A Once-In-a-Lifetime Opportunity I’m Glad I Took

by Mckel Ferrol

I feel like I have learned a lot about myself, the world around me, and as well as the work digital humanities do. My experience has been a roller-coaster of emotions. On some occasions, it can be very exciting, and on orders, it can be very demanding. However, I am very appreciative of this experience and happy that I was able to complete this internship program. My favourite project was Visualizing Caribbean Literature and seeing it completed. And my favourite part of the internship was learning all the different tools and seeing how they are implemented into all the different kinds of Digital Humanities projects. In addition, I also love meeting and interacting with all the staff and interns in Create Caribbean. The most challenging part of this internship for me was keeping up to date with all the assignments and responsibilities I had to do. As well as managing my time with school, Create, and my personal life. I got the experience of working with a team, knowing about digital humanities and most importantly managing my time. I feel like these two things are very important when going to work in the real world and with a company. From here I plan to get a masters in my field of study. My advice to others considering joining this program will be to keep on track with all your assignments and just enjoy the experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you should work hard and do everything you can to get the most out of it.

The First Semester

by Katriel Francis

My name is Katriel Francis, and I am an architectural technology major. I learned about Create Caribbean from my cousin, who is friends with a current employee. I chose to join the Create Caribbean internship program because my intended major was information technology, and it showed my love of coding and working with computers. I hope to gain experience with coding, learning new apps, and exploring new things. I am currently working on my individual project from the main project, called “Space and Place.” The most challenging part of this internship program so far has been socializing, seeing that I am not one for interactions. Yes, this program meets my expectations. There is currently nothing I plan to improve on this year.

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

by Kiara Marcel

Hi! I am Kiara Marcel, a proud intern at the Create Caribbean Research Institute. Though I am a Dominica State College freshman student currently majoring in business administration (general), I anticipate becoming a double major in September, adding the programme of entrepreneurship.

To begin with, even before I was officially a student at the Dominica State College, I desired to pursue an internship. Not only did I think that an internship would have enhanced the capacity of my knowledge and provided me with valuable experience, but I was also hoping to get out of my comfort zone. Hence, when I was found out via the Dominica State College group chat on an opening for intern applications, I did not hesitate to leap at the golden opportunity. Furthermore, following intricate research about the programme, it was discovered that the internship was along the lines of the areas that I enjoyed in relation to its connection with the humanities. In addition, the research component was also alluring, because I am an immensely curious individual who is always ready to find answers. Although the thought that the internship required technology use at first induced reluctance, I decided that it was time to expose myself to something new. As has been said, “All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone”.

In continuation, entry into the programme was at first very intimidating, noting that I was seeing everyone for the first time along with the concept of utilizing technology to build projects from scratch. But gradually, I adapted, and now here I am! Growth did indeed start at the end of my comfort zone! Moreover, from this programme I hope to acquire many soft and technical skills, some of which have already been learnt. I am most definitely a more social person than I previously was all thanks to the programme, and this is still a work in progress. Many other skills, too numerous to mention, were also both gained and honed.

Currently, I am working on a project entitled Through the Lens of Visual Arts. The process thus far has been quite fun I must say! Through the lens of Visual Arts will explore the various emancipation monuments in the Caribbean and the details that each entails. I am anxiously looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Though I am having a very exciting ride in the programme thus far, it does require a lot of time management in regards to balancing the different facets of life. Intern hours have been a great challenge to keep up with because of time constraints. So much to do and not enough hours in the day! However, the internship is undeniably exceeding my expectations thus far. In the following year, I do hope to further improve on my time management skills. This internship programme nevertheless is indubitably an investment.

How It Started

by Safiya Richards

My name is Safiya Richards, I live in Marigot, and I major in Information Technology at the Dominica State College. I first learned of Create Caribbean from one of my classmates who was announcing their intern takeover. I chose Create because of the projects they have done which interested me, and I wanted to learn to do things like these. During this internship, I hoped to learn new skills and gain more opportunities. Currently, I am working on the Space and Place project where I look for relevant sources. The most challenging part was having an idea of what my individual project would be about and how it would be presented. So far, this program is meeting my expectations as I have attained skills and obtained opportunities to work with other people. Next year, I plan to improve my skillset and knowledge.

