Interns Blog: Death Lurks in Crisp White Stacks


Christopher Zingaro

The only certainty for summer interns is that paperwork and paper cuts await us. They lurk about every filing cabinet and alongside each fresh stack of paper from the printer. Beware.

papercutWith time, we, young, innocent interns will realize the tensions and dynamics between members at the conference table. We will figure out who leaves odd smelling food in the fridge all week, who to avoid in the kitchen, or for whom to move aside at the printer. Paper cuts will endure however.

Last week, while I waited to board a packed train on my evening commute home, an elderly woman in a colorful knit beret and matching, chunky sweater jabbed me with her umbrella. Before I dashed to the next car, I paused in shock. She wagged her finger at me as though she were a guardian of all things decent and proper in Car 672. I felt like a sinner before St. Peter, but she held a pointy umbrella, not keys, and her white hair was tussled beneath a beret rather than a golden halo.

Ramble aside, I mean to write that the pain of a sudden jab to the stomach does not match the pain from the near ten paper slices I receive every day here at the Press. Please understand: I love paper. I like to clasp a newspaper in my hand when I walk, and to feel its rounded fold tucked into the cup of my palm. I like the warmth of a crisp, copied sheet, and the muted rasp upon the turn of a book page.

In the two weeks since my arrival at the Press, I have learned an invaluable amount from the pages I sort, copy, and file. While I have stood over the copier or typed data into worksheets, I’ve read reviews and book proposals of the finest academics. No matter what task I am to complete, there is something fascinating before me to read and ponder. I discover new knowledge from fields of study I have never found interesting. Most importantly, though, I understand that paper is a dangerous friend. This might be the greatest lesson of the past two weeks.

Perhaps my difficulties, or at least, their persistence, are quite singular. When I realize the answer to that question, I will post again. Until then, I bid you safe dealings with your files and the stacks from Copier A. For now, I must read several Cambridge books so that I can begin a proper blog contribution.

Yours truly,

The intern wincing and waving his hand in pain at the copier

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