The Learning Curve

By Élise Valerie

Throughout this semester I was assigned to work with The Chronicle Newspaper, assisting them with the process of digitizing their newspapers. This project was created in an effort to shorten the retrieval process of information stored in newspaper editions. Before a database of the papers can be created, the older newspapers need to be scanned and uploaded into a folder on Google Drive as a temporary repository. Moreover, an inventory of the condition of the different papers was updated where seen fit. Under the guidance of previous interns, I was taught how to properly scan and analyze the condition of the newspapers. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I scanned 20 newspaper issues all from the year 1986. When fulfilling this task, I would check the data in the inventory spreadsheet and compare it to the papers in my presence looking for any discrepancies, which would be corrected in the document upon discovery. I would then scan the pages of the newspaper and upload them to folders that correspond to the newspaper issue. 

In an effort to assist with the completion and launching of the Virtualizing Caribbean Literature Project, the first task that I understood was the creation of a list, consisting of the author countries included in the project and whether or not they had a markdown page created already. This list was created utilizing Google Sheets and was stored in the shared drive dedicated to the project. After this, I changed the country permalinks from the country name to the number that was associated with it on the country.json page. Once that task was completed, I created Genre pages for the different genres of works in the collection. Upon completion, I ensured that the name of the author markdown pages and their permalinks were under the same name from the letters ‘a’ to ‘i’. I later assisted in the creation of author data sheets.

In terms of my school work this semester, there was a drastic increase in the coursework and assignments expected to be completed as well as the level of difficulty experienced when compared to last semester. Due to the seven courses taken spread between my double major, at times it was very hectic. The amount of work that needed to be completed depleted much of the free time that I had and overwhelmed me occasionally. Eventually, I got accustomed to my schedule and the demands of my courses.  While becoming acclimated to the situation with my studies, I neglected my duties as an intern. I did not complete the vast majority of the hours that I was expected to complete. At that time, I had not thought of how this carelessness would affect the launch of the project (Which it did). After this revelation, I tried pulling my weight by completing tasks that would aid in the completion of the project. I did this by being more consistent with my hours, both those associated with the VCL project and those associated with The Chronicles. This did little to nothing though as the damage was already done and the time allocated to the launch of the project had passed.  

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