A Course Blog by Amy Schmidgall

Month: October 2017

Pages and Prezis

I have shamelessly ignored my blog for the past couple weeks as I have engrossed myself in our project website.  I have been chided a number of time by my dear partner to put my computer down and go to bed.  There have been nights I’ve sat up until 1:30 in morning learning and testing WordPress.  It doesn’t matter how tired I am before I start, as soon as I hit our WordPress site, I can’t stop.  I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to learn about this tool and I look forward to applying all my knowledge to create an amazing website for the nonprofit I volunteer for.

In addition to exploring WordPress, we have also been creating Prezi presentations to go into our website.  This is a really exciting and fun way to display our information.  We are giving users the option to take the tradition route and use menus to navigate the information or they can play the presentation under each main title.    We feel that having both options will not only keep our readers interested but also it protects us from future changes in software and technology.  If Prezi should ever cease, users will still be able to access all the information through the menu system.

Joy and I are slowing but surely building content behind the scenes to insert into our website.  Since I have pretty much finalized our site design, it is now a matter of just plug and play.  It is exiting to see it all coming together!

Poco a Poco

Poco a poco

That is what I have to remind myself as we move forward into our project.  This past week both Joy and I were bogged down with health and personal setbacks so it didn’t feel like we were able to accomplish much toward our weekly goal.  Part of this process is resolving those nagging questions and sorting out information internally.  This week I sat down to gather all the information on Apostolic history and as I was reviewing it there was one piece that I was really struggling with.   In the Apostolic history book, “Marching to Zion”, it names the first Apostolic men to settle in Morris to be Christian Moser, Christian Luthi, and Rudolph Tschudi.  I learned from talking with the local historian, Rueben Luthi, that these men were related, but the connection was never really made clear.   I also discovered from talking to Kevin Wulf about the history of Riverview, that the original founders of or Riverview belonged to the Luthi family.   I knew this was an important piece to our story but could not put it all together.  I decided to some research on Ancestry.com.  What I discovered was very interesting! It turns out that Christian Moser (married to Mary Ann Luthi) and Christian Luthi were brother-in-laws and  Rudolph Tschudi was the son-in-law of Christian Moser.   It is from the patriarchs, Christian Luthi Sr. and Anna Christener of Bern Switzerland that the two major “ranchos” in Stevens County Riverview Dairy and Wulf Cattle can trace their beginnings.  I think it will be helpful to create a “family tree” showing the lineage on our website.   So, that problem was solved/organized in my mind.  However, as I sat back and looked at the full lineage from the main patriarchs of this family, I was struck at the enormity of it all.   Within just three generation there were hundreds of descendants.   Many of the families in linage, even today, are still having families of seven or more children.  The heritage is incredible.  What’s also important to understand is that if you are a member of the Apostolic church you are only allowed to marry other members within the church.  Over time this has created a web of relations.  This week I also spent time creating a spreadsheet and map of the present-day Apostolic followers.  One church in Iowa had nearly 1000 members!  I’m excited to tell this story.  What is especially unique about this story is that its migration continues today and is purposeful.  When we think of migration in our nation we always look at Hispanics and we fail to look at ourselves.  We are not so different.  We have different reasons for migrating.  We have different stories, backgrounds, and cultures, but when it comes right down to it – are we really that different?




It is a good feeling when you are at a point in a project where you feel organized and purposeful in your work. Joy and I spent time this week story-boarding and finalizing our plan for our website, Toward a Better Land: Migration on the Minnesota Prairie.  We are going reveal the stories of Apostolic and Mexican migration a bit non-traditionally using Prezi presentations.    Both Joy and I like a clean,  organized look and we feel that by using Prezi our readers will not get lost in word and be more engaged.  It will be exciting to see it all come together.  After we decided on how we were going to visually present our project, we worked together to finalize our project contract.  I think that I can speak for the both of us in that, having firm due dates and clear steps in the project lowers anxiety.   Creating project contracts with your professor or even just for yourself is an excellent way to set goals and see how attainable those goal are in a specific time frame.  A copy of our final contract can be found on this blog under or the heading “Project Contract” or by clicking on the hyperlink.