Challenges: never ending hills.

— Beginning of week Twelve —

Last week during our peer evaluation sessions or critiques, Kernan from Keene State emailed me her observations. I am very grateful to have a second pair of eyes go over the material I have so far, even if it isn’t much and it’s far from completion.

Often times I find myself investing too much time looking for errors, mistakes, or things I may have overlooked on the website or the maps I have created. I can’t keep falling into this habit where I spend too much of my available time in that task, and focus more on getting all of the information I possibly can onto the site first…which is easier said than done. Every single instant when our professors ask what obstacle or challenge has presented itself to us as we progress with the project, my answer remains the same. I don’t seem to have enough time on my hands to do the work for two people, although I have been told continuously that I am understood and should not worry about this issue, it still is an incredibly important factor as to why progress for this site has fallen so far behind.

I tend to be my harshest critic, and know for a fact that if I would have known this team based project was going to turn into an independent project, I would have not signed up for the course simply because I know I would have not been able to dedicate as much time to it as I am expected to do so. These types of physically and mentally demanding projects require partnership for a reason,  and I hope in the future courses to come, better consideration of the candidates is taken into consideration so that no other student has to forgo this incredibly difficult journey. Being a full time student, part time worker, Student Body President,  and researcher all in one semester has definitely presented itself in an incredibly ominous way, that feels overwhelming to the point that I don’t feel stressed — I simply feel blank.

This semester my plate is not full, it is overflowing with endless work that I know I must complete at some point.  I remain optimistic at this point, and expect the best regardless, because I refuse to throw in the towel just yet.

Wish me luck.

Until next time, Maria.

Continue reading Challenges: never ending hills.

Breakout Sessions: Critique on Classmates Website

— End of week Eleven —

For today’s assignment, we have been tasked to critique our classmates websites, and let them know what we liked or didn’t like about their site. Of course we must be constructive, and I know I personally appreciate criticism since it will help make my site better. I will attach links to their websites, for the Keene State Team and the MCLA Team, so that it is accessible for perusal.

Keene State

The Keene State Team consist of two students, Patrick and Kernan, whom both have shared with us a project that details the Finnish History in Newport. I personally think it is quite fascinating and appreciate the extensive archival work they have both done. They have both done projects with COPLAC before, so I definitely think that this has given them an edge to the project in which they can apply their experience to make this project successful.

  • Website Design
    • I really like the overall presentation that is given within their website. It is a clean, get to the point kind of site, and I especially appreciate the “next page” buttons at the bottom of each individual page. It can really come in handy when doing presentation overall, and enables an easier accessibility to the website’s content.
  • Photographs
    • I love the page and subpages that are specifically dedicated to pictures. Although I think a gallery version of this feature using FooBox will make it less cluttered, I do think that the extensive amount of photographs helps illustrate the projects importance overall.
  • Material
    • Each page within itself has a lot of information, maps, and interactive material. I am interested in viewing the curriculum for the classroom, since I believe this will be an incredible tool for future students to use!

Continue reading Breakout Sessions: Critique on Classmates Website

Backbone: rough draft of website update

— Beginning of week Eleven —

This week we have been given the task to present a rough draft of what our overall website is going to look like for our project. Since last week, I’ve made some progress and finished the final quirks for the website design portion overall, and can now focus on the bigger task at hand: getting the information onto the site.

This within itself is an incredibly tedious task; every independent page presented on our site has to have meaning, and sufficient information. I think that this of course helps narrow down our research, and forces us to get to the point. So far I’ve come up with a few “topic” or titles for the pages I plan on constructing such as:

  1.  Home Page
    • Welcome Message
    • Header Image?
  2. The Wichita Indians
    • Basic Information about who they were
    • Maybe some customs?
    • Images of course
  3. Identification of Forced Migration
    • Storymap JS will go here
    • Information about the map
  4. Significance of Northern Frontier
    • What obstacles (if any) did the frontier present?
    • It’s significance in reference to the Wichita will be stated here
  5. How the Project Came to Be
    • About author page
    • Also, the contract will be here

Of course I plan on having subpages within these main pages, so that it is neat and compiles the information section by section depending on the topic or what I would like to share. I have finished what I’d like to call the skeleton of the website, which helps lay out a foundation of the required work to come. As the month of November approaches, I can definitely feel my nerves come towards the surface of my existence; this project would definitely be a lot easier and so much more could be accomplished if I had a partner like the rest of the “teams” in the course. It feels as if I am at a disadvantage, and it’s quite unfair to be completely honest. But nevertheless, I do feel like significant progress has been made on my end, although it’s taking me twice as long as it should.  We shall see how this goes. Wish me luck.

