do it”) and allow them to rant and get it out of their systems.

I don’t mind. Quite frankly, I’d rather be receiving this particular present than handing it out. But today I had to take a walk to blow off the steam I feel like I’ve been taking in. I suppose emotions are just heightened in this kind of situation. It’s an interesting – and also exhausting – realization. Hence for the first time in about two weeks, I’m home and in my PJ’s before 12 midnight: I think it’s a stay-in-bed-and-blog kind of evening.

Here’s hoping that we can all start the new week better than some of us ended the last.

And also, Buzz Lightyear.


[P.S. For those of you looking for photos from last night’s festivities, I suggest you check out Danny, Maria, Nicole and Caroline’s blogs. Or just go to our site where our awesome team’s coverage is already up. You can also reach everyone’s blogs from there.

I personally left my iPhone/camera at home for fear of it being lost or stolen, and in the end it was a great idea. In case you were wondering: Yes, the city did go insane. A friend and I did have to squeeze through a crowd of like 5,000 people only to find ourselves one smartphone short by the time we got to the other side. I did walk what felt like 10 miles home, in the dark, a little tipsy (with company, so it was pretty safe; but I was wiped out afterward). There were, apparently, many people peeing on the street. And a bottle of Bacardi was, somehow, involved. Good times. Hala Madrid!]

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