Project Reflection

Conflict in America taught me many things throughout the semester. Not only did I learn about website creation and digital archiving, but I also learned at a surface level how challenging graduate school is going to be for me.

When I heard about this class, I was a little hesitant in applying for it. I do not do very well with online classes due to the lack of class meetings. This class was worth it, and while I was stressed out at multiple times, I do think that the class meetings were very beneficial. I liked being able to connect and see my professor’s face. I have taken online classes for UA Early College before, and I took a history class with a professor named Dr. Ratliff. I never saw the guy’s face, I never got a chance to connect with him, nothing. I just had to look up the UA faculty page to remember his name. With both Dr. Welch and Dr. Wallace, I will FOR SURE always remember their faces and their names.

Archiving the Nondiscrimination Ordinance in Montevallo was an experience I will never forget. I will not forget it. It was challenging, yet enjoyable. I was always interested in the information I researched. The most exciting piece of information I found was the page out of one of the earliest yearbooks that included the photos of the women being very close with each other. It just surprised me, and the archivist was super helpful in giving Lillian and I another resource to think about using.

Conducting interviews (actually, just trying to get an interview) was the most stressful portion of this project. When I was on the yearbook staff in high school, getting an interview for our publication was not as stressful as it was with some of the adults we reached out to. I guess it is because I was in the same building as my school mates five days a week, but I had no faces to put with some of the names we had for this project.

One of the most enjoyable things about this project was getting to deep dive into history about the city of Montevallo that I never knew before now. However, one of the problems that came out of this is that the more I researched, the more I could not stop. I do this a lot with other projects; right now, I am working on a project for my social justice class, and the researching I am doing just keeps piling up on me. It is just amazing to see what you uncover when you do research. I love it.

I am going to be completely honest: this was the worst semester for me to take this course. I enjoyed the class and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to take it, but it felt like every worst possible thing that could ever happen in a semester happened to me.

I struggled with my mental health throughout this whole year, and it just seemed that it was getting more difficult to cope with as this semester drew on. The passing of my grandfather to ALS was just the icing on the cake for me, especially since he inspired me to be ambitious and always aim for the best. I really wish he had more time because I knew he would have loved seeing this project.

The sweetest (and the coolest) man I ever knew and will ever know. ❤️ Here he is pictured with his longtime co-anchor Cindy Sexton.
My grandfather, Cindy Sexton, and DAN RATHER. What a cool dude.
My grandfather with Richard Simmons. Before this photo was taken, Richard exclaimed, “Be still my heart!” In short, everyone thought my grandfather was hot.

Sorry for rambling about my grandfather. It just seems to easier to really show everyone why I took this class and how difficult it was at the same time.

What makes the ending of this awful semester and this amazing class easier is that being able to talk with Dr. Welch and Dr. Wallace really made me feel like I did have some support behind me and listening to all of you speak with such passion about your projects really turned my mood around. This class changed me and prepared me for graduate school and the stressful days that come with it.

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