Until next time, Maria.

Continue reading Backbone: rough draft of website update

Website Design Update

— End of week Ten —

After taking on the lengthy and tedious task of searching for the perfect theme for my website, I have finally settled on the theme known as Fluida. This theme was honestly really frustrating to work with in the beginning, mostly because you have to go in and edit every single little detail of the website from its header, to the font you will see in the search bar (if present on your pages.) Although it was very frustrating having to spend literally hours on this theme alone and setting all of the information to it’s proper dimensions, the flexibility and creative outlet it provides makes my project as aesthetically pleasing as I can make it.

These are examples of what the theme can look like. It’s truly beautiful.

One challenge this theme does possess is the inability to edit or set the size for tables that are added to the webpages from TablePress. I have come to the realization that I will have to yet again, do twice the amount of work in order to produce something I am proud of. Importing Excel Sheets actually fixes the issue, but it is a task that is time consuming. Either way,  I am very happy to have found a theme I like, and have taken the time to teach myself the mechanics of what makes this particular theme work well. I didn’t want to settle for a theme that everyone else could have been using already, and I also wanted to present my information a little differently. Hopefully it works well.

Until next time, Maria.

Continue reading Website Design Update

Website Design: Technical Difficulties

— Beginning of week Ten —

Who knew website designing could, and WOULD be so difficult? It had never truly crossed my mind nor did I ever consider how much work was necessary in order to create a digital project of this magnitude. Doing this project alone has been difficult; I know for a fact I would be able to accomplish twice the amount of work in less time if I had a partner for this project. Every little detail of our websites must flow and mesh well together effortlessly, and since this project is meant to produce an education portion for other individuals to view at their leisure in a way that is not only interesting but meaningful, I can surely feel the pressure piling on slowly.

This week I have the task to completing a rough draft of what my websites design is going to look like. Considering the dimensions of the story-maps I am utilizing, as well as the sizes of the tables I would like to insert into the pages, I need to pick a theme that will allow the proper addition of these tools without stretching them out or making them too difficult to maneuver. So far, I have not found a design that I actually like; most of the themes that are available to us currently are not what I am looking for — which on that note, I am not quite sure what exactly I am expecting in a theme, but when I find it I will know. I’ve done some perusing in the general web results of WordPress and hope to find a theme that best fits my needs. A lot of the more modern themes require a lot of time to actually set up; I’ve spent a good 3 hours tweaking one theme called Foreverwood and am not able to set up the pages or fonts to fit the sizes of the maps, tables, or Storymap JS at all. So for now I will continue to look for a theme that will allow me to add the tools I have created for the website.

Until next time, Maria.

Continue reading Website Design: Technical Difficulties

Full Research Proposal: Abstract, Thesis, Methodology, Justification

— End of week Nine —

The Native American group known as the Wichita Indians suffered through forced migration during the 19th and 20th century due to Anglo – American influences in Northern Texas, resulting in the depletion of their population in places such as Wichita Falls. The Wichita Indians also had difficult relationships with the stronger, more prominent tribes such as the Comanche Indians, who dominated most of Northern Texas. This consequently created tension between tribes and further displacement of the remaining bands of the Wichita Indians. Although the Wichita Indians are no longer found in Wichita Falls, their influences are expressed throughout the city and county’s history as a whole. Whether it be in buildings, statues, or place names, their legacy remains an integral part of the community.

The resources used in this project fall into two distinct categories. The first category focuses on primary sources, first-hand accounts to the history being analyzed. This will include autobiographies, memoirs, and interviews with contemporaries of the studied events . It will also include accounts and depictions from newspapers and other periodicals, as well as pertinent official policy and legislation. The second major category of resources to be utilized by this project include secondary sources that inform and analyze previous events. These works come in two distinct variants. The first such variant focuses on regional history. These sources include significant details on the influential Native American populations in the region, specifically the Wichita, but places those populations squarely within the context of Texas, the United States, and the settlement of the frontier. Alternatively, sources may focus upon the Wichita and the Native American populations themselves. While these wider studies will go well beyond the regional focus adopted by this project,  they will still serve as an important source of knowledge.

