Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fine Day for Editing

This week has been dedicated to editing the seven completed biographies. Loyola has a Writing Center, which I suggest to all students to take advantage of, so I made an appointment. It sure does "take-a-village" when it comes to working on a project. Shout out to Shelby Scott at WTC's Writing Center for reviewing all seven biographies and giving fantastic feedback! Shelby suggested that we start by having her read out loud all the biographies, that way I can catch anything that sounds awkward (I can be very good at being awkward...). Luckily, there was not a ton of grammar mistakes and only a few awkward phrases. I had a few questions about formatting which caused more questions about the presentation of the biographies in the online exhibit. In order to be consistent and in case the biographies are split up, she suggested repeating titles/names/translations in all the biographies. I do not know how Professor Berger wants my work cited, and Shelby said that the kind of citation is up to Professor Berger's discretion. I have been very consistent in documenting where I found all the information on the Jesuits and Ramos family so citing should not be that hard. At the end of the appointment I asked Shelby if the biographies were "too dry" and monotonous because she was a blank slate to the information. She was very honest and said that the content was well done and the overall writing was solid. By no means does she thing that the biographies are "too dry" as she pointed out that I included personal facts and quotes beyond the basic information on each person. I was worried that  the biographies were going to be too much of date-location-date-blah-blah-blah, which like I have said before is NOT what I want to do. Also, Shelby said that the voice of the biographies are not my own, which is good because the composition should reflect each victim and be "their voice". Thanks Shelby!

Link to my Go-To for editing guidelines: Purdue OWL

It is a baby owl... Get it?

Now that the end of this internship is coming to an end, I have been reflecting more on what it means to be a historian. Just from these past two weeks of composing the biographies and now having them be edited and fine tuned, writing history really is a process. I remember many professors in my past classes ask "What is history? and how is history created?". Many say that history is written by the winners and those with the education and ability to record events. Although those are very well answers, to me I think it takes more than education and a pen and paper, it is the conviction or lack there of, of the historian who is writing history. What I mean by that is the relevance of information is up to the discretion of the reader/writer/observer and what he or she may find important or not, another person may very well think the opposite. For example, I think it is important to include facts such as Ellacu being an incredible soccer player or that Obdulio planted two yellow rose bushes for his wife and daughter to be information that ought to be included in their biographies. To me, those small pieces of information give a more complete picture of the individuals. My point is this- what is written as "history" does not give the entire picture, and how could it? It would be impossible to record every account of every person, but a lot sure does get lost. I want to make the audience aware that the Jesuits and Ramos family were more than victims who were killed, they were very involved people inside and out of their communities. They faced hardships and were living in a civil war. I could go on and on, but hopefully if you choose to read the biographies you will get a more complete picture.

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