This semester has been an absolute whirlwind and I admit I am thankful it is winding down. This also means my time interning for the project is coming to an end and my goal is to finish wrapping up everything I began this semester. Though, as I have mentioned numerous times, the project does not end with the internship.
As I have said, in this last week I have been wrapping up various aspects of the project that I have been working on throughout the semester. The design of the website I think is set for now, though there is a lot more content to be added. I am currently in the revision process of an encyclopedia entry for the website, which I hope to have posted on the site by the end of this weekend. It is a general overview of shell shock during the war, which I am excited to share as it relates partly to my thesis work. Another item that will grow over the weekend is the Resources page as a number of new resources have been shared with the project. Some of the sources include BackStory Radio broadcasts and ‘The Great War’ channel on YouTube. Both of those sources are excellent. I have not gone through all of the broadcasts and articles on the first, but the ‘The Great War’ channel on YouTube is something I have been watching over a year now and I am always learning something from the episodes produced. With these new sources I am also utilizing Hootsuite, an app/online program that allows you to schedule social media posts, to schedule Twitter posts about these sources. I have learned through my internship to importance social media plays with projects such as this, as well as in general. Twitter has proven to be a great networking resource and a great way to share the project and information gathered.
The final and major aspect of the project is now the journal article. My weekend will be spent finishing up my section of it and then next week the project coordinators and I will be meeting to combine our sections and work on making the article cohesive and ready for submission. With any luck it will be published by the end of the year.
It is certainly a lot to finish wrapping up over the weekend, but I have to say in general, I am happy with the progress made in many areas of the project over the course of the semester.
These last couple of weeks with the Florida in World War I project have been a bit scattered. I have not been entirely focused on one aspect of the project, so I feel as though I have only partially completed things in front of me. As I have said in my previous posts, I feel as though with the time crunch of the semester on me, I want to have so much more done than I do, but I have to keep reminding myself that the project does not end with the semester or my internship. It is on going.
As seen in a previous blog post, myself and three other project coordinators made a trip to the Florida National Cemetery on the centenary of the United States’ entry into the First World War. We were able to take a number of photos that we hope we will be able to post on the Florida in World War I project website. I think too (and I may mentioned this in the post I did after the visit out to the cemetery), it was a great and enlightening experience to have had. One of the goals of this project is to bring to light Florida’s role in the First World War. The aim is to remember that there was a contribution to the war effort. I think going to the cemetery was a reminder, at least for myself, that the war effort, whether from Florida or elsewhere, was done by so many individuals with individual lives and stories.
On another note, my fellow project coordinators and I are also working on a journal article that will hopefully be published in the fall/winter in an academic journal. I am looking forward to not only having an article published, but I think this is a great opportunity for the project, now and for the future. Another goal of the project was to continuously expand and encourage others to do the same. This article will provide that opportunity.
This last week for my internship will be focused on the article, as well as trying to get other aspects of the project complete or running for a time. For example, I am trying to work more no the social media portion, which I have learned in the last several months is key. Twitter is definitely a great connection to others, not just sharing the work this project has done, but also seeing what others have done and are doing.
There are a number of loose ends that need to be tied up before the end of the semester and beginning of the summer for the Florida in World War I project. This week I have been jumping from one component of the project to another, trying to get done what I can.
First and foremost, the website design itself, I think, is fairly complete (though there will always be room for change and improvement). If you look at the images in the gallery below, you can see the way the website is setup (or feel free to click here to go directly to the website). Essentially, the homepage has a slider on it that rotates various posts and pages we want to highlight. When you go on an individual page or post, it will show you (as seen in the second screencapture) rotating promo boxes. This was a great solution to the lack of color issue that was a concern when the website first began (which you can see in the third photo in the gallery below).
This is the overall view of the homepage.
This is a view of the Resource page.
An older version of the Florida and World War I website.
A close up of the temporary organization of the Resources page
The next item I worked on was the Resources page. The project’s advisor, Dr. Barbara Gannon, presented today at the Society for Military History Annual Meeting on the project. In preperation for that, I sat down with Dr. Gannon and another project coordinator, Tyler Campbell, to get some materials together in anticipation for Dr. Gannon’s presentation, which included getting some resources up. I put up several sources (online resources and books) in order to have something up while I still continue to organize and sort. I think though, whether I figure out a way to sort the sources and organize them where they are easily searchable, I may put up more in the simple format I already have. At least this way there are sources up for those that visit the website.
In addition to the work I mentioned above, I have been working on three research and writing components to the project. The first is my historiography for my internship. The second research and writing component is my encyclopedia entry for the website. The entry is in the form of a fleshed out outline, but should be a fully composed entry by next week. I have decided to use some of the research I presented at the conference I attended in London, specifically how the United States viewed and handled those with shell shock. And thirdly, I am working on an academic journal article that is in the works on the project for publication. I am working with my fellow project coordinators to write about the creation and history of the project, as well as a myriad of components that have sprung from the project including the Soldiers of Florida databases, the website, conference papers and posters (see below for screenshot of the poster that the project presented at the 2016 Graduate Research Forum at UCF), and more.
‘100 Years and Counting: Mapping the City of Orlando and Her Soldiers during World War I’ – UCF’s Graduate Research Forum 2016
There is definitely a great deal to work on this upcoming week. Let’s hope for a productive one!
I meant for spring break a time of getting ahead on a bunch of tasks that I had been working on since I returned; however, I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked during spring break. This week has been about trying to play catch up so to speak and getting as much done as possible so I can move forward with other tasks for the project. The design of the website has taken a back seat and I am trying to work on formatting the current content so it is uniform. In that process I have also been editing, which has taken more time than I anticipated. In addition, the resources page is taking a lot longer than I had hoped. I have been going through a number of sources, trying to see which are relevant to the project and finding ways to organize them. I think that has been the biggest challenge with the resources. Having a simple long list, while more than nothing, does not help when looking for something specific. So trying to find a way to organize everything, how to categorize the resources, is a challenge. I think another issue is that I find myself so captivated by the sources we have collected since the project began that a lot of my time is spent on simply exploring these resources out of my own interest and curiosity. This coming week I have to be a little more mindful of time so my to-do list shortens.
In this coming week I plan to finish everything I have been working on listed up above. My next steps include working on an encyclopedia entry of my own for the website. The conference paper I presented in London has a lot of research that I think I can use for an encyclopedia entry. It centers on my own personal research, specifically the American perspective on shell shock. I am going to go through my conference paper and sift through the research and see what I can use. Once I have that done, I am going to outline the entry. Hopefully I can complete a draft of the entry in the coming week and have something to present the week after next. In that time as well, I need to also work on the historiography.
I am definitely feeling the time crunch as the end of the semester is rapidly approaching. I have to keep reminding myself though, that just because the internship ends the first week of May, that does not mean that the work on the project ends- or my work on the project ends. I will be continuing to work on the project and anything that needs to be completed can be completed after the internship is over as well; however, I do want my time with this project in an intern role to have a lot to show for it, and a lot to work with once it has come to an end.