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.

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

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…

“We have great work yet to do”

What a fantastic week.

I’m having fun digging through and organizing my sources into their respective niches. It seems like the more I search the more I discover just how essential the production and consumption of food was to this little corner of America. And the more I discover food as essential to the identity of Stevens County, the more I realize just how influential women were in keeping the darn thing running. Now, I’m no stranger to gendered history. In fact, most of my academic research has been conducted through a gendered lens, but the extent to which women both as prominent figures and as rank and file dominated the community during World War I is astonishing. One figure in particular, Ida F. Hancock, was instrumental to the war effort. Mrs. Hancock was the Madam Chairman of the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Public Safety Commission for Stevens County and was responsible for tasks such as “Americanization, food conservation, child welfare, and various special subjects having to do with the financing of the war.” What initially struck me about Mrs. Hancock, other than the enormous amount of letters she left to posterity, was the vigor with which she pursued every wartime cause. Her stamp and signature could be seen on letters reprimanding soldiers on leave for offensive behavior — it didn’t matter if it was  promiscuous remarks made to young women, or if they consumed too much fat at a local diner — she made it be know that their transgressions were detrimental to the war effort. Yes, this is deferential politics on the surface. BUT, towards the end of the war we start to see a dramatic shift within the writings of Mrs. Hancock, coinciding with the suffragist movement. That’s all I’ll say for now, but come back in about two weeks and check out the site for more on the role of women in Steven’s County. On that note I’ll sign off with what Mrs. Hancock said best: “we have great work yet to do.”

The Spanish Flu & North Texas Oil

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I buried myself in the Wichita County Archives. I came across over fifty articles regarding the Spanish Flu and the Oil Boom in Wichita Falls. The archivists helped me search the endless stacks of print to locate these rare records. I contacted the United Regional Health Care System of Wichita Falls (The Wichita Falls Hospital), the Wichita County Records office, and the Texas Department of Vital Records. None of these governmental agencies possessed any records of the Spanish Flu in Wichita Falls. The Texas Department of Vital Records stated that most of the Texas medical records before the year of 1930 had been destroyed. No justification was given to why the records were missing. Possibly, these records were damaged in a fire. The newspaper records at the Wichita County Archives may be my only source regarding the Spanish Flu.

I attempted to go back to the Wichita County archives today (03/24) however, the archive was closed. The archivists were all sick. The museum curator did not know when they would return. Hopefully, they don’t have the flu (haha). I ventured over the county library and obtained a source relating to to the “Women’s Movement” of Wichita Falls. I gave this source to Laura so she can begin outlining the women s contribution to Wichita Falls home front.  The sources relating to the Oil Boom I predict will be easier to organize. North Texas produced nearly forty percent of the entire oil output of the Mid-continent. These records have not been challenging to locate. However, Laura and I will encounter difficulty in our attempt to independently economically assess the significance of Call Field in relation to the Oil Boom. Arguably, we would have to compare Wichita Falls to another city in the region which also experienced an oil boom without a military airfield. I am afraid that given our time constraint, this may be impossible.

Like many of our peers, Laura and I will have to work hard to achieve our April first deadline. Where did the time go? I feel several sleepless nights may be upon us. However, we have most of our content organized and ready to be published. On Wednesday (03/25), we will work on a website theme and hopefully transform our outline into a functioning website. Laura reported to me that our paper received the panel award at the Alpha Chi conference in Chicago. Such news is only encouraging. In addition, our research was accepted at the Mississippi State University Undergraduate Conference.