There is one word which sums up my feelings at 2am on Monday night after typing the final period on my first draft: proud. Though I was certainly confident in my writing skills entering the Ramonat Seminar, I found myself thrown into a world of scholarly writing which I had never encountered. Dr. Shermer and Ruby forced me in my blog posts to find a narrative yet fact-founded voice inside of myself which I never knew existed. After many hours spent in the Archdiocese of Chicago Archive and searching through newspaper databases, I had finally gotten all (or at least most) of my thoughts down on paper. I felt accomplished, as though I had created something completely original. This sense of attainment was certainly the most rewarding part of the drafting process.
The most frustrating part of this project for me has been finding a good place where I can sit and write for a good amount of time. I bounced from the lab to the Life Science atrium to my desk at my apartment to the first floor of the IC to the basement of the library only to end up on the second floor of Damen near the atrium at midnight. For some reason, at this hour, Damen provides the perfect noise floor to keep away internal distractions without providing external distractions. Once I found my space, the remainder of the writing process was smooth sailing.
A majority of my attention is currently being poured into creating my presentation for the Dean’s Advisory Council in the middle of April. However, I am also investigating avenues which I uncovered while examining my sources. One of the Ph.D. theses I am using uses Casa Aztlán as an example of a Chicano community group. Though I did not encounter it in my original research, initial digging has shown that this community and political organization was extremely important to many people in Pilsen. I plan on adding several paragraphs to my paper with the evidence I have found. Beyond this, I believe that the Irish section of my paper needs more bolstering. However, this kind of evidence is difficult to come across due to its age.