25 AprFinal Reflection

This feels slightly weird to already be writing about the end when it feels as though we just started. I am very pleased with our completed project. The processes we went through and all the work we put in paid off tremendously, as our website has become a resource for James Farmer and the Civil Rights movement.

In reference to the contract, my group was able to finish everything as contracted. I made a few minor adjustments to the transcripts after the date they were supposed to be finalized, such as small grammatical errors and a few spelling errors here and there. Also, after the video/audio fiasco, I made transcripts for the videos later than when I was supposed to because I had assumed that the audio and video were the same. I also uploaded all the audio to the site, and, with the help of Tim Owens, managed to get the audio as podcasts in iTunes U. My other contributions were not contractually listed, but I made a map, fliers, proofread, brainstormed ideas for the website and trailer, and helping to set up meetings.  The map links directly to the lectures that the locations are mentioned in as well as giving a brief description of Farmer’s activities while in that location. The fliers attempt to put the viewer as the decision maker and in situations that Farmer faced during the Civil Rights Movement.

Caitlin, Laura, and Michelle have been the best group members. I had never met any of them before this class and surprisingly, we all got along through the whole process. We did not fight about a single aspect of anything, but instead would suggest ways for the other members to improve. Caitlin is a video guru, and she has done remarkable work, stripping audio, making a trailer, designed graphics for the flier, and helping us with any technological problems. Laura did a fantastic job designing the website. I know she put a lot of time into making everything really work well together. Michelle uploaded video and wrote a lot of the sections for the website, including helping me proofread. They put up with my sometimes overextended enthusiasm and my horrible jokes.

The trailer was a secondary goal, and because of a rocky start, Caitlin was not able to finish it on the day it was contracted to be finished. However, the excellent quality of her finished product should be taken into consideration, as had she rushed to finish on time, the trailer would not be as great as it is.

While we may not have met the contract in minor ways, such as having to correct one spelling error in thousands of words of transcripts, I believe this project is very strong. My group members were enthusiastic and always willing to help with anything.  When we wrote the contract, we had no idea what course the project would take. At the time, we were considering re-digitization. Seeing the completed project and knowing people already admire it speaks to the quality of our work, even if we had to tweak the contract in minor ways after it was written.

19 AprENTHUSIASTIC UPDATE

As I’m sitting here working on a Spanish paper, I sure am glad that James Farmer spoke English for all those transcripts. Also, I worked really hard on keeping my enthusiasm to a minimum for the presentation. I thought ours went really smoothly; we kept within the time and no one rambled on and on (although if someone had, it would have been me, but I was on my best behavior). I was really excited when enthusiasm came up as a criteria. Yes, I am an enthusiastic person, but I’m also enthusiastic for EVERYONE, and most of you will have noticed this if I commented on any of your posts. If I was to take a mellow approach, I would not be able to really dive into the project and be fully involved; that’s just the way I am. This week, I mainly looked over stuff, we took a group picture, presented, more fliers, invitations to the symposium, brainstorming. OH! and I made a twitter. Sarah, I did not steal this from your group, although I was inspired to create one even more so after seeing the positive response Ryan got! Follow us at @jamesfarmerlect.

Finally, I’d like to give an enormous shout-out to my wonderful group mates, for putting up with my late night craziness, my overwhelming personality, and patience! Thanks! PS-Today in class Caitlin mentioned creating a short version trailer for the symposium, since a 3 minute one would be too long. Dr. McClurken said it wasn’t necessary to do the extra work. Well, when we got in the digital media lab, Caitlin went straight to work! She made it look so easy to shorten a trailer, making a one minute trailer flow together amazingly well. I’m jealous of her skills.

16 AprUpdate-Almost Done

So I have definitely been putting finishing touches on things. A transcript disaster was avoided when I realized that the videos just had different starting points (like mid-lecture or with introductions) than the audio. So I re-edited transcripts for video only. I also have completed several flyers, made a google map (not as hard as Sarah made it sound, but then again my locations were probably a little easier), and I am thinking about making a generic letter or email to send out to important people to help promote our website. This morning, we met and took a picture by the James Farmer bust (which I was disappointed about the fact it was so dirty…I may have gotten rid of a lot of the cobwebs but it had lots of weird things  growing on it). We are also ready for the presentation tomorrow and just keep making minor adjustments/finishing touches. Laura, Caitlin and Michelle have all done fantastic work all semester, and I think our project has really come out better than any of us could have planned for.

