22nd Week

22nd Week

The deadline for the first draft of the Virgina Bryan website for my independent study is due on November 13th, so I have been dedicating the bulk of my time this week to it. It has been an ordeal, but now that the website has been coming together, I find that it has been worth it.

The first step of my process included writing out each page. I feel as though each page must be filled with some content in the very least before I begin editing the website. Gertrude Ramsey’s interview provided me with a wealth of information about her time attending the college and Virginia Bryan’s teaching. I am currently in the process of writing her passage. I have also contacted WLOS regarding the Gertrude Ramsey Show. I have finally received a call back to confirm what they are searching for, but have not received anything beyond that. I hope to have some of that information by the time my first draft is finished, but it may have to wait for the final draft.

Dr. Bruce has agreed to write the selection on Eileen Smith, which is a wonderful help. After a review for my plan of the website, I’ve realized just how colossal of a project this has become and all of Dr. Bruce’s help is not only appreciated, but I’m convinced I would not be able to do this without his help.

I have also decided that the TimelineJS feature will have to wait for the final draft, for time’s sake. I have a lot left to do before this website is presentable!


21st Week

21st Week

I am becoming nervous about the amount of work I have done on the transcriptions for the Western Regional Archives, versus the amount I have to show for it. It really is quite a long process. For every 15 minutes of audio, I have been spending anywhere between one to three hours writing and reading through the transcription. I hope to complete this process soon, but I am beginning to believe that I will need to continue this after the semester is completed. Heather needs each of these audio clips finished by the end of the year, and I intend to have this complete one way or another.

It does get frustrating transcribing Basil King’s interviews at times. He doesn’t seem to stay on topic very well. He is a distinguished artist, author, and graduate from Black Mountain College, but he also tends to fall into rambling tirades about various topics. These can range from how he is treated on the bus, how he feels as though he is an outsider in the arts world, how he has become an outlandish figure in his residential community, or how the American education system is broken. His interviewer also isn’t the best at keeping him on topic and seems to encourage these tirades. That being said, in the least, it is easier to transcribe a tirade than when they speak over one another.

It isn’t as bad as I am making it out to be, though. His interviews can also be quite interesting! At times, he mentions the curriculum at Black Mountain College, the competitive nature of the students, or what advice his teachers there gave him.

I look forward to becoming a better transcriber by the end of this project.


20th Week

20th Week

This week, I would like to take a closer look at the programs I am using for my internship at the Western Regional Archives and the Virginia Bryan website.

For my transcriptions for the archives, I have been between using oTranscribe and Transcribe.wreally.

  • oTranscribe is a free website that allows you to use one program to both control the audio and write on the page. This is particularly useful as it frees you from switching between programs and, most importantly, is free to use.
  • Transcribe.wreally is my preferred website of the two, but charges $20 for an annual license outside of its free trial. However, this isn’t a particularly bad price, especially for the the software it provides. It allows you to slow the audio, use the Esc button to pause, allows you to rewind in two second increments, and even offers a dictate option in which you speak into the microphone and merely repeat the words from the audio. It also saves your work from your previous session automatically.

After utilizing these tools, I have been slipping my finished products into a GoogleDoc for Heather to access.

For my independent study, I have used Canva to create a logo for the website and I intend to use TimelineJS or a similar program to give a more visual option to compare the students. I haven’t quite decided how this tool will be used–either to display the times in which Bryan’s students attended the college, or to show where they went after their graduation–but I hope to incorporate this tool.


19th Week

19th Week

This week I have made both the transcribing for the Western Regional Archives and the creation of the website for my independent study my focuses.

The due date for the first draft of Dr. Bruce and I’s website on Virginia Bryan is a month away and I am becoming concerned about what the finished product might look like. I am having trouble finding images to decorate the website with. I also have very little done on Gertrude Ramsey, Eileen Smith, and Wilma Dykeman. I have found that Gertrude Ramsey has an interview in Special Collections that I can use for my research, but finding information on Wilma Dykeman is surprisingly difficult. Perhaps I only find it difficult because there is a copious amount of sources on her career, but little on her home life. I will take a look at Special Collections to see what I can come up with on her.

The Basil King interviews are slow going. Often, Basil King and the interviewer will speak over each other, or back away from the microphone so that they are difficult to hear, or the interviewer will begin typing as Basil King is speaking, making it difficult to hear. I hope that I am able to finish these interviews by the time the semester is over. I have plenty of work to do!


18th Week at the WRA

18th Week at the WRA

At this point during the semester and reviewing the remaining hours required, I can see the end of my internship approaching. I have been devoting more hours to transcribing the Basil King interviews, which I fear I may not finish before the end of my time at the archives. Perhaps I will volunteer there to try and finish them before the end of the year outside of an internship for college credit. I have gotten to know Heather, the other archivists, and the other interns very well over the course of my study there.

