The one week that I want to reflect on, is the podcasting week (week 5). To be honest, I was very scared about this week. First off, I hate the way that my voice sounds when I talk and have to hear it back. Secondly, using a new program like Audacity can always be a bit nerve inducing because you want to make sure that you are doing everything right so that you don’t mess something up. Another issue that I was worried about before I began speaking was that I tend to stumble over my words when public speaking, or really any time that I am not having a casual conversation.
To combat these worries I did a few things. The first thing that I did was watch the lectures (since I cannot attend the lectures during the actual class time) during the podcasting week. The lectures helped a ton because they helped me understand how to use Audacity and they gave me enough background information about the program where I felt comfortable using it on my own. The next thing that I did was create a google doc of the script I was going to read from. The google doc is around 1250 words long. This document helped me stay on track during the recording of the podcast so I could limit the number of times that I stumbled over my words. It still happened a couple of times but that was okay because I knew that it wasn’t because I was not prepared, it was that I was just reading too fast. Although I couldn’t get over how my voice sounds on a microphone, that’s an issue for another time.
The recording of the podcast was pretty fun I would say. To be honest, I did not add any special sound effects or music because I still was not completely comfortable with Audacity. All I really aimed to do was record my voice and the information I wanted to say.
Now, I wanted to touch on why I decided to record about Garbriel’s conspiracy. First off, I did a blog post about him for week three. This was the blog post where we had to look at objects and upload them to Omeka. It just happens that I stumbled on the letter from Mosby Sheppard to James Monroe warning him of Gabriel’s Conspiracy. In this blog post, I only wrote about the tip of the iceberg around the plan that Gabriel and his men came up with. I thought that the podcast would be a perfect time to expand on Gabriel’s story more. In the podcast, I was able to expand on many things about the conspiracy. These things include background on Gabriel’s life, the entire plan from start to finish, and the overall impact that this rebellion had. I probably would not change much in the podcast that I made. If I could go back I probably would talk slower and add some music to make the listening experience better.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time in this class. Although I could not attend the class at the regularly scheduled time (I have a class that conflicts), I still feel like I got the most out of this class, like any other student. I honestly did not expect much of this class. I was put in a rough situation where I had to pick up an extra class and this class seemed like a good fit (compared to the other classes available). I had nothing against the class but I never planned on taking it until I enrolled in October. Before I began I was kind of nervous. I hadn’t taken a history class since my senior year of high school. Although I was nervous, I was still excited. In my major (Data Science) there is not an opportunity to take classes outside of STEM so no matter what I was excited to do something else.
The work that I did in this class will echo into parts of my other work. I was equipped in this class to use other programs that I never knew existed. These programs include Flourish, Audacity, Voyant, StoryMap, and others I am forgetting. All of these programs are special in their own way, and although I may never use them, I know they are there to use and the only reason I know they exist, is because of this class.
Although the tools are of great importance, I was happy that I was able to explore the history of slavery again. Although I had great history teachers in high school, they are always on a time crunch to teach what the government tells them to teach. That usually means going at a fast pace and only grazing the surface of most topics. This just didn’t happen with slavery, it happened with the great depression, Vietnam, and many other topics.
Although the tools are great, at the moment I only have a few classes left that I would be to use with them. I have my university required 1 ISS and 2 IAH left. I could see a time in one of those classes that I might be able to use a text analysis tool like Voyant. Unfortunately, Flourish is a great tool but for most of my data visualization, I will have it use a programming language (such as Python or R).
Overall, I loved my time in this class. I wanted to thank you, professor Andrella, for everything you did to make this class successful. I knew from the start that I would have a great time in this class. I appreciate your quick response time and welcoming me into this class. I also appreciate everything you did to make sure that we got the most out of this class, even if it was over zoom. I hope you have great rest in your semester and I wish you luck in whatever comes next.