Final Thoughts: It’s Been One Hell of a Ride

Nothing will ever be able to compare to the experiences and overall life changing lessons I have gained over the course of this semester thanks to this class. Completely out of my element, I entered the Fall 2017 semester imagining all of the possibilities that were available to me in regards to the development of my research project, and felt completely humbled by the opportunity. I myself had never done research, or at least not yet during my academic career; I knew I wanted to attempt finding a project for least one semester, but never did I imagine myself doing something like this. This course has essentially taught me the importance of interdisciplinary as well as independent studies, and has not only encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone due to the classes requirements, but as well as forced me to do so at times. The experience I had with this class overall was a good one in some aspects, while in others I feel like the joy and excitement to participate in a course such as this one had been completely eradicated and replaced with stress and confusion.

            I started off this project with a partner, which was both a blessing and a curse within itself. I personally came into this project with an incredibly overwhelming sense of bias in regards to partner based work; in previous courses or experiences in general, I had several moments where I found myself doing the majority of the work or replacing my partner with someone else for an assignment or project simply because the person who had originally been assigned to me had failed epically to meet their share of the work. In my mind, I was prepared for the worst case scenario, as well as hoping this instance would be better, and I would not find myself in the predicament I had found myself in before:  hating my partner based work. I never felt that it was fair, the unspoken expectation that came with partner projects; if your partner failed, you’d have to pick up their slack. This is why I committed 110% to this project from the moment that I applied to the course back in April, hoping I’d hear news of my acceptance into the project and class for the fall.

Continue reading Final Thoughts: It’s Been One Hell of a Ride

Midwestern State Project Comments, Issues that need addressing. 

— Beginning of week Sixteen —

What follows is a perusal of the project website and editorial comments. Most of these things must be corrected (Grammar, spelling, or punctuation for example) though some things are optional (prose or esthetic issues).

Comments here are from Dr. Dunn…

Home page


Continue reading Midwestern State Project Comments, Issues that need addressing. 

Project Presentations: Part Three, Reactions

— End of week Fifteen —

This week has ended on a wonderfully positive note; my presentation has been given, therefore the most nerve wracking component of the course has been completed. I’m very grateful to have had the support of all my friends and family, and even those who took the time to view my project when I presented on Thursday. To be quite honest, I was incredibly nervous to present although I was in a room all alone, and everyone else was in their respective locations. That’s the weird thing about this class; a majority of the people who I have met through this course will never meet me face to face since this class was indeed digital. I never saw myself taking a course like this, because it definitely put me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to get into the routine of logging into class and getting acquainted with people from across the country through Zoom, including my professors.

Since I shared my script with you all the day of my presentation (Thursday, Nov. 30) you all know exactly what I said and what the presentation entailed: simply explaining the importance of the research and the purpose of the website. Ultimately, the experience within itself was a remarkable one, since I finally got to share with everyone what I had been working on so diligently all semester long. To my surprise, my university President Dr. Shipley tuned into the Zoom session to view my work. Her overall presence and support really did help a lot, but it also added to my nerves.

Continue reading Project Presentations: Part Three, Reactions

Project Presentations: Part 2, Script

— Script: My Presentation —

Today I present my project website: The Wichita Indians: Tracking Migration Over Time; the following is the script of what I will be saying verbatim. You may utilize this script to guide you through a tour /mini presentation of the site while you view the site at your leisure. Follow the instructions in red to go through the presentation in order.

Instructions for Dr. Dunn: Will appear in red and italicized.

Dr. Dunn: Begin on Home Page and remain on the image (header image).

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Maria and I am a senior at Midwestern State University, where I will be graduating with a major in political science and a minor in history. Today I will be sharing with you my semester’s research project, which has taught me the importance of diligent research and has strengthened my appreciation for the preservation of Native American history.

When selecting a research project in regards to cultural migration, I found the shift of Native American influences on the Northern Frontier of Texas known as the Red River, and how it was specifically documented and preserved in cities such as Wichita Falls, interesting.

While conducting my research, I discovered that there was little to no mention for the city of Wichita Falls available in any of our archives, libraries, or museums in regards to the Wichita Village that existed before Anglo American settlement.

For me, this became a key element of the project.

I wanted to help illustrate the importance, and identify the location of the Village that was located here in Wichita Falls as well as the rest of the Northern Frontier and further understand how cultural migration can include the concept of forced migration.

Dr. Dunn: Begin scrolling down to the text available on the bottom of the page.

This idea is explained here on the home page, and introduces the goal of the project.

The layout of the website provides next and previous page buttons to continue throughout the site in order.

Dr. Dunn: click on the next page button.

Continue reading Project Presentations: Part 2, Script

Project Presentations: Part One, Observations

— Beginning of week Fifteen —

Today we started class promptly at 3:00 (4:00pm EST); Dr. Dunn gave a small introduction explaining the course, and briefly explained the purpose of today’s meeting.

This week we will all be presenting our work to COPLAC, and anyone else who would like to view the presentation. The purpose of this is to showcase our work, and share what we have been doing throughout the semester. Each team from the universities that have taken a part of this course will have about 15 minutes to present, and 5 minutes for questions and answers. It’s important to stay on top of our time so we don’t run too late, or take up someone else’s time since we only have 3:00 – 4:15 to get through 3 presentations today and 3 on Thursday (Nov. 30).

As I have stated in my previous post, I present on Thursday; I’m somewhat nervous, especially after seeing how well everyone did today.  Of course everyone has their flaws; some of the teams ran too long and others ran too short, but in the end it all worked itself out and everyone did an awesome job. I really like how each team gave each member the opportunity to speak, and explain what the project meant for them individually. These types of projects really exemplify the meaning of scholarship, and I truly believe that they all did an excellent job in that regard.

