Today Sarah Storti and Brandon Walsh from the Scholars’ Lab at UVA visited our class. All in all, it was a fantastic experience as the students learned even more about project management. More importantly, we had catering from… some place… but it was good. You mean to tell me we can simply get hungry and, magically, food will just appear behind us? Pretty good day.
We established Hollis as the group’s project manager, me as the group’s social media chair, Ryan with web design, and Nicole as secretary. This was the first thing that really stuck with me today- establish specific tasks for each of the group’s member. Before today, our group kind of wavered in and out of productivity and efficiency as we were unclear of what was all expected of us. I mean, this is a pilot course without any real model from our school, so we were one of the first few groups to try to figure out project management. Each of us brought a different skill set, as well as working styles, to the table. This resulted in minor awkwardness as the group tried to settle the dynamic. After we gave everyone “titles” and created a charter, with the core goals being efficiency and productivity, then we really got moving.
For the first time in months, I’ve found myself actively engaged in academics and I enjoyed it. Creating the Twitter page (@lee_chapel) provided a challenge as I had to find an image with a high enough resolution where the end quality was not pixilated and crappy, this meant scrolling all the way down on Google Images to what would have been images on page 3 or more. That’s when you know that you are desperate. After fiddling around with the twitter account itself, I tried to embed a live twitter feed of the account to the website. This provided a challenge as I had practically no background experience and Ryan could not get the damn thing to work. But for every problem in modern life, there is an answer on Google Video- I mean YouTube. Another concept that I really wanted to include was the idea of a map of Lexington, focused on Lee Chapel. Fortunately, embedding Google Maps onto WordPress was a lot less nerve wrecking. My other role for the group is to establish a direct relationship with Special Collections. Earlier today, we were able to receive an impressive amount of images, including an aerial view of Washington and Lee circa 1969.
I found myself overly enthused as I sat down and attempted to create a webpage. These images that Special Collections provided were almost immediately on the website, thanks to Nicole, and now our project is really starting to come together. How cool is that? We are making an easily accessible analysis and compilation of one of the most historic buildings on our campus. Oh, on top of that, our Twitter page has way more personality than Beyond Bow Ties… although I will admit their name is pretty damn clever. All in all, today was a good day.