#4 Midpoint checkin


This is it. I feel like I hit the rough point. It’s like being stuck in the middle of a difficult hiking path, where neither can you necessarily go back and choose another path, nor can you keep going like the way you did for the past few days. After searching for interview contacts for about 2 weeks full time non-stop, I feel drained. Not because it is difficult, but it really involves almost little to none analytical skill, but time and decication. That is to say, even a highschooler can do it as long as he/she is able to commit to the work. Is this the type of research that I want to do for a long time? Not nesssarily. Meanwhile I understand that what I am doing is an integral part of our company’s current project, because they use those contacts to send out mass emails to reach out to the business owners in an efficient way. I was wondering if any types of research job involves some dull and repetitive elements, like data collection and data entry, model testing and debugging. That being said, I told myself if I still couldn’t figure out whether I like to do research in a non-academic environment at the end of the day, perhaps I could try my best to talk to people around me and try to network with them. It doesn’t matter whether I made 2 or 3 contacts at the end of this internship, as long as I genuinely enjoy connecting with people and get to know them better, I consider myself a time well spend. I enjoy learning new things from different people around me. For instance, the other day I discovered that there’s a guy in our office who’s specialized in real estate. From him I understand his reasoning of where and why he is not investing in properties in Ann Arbor’s right now, because the market is already at it’s top; and there’s more demand than supply due to low interest rate, which makes it easier for people to borrow money to either buying or remodeling their houses. 

So I keep telling myself hanging there when facing trivial and simple task like data entry and data collections. I’m always quite serious about any work that throws at me, so there’s probably no reason that the quality of the project would decrease/slack off. I guess, even in the worst case I got to do some copy and pasting one week in a row, don’t complain about job and try to stay awake and positive while I’m in the office. I always have this tendency to fall asleep at some point while working(yes even when typing, reading, and standing at the table). I’m still trying to find a way to work this out. We will see.



So I kept hanging in there. Luckily, things do get better. In one meeting with my supervisor I briefly mentioned about that my contact research is getting too monotone and asked if there’s anything else I could help in the meantime. They gladly agreed and soon moved me on to a short research project on article readability level. It is still somewhat monotone, but at least I learned new stuff like “Average American has a readability level equivalent to 8th grade.» which means anything about that level there’s a chance that 50% of the people would find it difficult to read. I was shocked when I first found some paragraph that have a readability level of 17th grade, or higher, as when I read the same paragraph it seems normal to me. It is just a huge long sentence that by itself becomes a single paragraph, which is somewhat common in academia writing. Later I realize,while being grammatically correct, this way of writings not easy to help reader to grasp information in a few seconds. I myself even notice my own tendency to write like that too, especially after reading so many essays and papers within social sciences. 

write about how after this huge canoe and kayak research task I find myself staying awake more when facing a difficult, challenging task that I need to actively think on. 

It makes me focused and feel that I am truly learning something. 

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