By Chelsea Lugay
This semester was the most challenging for me this far, however, I believe that I was able to get through it rather well.I went from being a first year student and intern to a second year student and intern in very little time.This semester I was presented with many opportunities that will surely benefit me in one way or another. My main focus this semester was my personal life, working on the Visualising Caribbean Literature Project (VCL), school work and my community partner which was the Waitukubuli writers.
I enrolled in a total of five courses, two courses for my major and three electives. These five courses have allowed me to gain quite a bit of knowledge to help me not only in my current life but in my future professional life as well. Most of my classes were on online platforms therefore I only went on campus for assessments. Though I believe that online learning is very beneficial, there are quite a few disadvantages as well. These include, poor wifi connections, noisy surroundings making it difficult to take part in class discussions and electronic issues, all of which I experienced this semester. This semester I completed a course ‘Professional Development Seminar’, one that I would not have done if it was not a requirement to graduate. However, throughout its completion it became my favorite class that I enrolled in. I practiced writing resumes and cover letters, taking interviews and so much more and I am ready to use what I have learnt some day.
For the VCL project, I was tasked with creating author country markdown pages. It was a rather easy task, because I had access to the spreadsheet, with all of the information that was needed to populate the pages. I found it fascinating to see all the coded pages that I made become actual pages on a site. Additionally I made a few author data sheets, which were used to organize the information about specific authors, so that information could then be used to make markdown pages. My greatest challenge with this however was time management. I found it very difficult to work on the VCL project and complete all that was expected from me in school. I eventually found a way to attend to both my school work, the VCL project and my personal life.
During this semester I also had the opportunity to represent Create Caribbean at The Caribbean Digital IX in Puerto Rico, alongside Dr. Schuyler Esprit and one
of my fellow interns, Zervita Charles. There, I took part in a workshop with Alex Gil, that focused on using digital humanities tools such as Omeka and Wax. I am already familiar with the two, and though the workshop was entirely in Spanish I found it very informative and I gained a lot of knowledge that I can continue to use. On the following day I attended The Caribbean Digital Conference, where several individuals portrayed the Digital Humanities projects that they had been working on. I really enjoyed these presentations, I considered them to be creative and I believe that all of them would in fact be beneficial, to researchers, students, etc. Not only was this an educational experience, but I got an opportunity to meet such amazing people as well, people interested in areas that I’m interested in, and they made the experience even more memorable. I am extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity and I will never take it for granted.
Finally, I worked with my community partner Waitukubuli Writers. It is a registered group of Dominican writers who are passionate about Dominican literature. Their aim is to preserve and showcase the published and unpublished pieces of Dominican authors, poets and playwrights. They gave me the task of creating an Omeka site and a WordPress site. The Omeka site is an interactive and child friendly site that can be used in schools, while the WordPress site will be the Waitukubuli Writers’ official site to publish pieces. So far I haven’t encountered any challenges and I have been making progress.
Overall this semester asked a lot of me , but also gave me many great opportunities, and I was able to complete this semester proudly.