My First (Half) Week at Berkman
Its Wednesday night and I have just finished my third day of being a Berkman intern. The last three days have been a whirlwind compared to my previous ten months of lounging around in New Paltz. I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll ask the random number generator to give me a number (4.) Now I'll feed that number into my where-to-begin function, and wait a bit (it is a surprisingly inefficient function,) aaaaaannnnddd, ahh, my project.
I think I am in the strangest position of all the interns. While most (all?) of the other interns are working for existing projects, I am basically starting my own. This means I am pretty independent and self-directed. A few of the interns have asked me the question 'Where will you be working this summer?' To be honest, I can basically work wherever I want. I've already been scoping out my potential work areas, weighing their pros and cons, and I think I like my options.
As far as actual progress on the project goes, today was the first day that I got real work done. You might be able to consider yesterday work; I spent the day setting up my new laptop to be my development environment. But today was really the first day I did work on the project itself. That work included creating a rough draft of a design document and looking through some code I wrote back in February when I first thought of this program. I look forward to showing both to a number of people at the center, getting feedback, and refining both.
I'll wrap this post up the same way I wrapped up my day, with my fellow interns. At the end of the day we had our first 'intern hour,' a time when all of the interns get together to talk, or to present, or to be presented to. I'm not going to lie, in past experiences I have found these sorts of "intern activities" to be boring and forced. This activity, however, was surprisingly engaging. We were given control over the discussion, and we took the that control and ran. We went all over the place: planning a discussion on Twitter, talking about music, movies, books, future Google killers, and what else we can do to benefit both our academic community and our physical community. It was a great discussion, and I think it was a great reflection on the group. While I have only known the other interns for a few days (which basically means I don't know them at all) this discussion did remind me that this is a special group of very bright, very motivated, and very moral people.
I'm glad I'm here. I am going to enjoy this summer.