Continue reading Full Research Proposal: Abstract, Thesis, Methodology, Justification

Cultural Crossroads, Updated Contract

— Beginning of week Nine —

The following is an updated version of the contract; this project is no longer a partnership, rather an individual interdisciplinary project of one student at Midwestern State University, Texas.


  1. Project Description
  2. Tools to be Utilized
  3. Work to be Completed by Team Members
  4. Schedule of Milestones
  5. Full Research Proposal

Project Description

The purpose of this research project is designed to consider the historical significance and influence American Indian Tribes had on the Northern Frontier of Texas. The main goal of this project is to track the migration patterns of the Wichita Indians within the historical context of Wichita Falls. It will consider their initial habitation, forced migrations and their continued influence on regional culture even after their departure.

Tools to be Utilized

Throughout the entirety of this project, multiple social media platforms will be utilized in order to keep up with the progress of the work being done such as:

  1. Twitter
  2. WordPress

Continue reading Cultural Crossroads, Updated Contract

Venturing into Museums

— End of week Eight —

Today marks the  end of our 8th week in the class as we work towards developing the final components of our project overall. This week, my goal was to visit the Wichita  County Archives, and other museums that I thought would be useful for this project.

Today I ventured to the Museum of North Texas History which is located in downtown Wichita Falls. During my visit to the museum, I met with the County Archivist, Bill Steward  who although was very kind and knowledgeable during my time there, he  actually did not have a lot of information to offer me in regards to the Wichita Indians. This of course was rather disappointing, mostly because I was expecting to have a different outcome in regards to this visit; my expectations may have been set too high which mostly explains that sentiment.

Mr. Steward did mention that the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) might have more information in regards to the Wichita Indians due to the fact that Oklahoma has Indian Reservations located all over the state. He additionally mentioned that if time permits, Anadarko, Oklahoma might be a good source as well.

With each day that passes,  it become harder and harder to believe that there are very few, if not any, primary sources to be found in my area. Of course after having conversations with with my professors, it seems that this project I hope to do well on will accumulate all information that is currently available to everyone about the Wichita Indians, even if this means that there is no record of primary sources.

In the meantime, I’ll have to start working on our project site, and  getting the information I have collected onto the site itself. This will be tedious work, but ultimately I am excited for it  either way.

Continue reading Venturing into Museums

Storymap, Bibliography, and Updates.

— Beginning of week Eight —

Picking up from where we last left off, this week has started off with a set of fresh eyes and new perspective in general. It is very exciting to make additional progress throughout the weekend, and find more secondary sources that would make great additions to this research project. Last week I presented a rough draft of a Storymap JS, which was intended to establish a history of the migration patterns for the Wichita Indians. Today, I present the final Storymap JS, which includes photographs and citations of the resources I utilized in order to create the interactive map. I of course anticipate the addition of four more slides if I can find some additional information of groups found along the Red River / Northern Frontier along the border of Texas and Oklahoma.

Additionally, our Bibliography will be divided in two components; one will be a simple Bibliography, and the other will be an Annotated Bibliography that will be used for our benefit (Brad and I) in order to keep track of what each source has to offer for this project. As our professors have mentioned countless times, it’s important to cite  our work and resources properly with the use of the Chicago / Turabian citation format.

This week I will be going to the local archives on Thursday located downtown to do more archival work. I’m pretty excited to see what else we will uncover; currently we have our topics of research set as:

Continue reading Storymap, Bibliography, and Updates.

Cultural Crossroads Contract

— End of week Seven —

Edit: This contract is the first draft that was presented before my partner dropped out.


  1. Project Description
  2. Tools to be Utilized
  3. Work to be Completed by Team Members
  4. Schedule of Milestones
  5. Full Research Proposal

Project Description

The purpose of this research project is designed to consider the historical significance and influence American Indian Tribes had on the Northern Frontier of Texas. The main goal of this project is to track the migration patterns of the Wichita Indians within the historical context of Wichita Falls. It will consider their initial habitation, forced migrations and their continued influence on regional culture even after their departure.

Tools to be Utilized

Throughout the entirety of this project, multiple social media platforms will be utilized in order to keep up with the progress of the work being done collectively as a team and individually such as:

  1. Twitter
  2. WordPress

Continue reading Cultural Crossroads Contract

Midwestern State University, Cultural Crossroards Blog