09 AprTeeny Update and Readings

I am currently designing a map to just show locations prominently featured in James Farmer’s lectures. I am also working on fliers and other things to advertise with.

In the article “Doing History in the Digital Age”, by Barbara Weinstein, I could relate to a lot about what she talked about. I too have felt like a “Google Goddess”, especially while doing this project, when I can google names as I think they are spelled and up pops the right answer/spelling.  I have also been in the position of feeling frustrated by the lack of technology in certain classes, or classes with horrible technology integration (I’m looking at you boring and tedious internet scavenger hunts.) I am also in love with Google Books, which allows me access to primary source books on eighteenth century midwifery and saves me a trip to the library.

The second article I read was “Strange Facts in the History Classroom: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Wiki(pedia)by Christopher Miller. This was so relevant, as many of us have heard NEVER to use Wikipedia. However, the footnotes on the site can be useful. I’ve even found myself defending Wikipedia in some classes, especially after watching the Wikipedia video (and now reading this article). It’s also an interesting lesson that Miller was able to teach.

For the final article, I looked at “Wikipedia and Women’s History: A Classroom Experience (Spring 2012 edition)” by Martha Saxton. I always find the lack of women’s history materials to be amazing. I went to Barnes and Noble during women’s history month, when they had only one history book on women in stock. (Of course, they didn’t see a problem with that and offered to place orders for whatever I wanted…I should have said more women’s history books). I also learned that Rosenzweig is a big deal and extremely influential when it comes to digital history. It is interesting that no primary sources are used as they are seen as unverifiable. Again, the assignment given by Saxton was very interesting and probably really helped in getting women inserted more into the traditional male dominated historical narrative.

30 MarProject Update

So since the transcripts are basically finished, I am now working on tags and have selected clips that I picked out (and Caitlin and Michelle have clipped). I’ve also volunteered to figure out the sequence of the short trailer. I am also really excited about how everything is coming together. I am also considering putting together a map to trace the places that Jim Farmer talks about. There are so many different places, and I thought the map may be a good visual for our presentations, so that the audience can see where Farmer was involved. I will also probably design a flyer/business card. Other than that, I think things are pretty much moving forward, at this point we’re doing supplemental stuff. This has probably been the most straightforward update I’ve ever written. So for something exciting, head on over to hulu and search ‘target lady snl’ enjoy and thank me later!

24 MarWeekend Update with Kelsey

Yes, I tried to play my title off SNL and when I typed it, I heard Don Pardo’s voice announcing it. Things are coming together remarkably well. I am still so stoked about getting our podcast into iTunes U and am so thankful that Tim Owens really knows what he is doing. I also am really happy to say that I have been editing my transcripts, and that is going a lot better than I expected. When I was transcribing, it could take up to about 3 hours for me to finish one transcript. Now, editing, it takes under an hour, which is definitely exciting.

I am also really excited about learning how to make a website because the family I stayed with in Rhode Island, (I call them my second family) has been working hard to start up a fund in memory of their daughter, Cassie. The fund is called the Rainbow Fund, and currently has a facebook page  (Check it out!).  Cindy is just starting to get her feet wet with technology and when I spoke to her yesterday, she really wanted to set up a website for the Rainbow Fund. Of course, I now know how to do that! So when I go up there for the race (May 5th, with food and drinks and lots of fun if anyone else wants to come, I’m taking Amtrak) I will be showing her the basics of setting up a website! Yay!

18 MarDigital Portfolio, other thoughts

Well, let me start off by saying I have spent hours on my digital portfolio and I’m still not completely satisfied. Yes, there’s content, a very short resume type thing, and I think I’ve highlighted the finer aspects of myself, but it’s too static. I like dynamic, action packed, like maybe an explosion sound when you press a button kind of fun? But to some, that comes off as unprofessional. I worked very hard to restrain myself, as digital laughing through typing (hahaha) doesn’t tend to convey exactly what it may in person. I also debated listing the impressions I can do (many influenced by Saturday Night Live, a la Kristen Wiig)…maybe one day I’ll be REALLY adventurous, put them on youtube and tweet the link to all the SNL stars I follow and Lorne Michaels. (If you are interested in my original skits and impressions, the ‘george voice’ and ‘aunt martha voice’ I can do really well on command).

