The tedious part of the project
Finally I was able to meet my supervisor, Suresh, who had been in the US for the past few weeks. Fortunately, he had done a similar project but on a wider group of vertebrates so he had gone through a lot of anomodont skulls hence I was able to ask him some questions on measurements.
Week 4 consisted mostly of me collecting images for the near 150 species of anomodonts. This was a tedious task but I understood that this was all part of science. Since the task did not require deep thought, I was able to listen to a few audiobooks to help me get through the boredom.
Fortunately, there were also a few social events to keep me entertained. We had another tea and cakes social. This time more people showed up and I found out that I was the only intern being paid. One intern I met had come from Italy and was trying to find another place to stay. He had taken up a job at a Chinese restaurant to pay for his private accommodation. Realising how fortunate I was made me more determined to stay diligent with my project since I felt the boredom from the task was a small problem compared to the difficulties other interns were facing.
Benton Lunch group
In addition to the tea and cakes that week, on Thursday I was invited to the Benton lunch group. Although any graduate student could join, the group consisted mostly of Professor Benton and the students he was supervising. Even during our lunch most of the conversations were about Palaeontology but it was interesting to hear what the other students were up to. One student was being supervised by Dr Adrian Lister to do a project on Mammoths. Apart from that, a good portion of the conversation was akin to academic gossip where we talked about other Palaeontologists.
But overall the whole week was uneventful in terms of work. However, I still had the weekend to look forward to. It was my birthday on Saturday and my parents, from London, and I planned to go to Bristol zoo. If possible, I recommend going to the Zoo. Its the world’s oldest provincial zoo. Its has a few stand out features including the twilight zone where they had the aye aye which many other zoos don’t have. Although it was nice to see a few extant animals for a change, I had to get back to my airbnb on Sunday as there was still a lot more measurements to be done and only a week left to do them.