Not my cup of tea, but glad I got a taste

By: Paige Holmes

Hey love bugs,

I have 16 days left in Philadelphia and in my internship at the Positive Psychology Center (PPC).  I have been so fortunate to have such wonderful opportunities here. The supervisors/mentors, Peggy Kern and Marie Foregeard, whom I contacted months ago asking if I could intern and help out in whatever tasks or projects they needed help on, have been so gracious and thoughtful in finding things for me to do here. It was hard for them to do so since I am only here for 5 weeks and the typical stay for interns or student helpers is a semester or even a year; however they did the best they could to still provide me with what the longer-stay students might do. This meant coming up with or finding tasks, projects, or certain steps in a research process that I could try out and learn about. This wasn’t easy, especially because of the formidably vast amount of projects throughout PPC. I am so appreciative and thankful for their accommodating efforts to help me learn viagra libre belgique.

A huge lesson I’ve learned here is that research is absolutely not my cup of tea. Sitting all day long in an office glaring at a computer screen and spending 90% of my time in my job doing statistics (gag), entering in data, and immense amounts of paperwork or dull tasks—that would make me lose my mind. Several days while at PPC I would have to take several breaks in the day to go outside and breathe in the sunshine or go back to International House to interact with people. Just as the title states, it aint what I want, but I’m glad I tried it. Not only will I be able to use this experience in the future as I find ways to positively impact people’s well-being, I have also learned so much about how this research is applied to the real world.

Anyway, here are the projects, so far, that I have worked on and helped out with:
1. Data entry of surveys that measured well-being of children in hospitals after they engaged in a creative activity.
2. Making phone calls to participants in the Wisconsin Health and Life Project.
3. Creating  blog posts on a website for Post-traumatic Growth (http://growthinitiative.org/) that people recovering from trauma can browse and derive inspiration and determination to grow from it.
4. completing modules in order to be trained in IRB (Institutional Review Board) protocol and practice
5. organizing interview transcripts that were collected in a qualitative study that aimed to learn about well-being of people with different professions and why they do what they do
6. Searching all the corners of cyberspace and the extremely formidable world of the internet for every single website, blog, article, TED talk, online activity or app, claim (etc) that has to do with happiness and positive psychology. This project has already been underway for some time, so it isn’t a huge burden for me or anything. The reason for this project is to 1) understand the explosion of movements and internet phenomenons related to self-help, happiness, well-being, and more, and 2) see if any of them are actually supported by truth and research or if each one is just another answers.com-esque opinionated how-to, having to do with every possible aspect of happiness, life satisfaction, or positivity.
–I know that sounded like a negative project. In truth, it is actually very important. Many people in the field of Psychology and in the world of science, and even those who are not, are skeptical and critical of Positive Psychology, looking down on and ridiculing it. The main reason is not that it is studying the positive side of human life and disregarding most of the negative sides, but because of the booming book and media industry related to movements on happiness or well-being, especially happiness. And the boom on the internet of how-to’s and blogs, claims and self-help guides. It is everywhere and in every country. Some people are annoyed by it or think it has all gone too far. Thus, those in the academic and scientific world look to Pos Psych as useless, unimportant, and unoriginal. Few know the truth that Pos psych is rarely related to happiness or self-help, but rather the expansive and multi-faceted study and application of what makes life worth living.

 

Thank you for reading my very long update on my journey with Positive Psychology and my internship here at PPC. I can’t say it enough--I am so honored and thankful that I have been blessed with this scholarship and these opportunities to pursue my passions. I’m thinking of Eve almost every day and how much she was driven by her passions and those of others. It means so much to me that this summer is a way for me to be driven and inspired by Eve–by both her passion and her love.

Be well! Love,Paige