Presentations of Drafts

1) Don’t make any changes to your draft sites until we give you the go-ahead.

2) Next week — Presentations (10 minute formal presentation, with 5-10 minutes for Q&A and comments for each group ).

April 8, Wednesday: UNC Asheville, U.Va. Wise, and Midwestern

April 10, Friday: Alberta Augustana, Minnesota Morris, and New College Fla.

3) Drs. Pearson and McClurken will provide written comments to each group.

4) Revisions to the site will need to be made by April 22.

5) Each team will get an assigned site for a final proofreading session.

6) Each  team will make final changes to their site based on those final proofreading and comments from Drs. Pearson and McClurken

Errors Caught and Lessons Learned

Earlier today, when I came into work, my boss at the archives gave me some copies of old articles of the Morris Tribune from 1917-1919 that he had recently come across.

Although I’ve considered myself formally done with my research for a few weeks now–I mean, our website is due next week–I was grateful that he thought of the project. I decided they might have some nice information in them to beef up my existing pages on the website. I never got around to looking at the newspapers when I did my initial research, though it probably would have been a good idea.

Good thing I decided to take a look, too: as I was looking through the articles related to the West Central School of Agriculture, I came across a glaring error in my research.

One of the articles reported that in 1917, 150 students were enrolled in the school, a thirty-five student increase from the previous year.

This was all fine and dandy until I realized I had documented and included on one of my website pages that there were 500 students by 1914. This could not be correct! The math did not add up. 500 in 1914 and 150 in 1917? No, that was impossible! The source I got the 500 number from was The Great War documentary created by the Stevens County Historical Society. I’m not sure if I wrote down the numbers wrong when I was watching the movie or if they reported inaccurate information in the film.

Regardless, I found myself freaking out because I didn’t want to be responsible for shoddy historical research! As I thought about it more, I realized that the small size of the campus couldn’t have even supported 500 students in 1914. The two residents halls weren’t big enough  (The Boys Dormitory, which is currently known as the upper-class residence hall, Spooner Hall, only houses up to 90 students today) and the few other ill-equipped buildings on campus in 1914 couldn’t have sustained such large numbers. As I found out by looking through more of the articles, by the 1918 school year, the school was in dire need of overflow housing with close to 200 students. Furthermore, the 1914 Moccasin, which I did look through early on in my research, had relatively small class sizes with nowhere near 500 students in the whole school. I should have been skeptical of the 500 number from the start.

I’m so glad I was able to look through these articles and catch this mistake. I haven’t changed it on the website yet, but I will soon.

I’m taking this as a lesson–to be more careful with my source information in the future and to question information that doesn’t seem right from the beginning. After all, this is a learning experience. Although I’ve done historical research before, I’m still learning. We all make mistakes and this is one I’m definitely going to keep in mind for the future.




Hello World.

So I have now got written permission from The Post. It was an interesting visit and I got to talk to the Head editor. He even gave me a tip on another memorial for our memorial tab.

So today, I am working on a research paper for another class but tomorrow, I am going to work on doing the citations for my images and playing with them in paint. I want to add a border around relevant information and try and increase the image size.

I will then be moving the images from one big gallery to among the text on Saturday along with increasing the narrative of the text.

That is all that I can think to write about now.

Until next time.


Working Towards the Finish Line

Well, hey there! It’s been a while.

I didn’t really have anything new to blog about last week since we weren’t supposed to be doing any work on our websites while waiting for them the be reviewed. Since presenting and receiving feedback, I have a bit more to say that I can actually turn into a successfulish blog post.

As the semester is coming to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to get everything done in these next few weeks. I’m presenting research I did for my comp studies class last semester at Morris’ Undergraduate Research Symposium next weekend, so I need to finish up and prepare for that presentation.  I have to finish writing my English senior thesis paper and then prepare to present that, which is going to take up a lot of time–I mean, this is the only class I actually need to graduate and it’s necessary for receiving my English degree…so it’s kind of a big deal. I have responsibilities to attend to for my one other class here on campus and I have to finish this website…and then promote it to the community. I also have Hall Director stuff to get done, as we near move out and hall closing for the year.

Okay, so it’s no that much. I only have twelve credits this semester and it could be way worse. I’ve experienced way worse. But I just worry about getting things done by nature so, naturally, I’m worrying.

My main concern with our website right now is the layout. Colm and I realized how utterly useless our “Getting Started” page is and we are seriously considering getting rid of it. We probably will. Rearranging our menu so that the Stevens County and WCSA pages are more accessible is a top priority, too. I also didn’t consider how clinical “Full Report” sounds until it was pointed out during our presentation, so Colm and I will definitely be changing that, too.

Overall, I’m super thrilled with how our site looks and the Nirvana theme has been pretty good to us…but let’s be real–webpage accessibility, which was important to us from the beginning, is actually pretty crappy at the moment.

I have some work on my own pages, which I was aware of. Lots of proofreading needs to happen plus a few small things that will make a huge difference.

Our “About” and “Resources” page needs work too.

I’m eager to complete our site and show off the finished product around the community, but I’m not gonna lie–I’m also really nervous. The first version, though it was supposed to be as complete as possible, had some leeway because it was the first version. Turning in the finished product, though? That’s going to be a different story. I’m going to want everything to be perfect and, of course, I’ll worry that it’s not, that’s it’s really super crappy and shouldn’t even see the light of day.

Colm and I still have a lot to do about it.

I guess instead of blogging about how worried I am, I should actually do something about it and get to work!

Best of luck to everyone else as you all finish your sites up, too!