As stated previously, I spent a  portion of my time this week transcribing the Basil King interview–though a smaller portion than last week. It has become a little easier, but it remains tedious. On Thursday, I was able to help Heather and another volunteer sort through a new collection, which has become somewhat a cathartic experience. It involves sorting, throwing away duplicates or unnecessary materials, and organizing a collection. I look forward to finishing out the remainder of my internship there soon!

I have also begun constructing the website for my research with Dr. Bruce. It is coming together in its own way, but I am now reminded of the frustration involved with constructing a website from scratch. In times such as this, I find myself ever grateful of Kristen’s help last semester during the construction of the website.

119/150


17th Week at the WRA

17th Week at the WRA

This week I have been spending the majority of my time interning devoted towards transcribing the Basil King interviews. It is an extremely long process and very difficult to catch everything said, but I have been able to get through the first few audio files. There are sixteen individual audio files, which I have been transcribing into a GoogleDoc so that it is accessible to Heather and other interns.

Each audio file is different in the time required to devote to it. In some files, I can have ten minutes finished in thirty. In others, it may take me an hour to transcribe only five minutes. Hopefully I will get better at this soon–or I will become a faster typer.

109/150


16th Week at the WRA

16th Week at the WRA

I had been very busy this week preparing for the ReViewing Black Mountain College Conference that Dr. Pearson, Kristen, Kendall, Heather, and I presented in just earlier today. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but very well worth it! I am very glad to say that the panel went very well!

Though I was only able to make it to the WRA once this week, I was glad that I did. When I went yesterday, Thursday, Heather had a plethora of requests from the scholars coming in for the conference and performing last minute research. I stayed late with Heather and spent the bulk of the day locating sources for patrons with Heather and scanning them. It sounds quite simple, but the task did truly take the entirety of the day.

97/150


15th Week at the WRA

15th Week at the WRA

This week, I was able to help Heather sort some of the larger collections, such as Advantage Wester, and help with some of the patrons. I was also able to get some transcribing done! Heather has asked for my help particularly concerning the interview of Basil King, who had donated another on of Heather’s collections–but on several conditions. These conditions, amongst other things, involve the transcription of his own interview before the end of the year. Transcribing can be very difficult, but I am happy to help wherever I can. This also provides me with another opportunity to work from home!

I have also been working on refining my writings for Dr. Bruce and my independent study. Particularly concerning Virginia Bryan and Mary Cordell. I hope to find some more information about their careers and perhaps some better photographs. I will be working with Mikayla soon to enter some information into the 90th Anniversary timeline and I look forward to that contribution!

91/150


12 and 13th Weeks at the WRA

12 and 13th Weeks at the WRA

I was unable to make it to the WRA last week, as I had went out of town for most of the time. I was, however, able to get some transcribing done for the Black Mountain College interviews. While the process of transcribing is tedious, it is rewarding to see the final product of your efforts. It requires hours of listening to and repeating the same thirty seconds to thirty minutes of dialogue on a loop, followed by a close proof-reading of your transcription. I am always caught off guard by the sheer speed in which people speak, and often forget that I typing can be much slower than the average individual’s talking.

When I went this week, the archives had developed a leak due to the tropical storm that had passed through! It wasn’t bad, but the moisture poses a problem and potential dangers to the stacks. Heather hopes to have it dealt with soon.

I spent more time on summarizing and transcribing letters in the BMC Correspondence files. I have almost completed Evarts’s folders, which I am quite exited about! I was also able to help Heather load materials, including an old canon, into her van for the fair next week. Afterwards, Heather bought pizza for herself, the volunteers, and the interns. It was a very pleasant day! I look forward to my next visit at the WRA!

83/150


11th Week at the WRA

11th Week at the WRA

Due to a chaotic mix of events, I was only able to make it to the Western Regional Archives once this week. It is both the first week of school and I am in the middle of moving between apartments.

I went to the archives on Tuesday and continued to sort through and summarize the correspondence letters from the BMC Collection. If I have learned anything this week, it is that John Evarts thoroughly enjoyed writing about anything and everything; he wrote on the mundane, the exciting, conflicts, peaceful moments, his emotions at varying times since his previous letter, and how he missed BMC. While he does seem like an exceptional individual, I am almost growing tired of his long letters–letters he wrote three to five days apart from one another.

Evarts loved to write his friends.

I am looking forward to being finished with Evarts’ folders, and hopefully I can compile a comprehensive story between his notes.

73/150


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