Days of Their Lives: An Intern’s Experience as a VOH Resident (PM)

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Feels more like FOREVER! Well, in the same way, a residents day (especially their FIRST day) drags on in mimicry of eternity. And so, my day as a resident continues. It’s currently 6pm and I’ve just finished playing with the kiddos at Faith Christian School. I have my iPhone with me at this point, and I’m texting the intern phone letting the on-duty interns know I’m returning a little earlier than planned.

“Schedule change?” is the text I receive back…. (luckily, I was phase 1b and didn’t actually HAVE a schedule!).

Arriving back early was actually in God’s providence for me: the ladies had JUST started kitchen cleanup when I arrived, and I was able to jump right in! I was stoked at this, since I wasn’t able to join lunch cleanup earlier (you probably remember the story, if you’ve been following the blogs).

Anyway, cleanup went well, other than the fact that my EOS recorded the fact that I “lingered in the dining room” after I was released from kitchen cleanup. I had to blow my nose, ok? I didn’t realize I had to ask permission to do that!

If you didn’t catch that last statement, it was a farce. Residents don’t have to ask permission to blow their noses! Further, I failed to note in my farcical statement is that when the intern released me from cleanup, she asked me to go to the living room, and I didn’t. There were plenty of Kleenex boxes in the living room, but I chose to stop at the most convenient one in the dining room. Though I didn’t notice at the time, I was disobeying the intern; She noticed.

After cleanup, it was time for bathroom break and GNO @the Refiors (it was their annual Euchre night!). I wanted to be in charge of the house camera and take picture at the event… but I wasn’t sure if that was my place as a resident. I had the choice of asking either intern. I found myself reasoning in my head who I should ask: who would say yes? I asked, and they said yes!

“Pile in the car, everyone! Did we remember the bean dip? Seat belts fastened? Then LET’S GO!”

We arrived at the Refior’s safely, but being around people in a rowdy, tournament-style game was NOT the most appealing thing to me at that point. I was exhausted, I was frazzled, I was moody; I was just DONE. Of course, God wasn’t quite done with me yet, and didn’t want me to miss out on the opportunity to serve others, and have a blast doing it! Despite my initial apprehension about the night, it turned out to be great! It was, in the words of my fellow residents,  “magnificent, competitive, fabulous, enjoyable, and Euchrelishous!” We all laughed and smiled as we recounted the fun on the ride home that night.

When we got back to VOH, it was officially free time. I wanted to change into my PJ’s and Chillllllllll….

*sigh* “I still don’t have a key to the suite… and neither do the interns….” I thought.  I approached the downstairs intern, Laura, with my dilemma: “I need to get into the suite. Can you help me with that?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t,” Laura replied. “Have you tried knocking on the door?”

Well…. I did NOT expect that response, and was pretty offended by it. In reaction, I spouted off a few of my thoughts to Laura about how she was being unfair and unkind and unhelpful; I told her she wasn’t even offering to contact staff on my behalf; and I told her she wasn’t putting very much effort into my problem. Laura took this really well, and reminded me that she was just asking me a question, “have you tried knocking on the door?” Well, no, I hadn’t yet…. So, I finally obeyed and knocked on the door, one of my roommates heard and answered right away.

Of course, getting into my room was a preference issue, not a necessity. I didn’t HAVE to change into my PJs before going upstairs; I just WANTED to. I realize now how I again let my wants, desires, and plans interfere with my attitude and response toward others. Instead of practicing the 4 rules of communication, I chose to attack the person (rather than the problem) and chose to speak from my initial reaction (instead of considering a godly response to the situation). Like I said, God wasn’t done with me yet!

Before going upstairs, I realized I still had the house camera! The intern hadn’t asked for it back, and I hadn’t volunteered it. I wonder if I can sneak it upstairs without anyone noticing….  So, I tried. BUSTED. Laura saw me looking guilty and simply said “should we return that now?” I agreed.