Footnotes Plugin

Sorry to everyone who might have been looking for me to post the name of the footnotes plugin yesterday- I was just getting over a reaction to a bee sting and food poisoning as well, so I came home and spent some much-needed time on my couch staring at the backs of my eyelids.  This morning I felt so good that I got out and completed a bunch of spring yard work that had started to pile up and I almost forgot about posting this.  So, without further ado, the footnotes plugin is: Easy Footnotes, Version 1.0.8, by Jason Yingling.  I looked through several before deciding on this one, and it’s very simple to use, and extremely clean and professional looking.  If anyone has any trouble with downloading it or figuring out how it works, please email me and I’ll try to lend a hand.  Back to the yard!

The videos are coming

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while, but after wrapping up the website, I’ve been dedicating my Century America related time to looking at other groups’ work! I’ve been so, so impressed but the other websites. With that said, I am also extremely proud of what Kana and I put together. Aaaaaand, it’s still getting better! After some unfortunate technical problems, Kana got a new computer and is working on making the videos from our interview with Harriet. So far we have two up with a few more to go, and I’m blown away by what Kana has done with them. Kana did a fantastic job editing the clips together and overlaying the talk with relevant images.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing some of the groups present their work, but I really can’t wait for me and Kana to present on Friday.

Website Draft

Hello World.

So today, my research partner and I are turning in the first draft of our website. I cannot put words into Dakota’s mouth, but I can say that I am very excited and nervous. This first draft is an acclimation of all of our digging and researching.

I do have to sat that making the site was interesting, especially with me being missing for several days on a ROTC training trip. But looking at it now, I am very proud of what we were able to do. I do know that there is going to have to be edits before the final product, but I think we have a wonderful beginning.

Below is the link to our site. Let me know what you think.

On other news, today after the Century America class, I will be going to get written permission from The Post about using the images from The Big Stone Gap Post during the Great War that I found on microfilm. Right now I have an email from someone at the paper (Saved in my inbox to be safe) telling me that its okay to use the images as long as I cite the current newspaper. But I want to be doubly sure and safe. So that way I know I fulfilled all copyright requirements.

So I’ll have a nice hour drive ahead of me. But I think it will be wonderful to meet all the newspaper staff in person, and not just over the technology of phones and computers.

Besides that, I cannot think of anything else. So until next time.


Finish Line!

I haven’t made a post lately because I’ve been buried up to my eyeballs in research and construction of the website.  Today’s the day though- I’ve got one last narrative to do and the Bibliography of my sources to complete and my part of the site is done.

I was thinking this morning about the headings on the site.  We have several and I don’t want a user to get overwhelmed, so I’m thinking it might be prudent to nest some of the headings under one larger heading.  I’ve been playing with the site and attempting to do that in the last few minutes but I’ve not had much success.

No matter.  I have an 11 o’clock meeting with the tech guru here at UNCA, Laurie Miles, who helped me a few weeks back getting everything organized, and I’m sure she will be my savior yet again when it comes to all things tech.  I used to believe since I was on the end of Gen X/beginning of Gen Y, that I was so wonderful at technology, but this class has proved otherwise!

It’s all turned out well in the end though.  I’m really proud of what Ben and I have put together.  I really enjoyed finding the historical items I’ve found- it’s been extremely eye-opening- and it’s even making me consider the possibility that I’d like to continue with the site after this semester and keep adding to it.  We’ll see.  For now, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m steadily gaining on it.


An Update

Hi all,

So I finally have a working computer again. Hooray!

Now that I’ve got my data back, I’ve started editing the Harriet interview once again. I lost all my edits that were on my old computer but it shouldn’t take me too long to get back to were I left off.

The website is coming together really nicely so far. Joy has done a fantastic job on all the pages she has been working on as well as keeping me up-to-date on the tasks that still need completing.  I’m so grateful to be working on the project with her.

There isn’t really any new development as far as the website is concerned. We just have a few pages to complete and I still need to upload the videos (which will happen very soon) but that’s about it.

I watched the recording of last week’s class since I was out of town for Spring Break. I look forward to the peer reviewing sessions that are coming up. It will be helpful to get input on what needs to be included or edited on our site.

Business as Usual

Well, yeah, I guess.

Today I went to the museum in town to watch the World War I documentary that they made last year. Colm told me about it ages ago, though I forgot about it; he reminded me that it existed when we were both doing research over there on Friday.

I decided I might as well get around to watching it. Even though I’m focusing on the WCSA specifically, I figured it was a good idea to know what was going on in the county during the Great War period. I mean, the WCSA is apart of Stevens County…also, I figured I might find some useful information.

A lot of the information presented in the documentary was as I expected, just from my general knowledge of Minnesota history during the war and what I’ve been hearing from Colm about his research. I did find out a few useful things to add to my portion of the site. For one, the WCSA hosted a HUGE patriotic rally in August 1917 after the U.S. joined the war. There was a huge push for patriotism through Minnesota specifically with the Commission of Public safety, and a few local names associated with the Commission also had connections at the school. People from all over the county came and it was a big deal. Furthermore, I was made aware of Florence Hulett, the registered nurse at the WCSA before the war. A graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, she enlisted to serve overseas as a nurse once the U.S. joined the war. I’m going to get in touch with museum to see if they have a picture I could use for her on the site, since I would like to insert a little bit about her into the War narrative since she was a WCSA staff member.

Generally speaking, I’m glad I went to watch the documentary today. It gave me a bit more confidence as I dive into more writing tonight and I did discover some useful information. Really, I should have gone to watch it ages ago!

Now, on to more writing…