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Blog 6

Hello all,

I am in group B (which deals with the ongoing recovery efforts in Central Texas for African American burial sites) and I have really enjoyed doing the research thus far. I think this may be the first group project I have thoroughly enjoyed and I think a large part is that we actually care about this. We are right around the corner from cemeteries we’re discussing and sitting in classrooms slaves may have built. This matters to us.

A lot has happened since I last posted, so I will try to remember everything! I was so so so happy with the way the research salon went. It was much less intimidating than I had expected it to be and we were able to get a lot of nice suggestions for places to start and gather information from.

In our personal meeting today, Dr. Stockton said something which I hadn’t really considered but now find very helpful, so I’ll share it in case anyone is in the same boat I was in: We should not consider the inability to find information a loss. Lack of information can say just as much as an influx of information, and just because there are mass amounts of available literature doesn’t mean they’re accurate or helpful anyway. It made me think of paintings. Negative space is just as important as and sometimes even more interesting than positive space.

Something that is both exciting as well as intimidating for our group is the fact that it is so current. There is not a lot of history or legislature available on ongoing recovery efforts because there has not been enough progress to publish results. In fact, the most recent legislature we could even find was from 1998. With that said, I am looking forward to the sources we do have access to. We will be incorporating a lot of interviews into our final project and since I love asking questions and meeting people, there’s not a way I’d rather find information. I genuinely feel honored to be able to pick the brains of people who currently feel affected by the work being done and that has already been done. That reminds me of a question I had been wondering the answer to but discussed in the research salon. I wanted to have a more definite view of why we as college students were in a better position than someone like China Galland. I couldn’t imagine succeeding in areas she fell short, but the answers from the class and from Professor Stockton and Professor Evans were exactly right. We have validity and resources. People will be more likely to want to speak with us because they are getting to share their stories.

Awareness is a big thing I’ve been thinking about throughout the course of our research. I often ask myself the “so what” question. I want to make sure what I’m doing has a greater purpose for my life or the life of someone else. I don’t want to fall into the trap that so many of us harassed China Galland for falling into. I don’t want our group to feel a heightened sense of self-importance if what we are doing isn’t even carrying a great deal of meaning. So I think one thing that we can do as college students and caring individuals is help those who may not be as lucky as us. Before I took this class, I was blissfully unaware of the blatant problems with things such as signage in nearby cemeteries. I couldn’t even find the cemeteries. I’d like to be able to help those who were not as fortunate to be able to take this class.

I think awareness starts with communication. We must be able to communicate with each other to share information (which reminds me of how excited I am for the class wiki) and we must then be able to communicate that to the public at large. I am honored to be surrounded by so many people who care so much, so thanks to the rest of this class!

-Lauren

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    “I think this may be the first group project I have thoroughly enjoyed and I think a large part is that we actually care about this.”
    — I fully agree, well put

    “It made me think of paintings. Negative space is just as important as and sometimes even more interesting than positive space.”
    –Beautifully done! The interdisciplinary connection just makes my Paideia tingle! I think your observation here is not only eloquent but absolutely spot on; I’d heard a similar type of advice before but this explanation of it really brings into a greater clarity for me — thank you

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