When I made it upstairs during free time, I got out a book to read. A friend had lent me the second Hunger Games book “Catching Fire,” and I was SO excited for the upcoming movie. Unfortunately, secular books aren’t allowed in phase 1 at VOH… I felt a familiar sense of loss as another one of my items entered confiscation….  I didn’t have a blessing buck on me this time (and the intern wanted a blessing buck rather than a verse). Sweetly, one of the residents saw my sadness and gave me one of her own blessing bucks!

This was an incredible act of kindness! Since I was an intern, I could’ve easily waited until the next day and grabbed my book out of confiscation. I told the resident this, but she persisted: she wanted to sacrificially love me! I thanked her and approached the intern with this solution. She agreed and we got my book out of confiscation.

I was so excited, I started to run into the classroom to tell the other residents. In my excitement, I started to enter the “intern door” rather than the main door the residents use. “RACHEL NO STOP!” I hear from the upstairs intern, Mary. I jumped, stopped dead in my tracks, and swiveled around to face her. “Oh…” I said. We had a good laugh about it afterwards, and I went around telling the other residents that “the intern yelled at me!” I even threatened to fill out an orange slip regarding the “crisis,” but I decided it wasn’t necessary. At 10pm, I climbed into my bed and waited for the intern to shut off the lights. my day as a resident was over.

Now that you’ve heard my rendition of free time, here’s a snippet of my EOS from the PM interns’ perspective. First off, I want to draw attention to the fact that they misspelled my name….

Rachel Baily- Back at the house she came across a little demanding in wanting to be let into the intern suite, saying I should figure out a way to let her in.  Brushing her teeth when I checked on her at 9:45, asked me to come back because she had a question.  Wanted me to bring her phone to her at 10.  I told her I would bring it at 10:01. Could hear her talking with her roommate from the secretary desk!  Went down the hall to ask them to quiet down at 9:55.  No pushback

My day as a resident was one of the most exhausting, difficult, stretching, joyous, social, blessed days of my life.

To the interns on-duty: thanks for your extra special grace and awkward smiles as you assigned me cleaning tasks. I was privileged to be under your authority. Thanks for doing your best to treat me like a resident and give me the most accurate experience. Thanks for sharing in the weirdness of it all. And thanks for not letting me get away with any horseplay, though I tried!

To my faithful readers (and those who just happened upon this post): I’m so glad you got to come along for the journey, and learn more about what it’s like to be a resident at VOH. Thanks for your excitement and anticipation about each segment in the “Days of Their Lives” series! Thanks for your encouraging facebook, twitter, and face-to-face comments.

To all: in closing, here’s a summary of what I learned in my experience as a VOH resident:

1) humility is hard, especially when your agenda is compromised.

2) A scheduled day makes for an unwavering sense of purpose and accomplishment. I was confident I did not waste a minute of my day!

3) it’s hard to approach an intern with 24 on-looking eyes.

4) it’s embarrassing to read EOS’s, and easy to misrepresent or misinterpret a situation.

5) a confiscated item suddenly becomes the most important of your belongings!

6) I was inexplicably drawn toward the message board to see if there was a letter for me…

7) I was scared to death of being late and getting late consequences

8) VOH has PLENTY of bathroom breaks… I had two coffees and plenty of opportunities. 🙂

9) it is a huge temptation to “plan” requests based in which intern is more amenable(which intern can I ask to make sure my request is granted?).

10) I am WAY too attached to my iPhone!


Rachel Bailey
I began my internship with Vision of Hope in January 2013. In my current understanding of God’s will for my life, I am pursuing wisdom and experience to one day work with women with eating disorders. My desire is to plant my feet in truth, while reaching my arms as far as I can toward the broken and hurting. With God’s help and guidance, I hope to become a godly woman and counselor to provide Truth-based counsel rather than “evidenced-based practice.” My life verse is Ecclesiastes 5:7 which says, “For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God."