More Than What I Expected

by Megan Vidal

My name is Megan Vidal, and I am a second year Physics and Accounting major at the Dominica State College. I learned about Create Caribbean through my friends who were already Create interns, during a conversation about service hours. At first, I became interested in the program as it covered all of my service learning hours, but upon further research, I realised that the program offers numerous other benefits. I was not familiar with digital humanities yet, but was keen to engage myself with this unfamiliar but useful subject area. I hope that by the end of this internship program I would have gained sharpened research and writing skills, and a deeper understanding of how history, geography, philosophy and literature interact and how technology aids in the display of this interaction. I can already see this being fulfilled as I work on the Space and Place project, and my individual project within that on Space, Place and Mental Health. The most challenging part thus far has been time management, and finding time to work on the main and individual projects while juggling school and club activities. The program has met my expectations thus far, and I have already learned so much. As I move forward with this internship, I hope to improve on my time management, reduce procrastination and work harder for the benefit of everyone and myself.

Slightly Stressed But Happier Than Ever

by Kimani Corbette

Hi my name is Kimani Corbette and I am currently a chemistry and biology major at the Dominica State College. I learned about Create Caribbean through a summer outreach program the organisation had in 2022. I was engaged in interviewing multiple small businesses all over the island to assess their ability to with stand disasters. During this, I learned about the program, how to apply and what it would require of me and I made the decision to apply.

My decision to apply was cemented by a want to acquire new skills and training in a field that I’m not focused on. Create Caribbean is a research-based institution, which uses IT to facilitate a lot of its projects. As a science major, I am not often exposed to these areas so my internship here at create helps with that aspect. Upon completion of the internship, I hope to be well versed in the skills I’m acquiring.

Currently, I am working with The Chronicle and One Seed a Day. With The Chronicle, my main
task is to name scanned news paper articles, dating back to 1944 in order to make them easily
accessible. With One seed a Day, we are currently developing a website which is intended to
broadcast the activities of the organisation.

Being an intern at Create Caribbean takes a lot of hard work and determination, my biggest
challenge thus far has been finding the motivation and time to keep up with deadlines and
activities. As a double major with an already busy schedule, making time is difficult but I make it
work. In the coming year I plan to improve on my time management skills and put more effort
into this internship. Thus far, all my expectations in this internship have been met and while I am
slightly stressed, I am happier than ever.

My Internship Journey Thus Far

by Meekalys Louis

My name is Meekalys Louis, I am 17 years old, and I am a first year student at the Dominica State College. I am generally a hard worker but wouldn’t consider myself an overachiever. Currently I am majoring in Business Administration (Marketing). In the future however, I am thinking of going into the sciences and pursuing a Human Biology major.

I learned about Create Caribbean first from a classmate who had been going to the camps. Later, I formally learned about it through a teacher who shared a Facebook post with the class. I chose this program because the field of digital humanities sparked an interest in me. I also hoped to find like-minded individuals through this program, and develop a network of colleagues, mentors, and friends.
At the end of this program, I hope to learn research and digital humanities skills. I also hope that
this program will continue teaching me critical thinking skills, and exposing me to new thoughts
and ideas.

Currently I am working on the Space and Place project. My individual project title is ‘History and Evolution of Dance in the Caribbean Region’.

The most challenging part of this internship is the annotations. It is difficult for me since some of the articles are quite lengthy, and others are more informational so I don’t know how to approach annotating it without echoing what has already been said.

My expectations of the internship would be that there would be more hands-on work. In this regard, the internship has only recently begun meeting my expectations.

I’m not sure if this is considered an improvement, but I would like to be more active in projects come next year. I would like to have more responsibilities as it relates to research, application et cetera.

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.

A Challenging But Successful Semester

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.

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.