Pushing Through Despite the Challenges

By Luam Stephenson

The new semester began and with it came the continuation of my duty as an intern at Create Caribbean. The new semester came with two main objectives for continuing interns, launching the Visualizing Caribbean Literature (VCL) project and working with our Community Partners. This would take us to a total of ten hours of work each week. 

The new aspect of my internship, community partner work, began with myself selecting to work with the Dominica State College (DSC) for safekeeping of alumni’s transcripts. My initial thoughts were that I would be creating a database for these transcripts, which I soon learnt was not the case. In my questioning of the criteria for the database is where I learnt that I would be scanning or transcribing the transcripts. I also went through other things, like my schedule and who my supervisor was in that meeting. 

I spent the semester transcribing the water damaged transcripts. In my time doing so I have completed the transcription of the most water damaged book of transcripts and have gotten about halfway with another. Using templates, I created based on the information needed, I was able to average about twenty transcripts in one session of work. These sessions were in the morning and afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The sessions were a tight fit with my school schedule and taking into consideration the bus schedule as well. The sessions of work I do in the mornings and afternoons are minutes before a class and minutes after. On Thursdays I must end these sessions before going to another class in town. Apart from a few days with schedule hiccups my work with my community partner went smoothly, though there are around seven books needing my attention, after those with severe water damage the work should move quicker.

My continued work towards the launch of the VCL project started about mid to late September. I was tasked with creating a checklist for authors who had and who did not have a markdown page, a page on the project’s website. At the completion of the checklist in late October there were 387 entries. From the near completion of the checklist, I started assisting in the creation of markdown pages, but started contributing in earnest from early November. I worked by starting from the bottom of the checklist and moving to the middle, but the number of pages I created is unknown to me. Although,GitHub insights allowed me to see that I made 101 contributions over this semester for those pages. Apart from pages I also assisted in the creation of author data sheets, separate spreadsheets for authors, and checks for genre, languages, and white space for a select number of authors. 

Overall, I pushed a good amount of work over the semester, though in certain instances it could have been better in my eyes. It was stressful and tiring at times, but all jobs are, and I am glad I did it. My hope is that my contributions would have made a significant impact and helped further the cause of my community partner and the launch of the Create Caribbean project.

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