Continue reading Project Presentations: Part One, Observations

Close, but yet so far away.

— End of week Fourteen —

This Thanksgiving break has been very productive, but exhausting. I traveled home for the week long break after class on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and I feel like I haven’t really had much of a break. I can’t really begin to describe how overwhelmed I felt at the beginning of the week, especially seeing how much work was left to be done. Progress on the site for the remainder of the week before I present will simply be limited to adding information I have left out so that the website has some sort of substance to it. With each and every day that passes I wish I had had better luck this semester in general; I can’t help but continuously remind myself that I am doing the best that I can to keep this project, and myself together despite the rough beginning where I found myself partner-less. This break has served as a great opportunity to get a lot of work done, and catch up on some things for this project.

I have occupied all of the pages now with some form of information, whether it be a chart, map, photo gallery or with actual information (words). So for now I will continue to add images and information to the site so that it flows smoothly and it looks great overall. I do hope to get some sort of critique eventually, where one of my professors (Dr. Dunn or Turner) take the time to go through the entire site. This way I know what needs to be changed, added, or removed before we submit the site for final review on Dec. 11. I did forget to finish some of the charts at some point such as the one with the vocabulary words (the glossary) so I finished that as well. I will it below.

Continue reading Close, but yet so far away.

Time’s slipping through my fingers.

— Beginning of week Fourteen —

As we approach the final week of this course before we present, I can feel time slip through my fingers ever so slowly. Today in class we were assigned our time to present; I present on Thursday, November 30 at 3:30pm (4:40EST). I am very grateful to present towards the end of the week, since it gives me time to keep making final changes and finish adding the information I need for my site to be complete.

As I had hoped, I met with Lean last week on Friday, and received more images that I hope to share on the site. I have also created more tools for the map, some as simple as keys for the tools I am going to be using. I will share them below; this key will specifically be used on the page where I will have the Storymap JS published.

Key to Navigate MapDescription
Beginning of MapLocated on the left hand corner of the map, selecting this feature will redirect you to the first page of the Storymap presentation.
Map OverviewLocated on the left hand corner of the map, selecting this feature will redirect you to an outstretched view of the entire map provided.
Marker SelectionBy clicking on the green marker, you will be able to view the migration pattern that was created by the Wichita Indians over time.
Storymap ArrowLocated in the middle of the right hand side of the map, selecting this feature will enable the story feature of the map, and take you page by page of the presentation in order.
Two Fingers on the MapBy using two of your fingers, you can zoom in and out of the map by creating a pinching motion on the screen. This enables a closer or farther view on the map depending on your preference.

Continue reading Time’s slipping through my fingers.

Critiques for the site: progress underway.

— End of week Thirteen —

Dr. Dunn shared with me the notes he made in regards to my working website yesterday (Wed. Nov. 15) via email, which I then took as the directions to edit my website. I for one am very grateful for the time that was dedicated to look at the pages I had up, and note little things here or there that could be changes.  Additionally, we met today via Zoom to discuss the notes he had, and to answer any questions I may have in regards to the progress of the site. We discussed in length several suggestions I sincerely plan on implementing on my site, as well as discuss real goals I should set for myself and reach in the next two weeks before we present.

I feel rather calm at this point; openly optimistic.  I’ve taken the time to look at everyone’s sites and can say without hesitation that I am very impressed with everyone’s’ work and partnership. It inspires me when I view their blogs or websites, and entices me to work towards similar goals so that my site is just as good as everyone else who has a partner. I also feel as if I need to continue constant maintenance of this blog site to make up for the lack of having a partner, so I can document every little step I make to make this project successful.

As for the website for my project, I have changed the titles of the pages.

Continue reading Critiques for the site: progress underway.

Lucky 13: updates on my project.

— Beginning of week Thirteen —

This week we are asked to continue making edits and any sort of revision we deem necessary to our sites. By Thursday, November 16th, either Dr. Dunn or Dr. Turner will provide comments, questions, and concerns in regards to the site as it looks now. I can predict the overall remarks I’ll receive, very positive and encouraging I hope, but I do expect some sort of critique that will help me see what I need to fix or how to make my website more accessible…appealing even, though I feel I’ve done well in that department.

Website construction and maintenance is a never ending battle… I continue to find misspelled words or incorrect formatting here or there. I ask my friends occasionally to look through the site when they have time so they can catch something that is off that my tired eyes may have missed the million times they’ve looked over the pages.  I have begun to add information here or there, added more to the home page and fixed my bibliography in general. I have yet to figure out how to do the hanging format properly on the theme I have selected, and I am quite the stubborn gal and much rather struggle until I figure it out on my own than appear incapable.  I feel this invisible weight on my shoulders, possibly deriving from the high expectations I have of myself, to produce a good project despite the obstacles I alone have faced in comparison to my classmates. It has been a little over a month now that my partner for the project dropped out, and although I have not mentioned much of the account to be respectful, it has nevertheless put me in a difficult situation to navigate throughout the semester.

Continue reading Lucky 13: updates on my project.

New tools for the site!

— End of week Twelve —

Today I will share a new map that I have created for my project site, as well as a key that I created by using TablePress and importing an Excel sheet. It is important to note that aside from website design and research, we are additionally encouraged to create interactive tools for our site since our project is digitally based. This will make our site more appealing to navigate, and encourage others to continue perusing through the site.

Below is the map I created for the project site; its purpose is to illustrate the migration pattern that I noted while researching. It of course is not the only possible route, but it is a route I imagine the Wichita frequently traveled.

Next is the key I created to facilitate the use of this tool; its purpose is to simply provide information of what little gadgets can be found useful while viewing this map.

Continue reading New tools for the site!

Midwestern State University, Cultural Crossroards Blog