Category Archives: Stevens County

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!

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…

Because all Research Begins Somewhere…

I admit that I feel a little behind in my research.

As I was browsing through some of my fellow classmates’ blogs, I was astounded by how much some of them have already done. I was getting a little down on myself for not having done even have of that research.

Truthfully, I’ve been quite busy. I work for the Office of Residential Life as a student hall director here at Morris and in the week before classes started, I was busy with winter training. Since classes started, I’ve been trying to figure out my schedule and how to make everything work this semester. I haven’t had the opportunity to spend an extensive
amount of time researching as I would have liked.

That being said, I do consider myself quite fortunate. I am a student worker at my campus archives so I already have quite a bit of knowledge of what is available there. I have had the opportunity to talk to the archivist–who also happens to be my boss–about what’s available and he has given me some tips in moving forward with my research. I intend to really dive into some research at the archives later this week, and when I do, I’ll know where to look.

I also know that I have easy access to pretty much everything in the archives. Generally speaking, our campus archives doesn’t have a whole lot of constrictions in gaining access to the archival materials; as a student worker, I also have an upper hand in knowing the archives and having connections to the archivist. I just received permission
from my boss to go in there after hours when other researchers wouldn’t be allowed, since I work there…so thankful I am able to do that!

I am eager to get my hands on the WCSA yearbooks from the World War I era. Our archives have a plethora of old yearbooks, particularly from the WCSA era, and I want to see if there is any commentary on the war from the student perspectives inside the yearbooks. I also have some fantastic resources on the Non Partisan League–an active political organization in the upper Midwest that exhibited anti-war sentiments during the period–that I am excited to look further into. I know the archives has materials. It’s just a question of getting in there and really looking.

The Stevens County Museum in town also has a lot of information. The employees there already know me from a local research project I did last spring in my completion of the honors program here at Morris. I know they have newspapers dating back to the early years of Morris and I know they allow researchers to look at them–because I utilized them from my honors project. I also know they have a lot of materials relating to World War I.

Unfortunately, the museum isn’t open during the weekends, so Colm and I must juggle our schedules during the week with getting over there to research. In an ideal world, it would have weekend hours and I would have spent half of this last weekend getting acquainted with all the materials.

Thank goodness Colm was able to get in there today. I couldn’t join him because I have class for the majority of the afternoon.  When I got done with class, we were Facebook messaging for a little bit while he was still there, and he told me was looking through so much stuff and that he’s been photocopying a lot of documents. Look for more information on that in his own post.

I need to get into the Museum at some point soon, but first I want to tackle to archives on campus.

Colm and I have so many resources at our fingertips. We are lucky to have such a plethora of resources in town.

I still feel a little behind right now, but I’m not going to worry too much.

Together, we have a lot to look at and we will certainly be able to put together a well-thought out and well-constructed project with everything we’ll find.

It’s still the early days of the semester and we have so many materials to look through.

We’ve got this. It’ll just take some time.