When the doctors at the hospital gave me the task of collecting the assessments, creating a database, entering all of the information, completing a series of statistical analyses on them, and finally interpreting their results, they did so with an air of apology. “You will probably spend the rest of your summer in this small box of an office listening to the aggressive tic tock of the out-dated wall clock and tirelessly plugging in 1’s and 0’s into an excel spreadsheet,” their eyes read.
Though each minute felt like hours and each day a decade on the forefront of this project, the “completed” pile of assessments seemed to grow with astounding speed. I began to get into a grove of scanning the information and almost robotically translating it into the data sheet, the soundtrack of my new favorite musical “Hamilton” humming in background, helping to provide some entertainment and to drown out the annoying clicks of the clock.
One day, I realized I had finished the entirety of the data that I needed to enter. In disbelief, I checked and re-checked each drawer and file cabinet to make sure I was not missing anything. I completed the analyses in 2 days and my interpretations of the results came naturally and immediately. I was stunned to find that the work that they had expected would last me the summer only took about 1 month.
After a speedy start to my internship came a slow slump of about 2 weeks. My supervisor scrambled to find a new project for me to sink my teeth into and in the meanwhile I was organizing drawers, labeling piles of paperwork and fetching office supplies from the depths of the hospital. I was under-stimulated, to say the least.
Luckily the slump didn’t last as long as it felt and I was given a new project; one that intimidated and thrilled me all at once: sitting in and observing group therapy sessions for actual patients at the Addiction Institute.