Friday, June 8, 2012

Chronicles of a DI

I woke up this morning and the first thought in my head was, "Holy cow, it's almost over." ("It" being the dietetic internship, the single-most important step so far in my becoming a registered dietitian.) Three weeks from today, I will be sitting at a graduation luncheon and giving my final thanks to all of my previous preceptors; the only thing left to do will be to take the registration exam, and that "RD" will finally be mine to claim.

Three weeks.

Fourteen working days.


Was it really ten months ago that I moved to Napa? I remember so clearly the first day of work in August; I was a hot mess of excitement, nerves, and fear: excited to start the next chapter in my life, nervous about working in the new and strange environment of Napa State Hospital, and so totally terrified that I wasn't cut out for a career as a registered dietitian.

I can say with complete certainty that I have made leaps and bounds from where I was on that first day last Fall - professionally and personally. In addition to learning confidence (something I always seemed to struggle with), I've stopped biting my nails, become a regular gym rat, and changed my hairstyle (I understand that these last three things pale in comparison to the first, but I'm still proud of them nonetheless).

There are so many things I want to recount about this internship, but to give each story it's rightful attention, I'm going to share each over a series of posts. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy recalling them. This has really been such a special journey (read: crazy ride) in my life and I hope that by writing down my experiences I won't forget a single, important detail.

Here goes.

Part One: The Interns

Photo credit: Emiko Taki


The first intern I met on moving day was Brittany, who later came to be known by me as Corny (for reasons that make sense to me and mostly me alone). Corny intimidated the heck out of me. She came to Napa with three years of experience working in a southern California hospital and radiated with confidence. She is the only person I know who is ambitious enough to work in nutrigenomics; she's also an athlete, a fan of country music, and perhaps one of the loudest, happiest people I have ever met.

Photo credit: Emiko Taki


Rachel (henceforth referred to as Beans) had already settled in by the time she and I met. Beans reeks of sweetness. Another alumna of UC Davis, she also has incredible talent in the kitchen (check out her blog to see all of her delicious creations) and a love of art and music.  Over the course of the internship, we would make banana ice cream and a slew of pumpkin-based recipes. She and I bonded over our shared love of good wine and baked goodies.

Photo credit: Emiko Taki


Julia (aka Goulia) somehow managed to move into her dorm without anyone noticing (she’s sneaky like that). Another graduate from Davis (noticing a pattern?), Goulia spent a lot of her time with  her crazy-smart physicist boyfriend throughout the internship; but in the time we did spend together, Goulia never failed to surprise me with her random bursts of enthusiasm.  

Photo credit: Emiko Taki


I'm certain that Alejandra hated me in the beginning - and I don't blame her if she did - because everytime I said her name I couldn't contain the urge to sing Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” (I still do, but I've learned better self-control). Once I finally became accustomed to calling her by her real name (Boek), I think she warmed up to me. A world traveler, Boek came to California from Indiana but has also lived in South America; she speaks English, Spanish, and Portugese, hates peanut butter, and has the body of an Olympian. She is also obsessed with old people.

Photo credit: Emiko Taki


Corrine was the only intern to maintain her real name throughout this ordeal (lucky girl). I remember the day she moved in she was wearing this adorable black dress with her hair perfectly curled; given how cute she looked, I never would have guessed that she had literally just gotten back from a family camping trip. I should have known at that moment that she would continue to be full of surprises. Throughout the internship, I would learn that she is a competitive dancer, was a substitute teacher, and is an avid hiker; she grew up on her family’s farm, can drive a boat with her toes (I've seen her do it!), and loves wine. Needless to say, Corrine’s a cutie.

A Place to Call Home

I don’t think that many internships give the interns the opportunity to live together, but I’m so glad that mine did. We all lived on the second floor of a building that we came to call “the suites”. The six of us (plus any other temporary residents of the building) shared two showers and an old kitchen. It took a little while to get used to the clanging pipes, the inconsistent shower temperature, and the frequent visits from creepy crawlers, but once we settled in, I daresay the suites became our home. 

Photo credit: Emiko Taki
The beautiful photos were taken by Emiko Taki, a dietitian and photographer. (She also took the photograph of me that I'm now using as my profile picture!) She’s wonderful. Check out more of her work at

1 comment:

  1. I loved the internship. I really can't believe it's over. I already miss you all!