I was SO happy the Dr. Bryan Alexander was so nice and happy. I was expecting a suit, with a mean condescending attitude that would make me run out of the room crying. (ok, a little dramatic) Anyway, I was just glad he was loving on everybody’s projects, not just ours. It is really remarkable how far we’ve come and how much work has been completed. I am looking into audio hosting now, we should be able to do it through soundcloud but after Dr. Alexander’s suggestion of podcasters, I’m trying to determine the better option. Oh, and I will start/continue editing the transcripts. Also, I’m continuing work on my digital portfolio, so it’s definitely still a work in progress.

 

12 MarTime to Celebrate…temporarily

Well, my transcripts were due today and I finished them last night! woohoo! I’m so excited. Although the celebration won’t last long because I’m pretty sure they will have some errors that need editing. I was surprised by the quality on vimeo of lecture ten; it didn’t seem as bad as some of the others. Michelle really helped me out because she uploaded it during Spring Break so I could do it from home.

On to the readings this week. I looked at the Digital Tattoo, Seth’s Blog, and Evan Ratliff. Digital Tattoo led me to pipl.com where I looked myself up. I don’t really have a trail there. It knows I have lived in Accomac and Mechanicsville but says I’m 27 (I look pretty good for that, right?). So, partially inspired by Heather’s post for the week, I also googled myself. On the seventh page, I finally found myself. There was a link to my 299 final paper and a piece from my local paper about being all-academic all district and honorable mention team in field hockey. So my digital footprint is pretty small compared to others. Seth’s Blog sounded like what my high school guidance counselors drilled into our heads…don’t put pictures of illegal activities on facebook. My facebook is pretty bare bones anyway, so I don’t have that problem. Ratliff was an interesting read because he mentions the digital footprint we don’t always think about…toll booths. Unless I’m watching Law & Order SVU, and they use toll tracking to get a suspect, I don’t actually think of it as applying to my own life. But I know I’ve used Easy Pass before and they log all that stuff. I also use my debit card a lot, have a phone that can be found from pinging on cell towers and all other kinds of devices, not just the internet personal pages. After reading Ratliff’s piece, it’s almost as though there is a cause for paranoia that you could be located almost anywhere by sophisticated computer hackers. Or maybe I’ve just watched too much Law and Order.

04 MarUpdate #6…or 7?

At some point I think I counted my updates wrong. I am also glad/VERY happy to say that I will not have to lip read to transcribe lecture 10!! yay! I’ll have to wait to transcribe it on Thursday, since vimeo has uploading size restrictions and I am currently at home..but Michelle and Caitlin have plans to get major video work done over break! yay for them! also, Laura is finding super cool plug-ins, and I’m especially a fan of the transcription one. I have one more transcript to go (13) that I will finish tomorrow, and then the transcription of lecture 10 on Thursday and then CELEBRATIONS! because all the transcripts will at least be drafted and also completed before the deadline I set for myself. Again, despite my giddiness and super silly jokes, I think our short presentation went well. Am I the only one who thinks we should alternate which groups bring refreshments for presentation days? (just to spice things up a little and get the caffeine flowing)

I hope everyone has a restful and productive Spring Break!

25 FebUpdate # 5

Yes, it’s that time again! Well, we had our first big presentation to the class, which went ok. I get nervous and all giddy before presenting, so I apologize for all the laughter/bad jokes I probably told. Also, it was a bummer that we weren’t able to show video, but Caitlin came to the rescue earlier that morning and figured out our problems we were having. BIG NEWS: BREAKING NEWS: THIS JUST IN–I AM CURRENTLY HALF WAY THROUGH TRANSCRIPTION! YAY! It’s a big deal to me because I want to finish before Spring Break is here, so I have been spending a lot of time with the audio (so much so that I can almost finish Farmer’s sentences). I just am really glad that Farmer is so easy to listen to, takes long pauses, tells the most entertaining stuff, and isn’t afraid to laugh. It makes it much easier than listening to someone drone on and on about a subject you care nothing about.

Other than the happy transcription news, we have been having trouble after trouble with the video. First, four lectures are not digitized. Second, we have found funds to digitize, but the timeline may not be immediate future. Third, the videos we do have…well the quality is horrendous and the audio in some isn’t linked. Fourth, hosting! so many problems with that. But I think we’re cautiously optimistic that the videos will be digitized in time for us to do what we need to with them and put them online. Also, I really enjoyed seeing/hearing about everyone’s group progress! Everyone seems to be doing really well, which is awesome!


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