Unlike an old dog…

I can learn new tricks. I was pretty savvy on WordPress before I started this class because I have been using the platform for my own personal blog for over five years. The class had a pretty profound impact on the way that I produce work, despite my attitude to the contrary. Before this class I was pretty focused on getting my snarky content published but had, essentially, zero f*cks to give when it came to citing my sources or images. I have gone back over several of my blogs since and added citations. It makes me a stronger writer, a better blogger, and a great deal more entertaining. I won’t be continuing this blog after graduation, however.

Beyond that giant leap in my personal WordPress skills I find myself a lot more attuned to women’s needs in Tech. Surprised by the lack of gender diversity? No. But interested in being part of the change? Yes.

Overall: good class. Would recommend.

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Research Progress

Compared to Abigail Kimbrough’s Barbie project, I feel like I’m slacking in the “meat” of my project. I can find plenty of aesthetically pleasing pictures and factoids…but I’m missing something vital that I can’t quite put my finger on. I think part of the problem stems from my complete void of knowledge about chemistry and, thus, my inability to truly understand the significance of Kwolek’s work. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough time to “brush up” on all the chemical information I would need to simplify this research for my audience. I’ll simply have to “make it work” with the simplifications provided by other, better educated writers.

A side note: I may be having difficulty really connecting with the subject matter because Kwolek, as a person and a scientist, is so different from myself. Are we both women? Yes. But beyond the most superficial gender and race similarities, we have virtually nothing in common. Not a time period, not a relationship status, a parental status, an educational achievement, a professional achievement. Nothing. She’s interesting! But, in a boring way? I’m trying not to let that deter me from getting the research done.

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Required Post About Successes/Challenges of Writing for My Research Project

Thus far, the most difficult aspect of filling in the outline that is my research project has been identifying useful information against useless information (often determined by the credibility of the source) and avoiding being redundant when it feels I have no choice but to be redundant. Also, there’s just a lot of information to move through to determine what is relevant or not. I have not heard back from the emails I sent out asking for details about my subject from friends/family/colleagues who knew her so I am left a little short on some of the more detailed information I am interested in, at least for the moment. Another issue I found with this particular subject matter is that breaking down her research and research methods into language that any random audience member (from anywhere in the world) could understand is a little tricky. I am forced to make a lot of assumptions about my audience that showcase my bias as an American/Westerner (as a tutor to non-American college students I can tell you that references like “peanut butter and jelly” or “Tom and Jerry” don’t translate for foreigners and using those references makes me a douchey tutor).

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Required Post About Research

Bibliographic tools

I have enabled zotero on my laptop as a bibliogrpahic aide during my research project. “Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click.” –Zotero   I chose Zotero because I have been using it for over a year and am familiar with it.

Preferred Sources

I prefer the OSU library and Google scholar for source search engines. I am familiar with both of these tools and they make me comfortable and confident in my selections. I’m supposed to write a paragraph about why I chose these two but I don’t know what else to say: they work.

Contact with librarians

I did not contact any librarians during this week’s required work (I did not see the necessity as I have access to a lot of information already), though I have reached out to several persons who knew/worked with my subject in an attempt to get an interview with them about her work, her life, and her person. I had not received a reply by the time I was required to post this blog.

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Declaration of Topic for Cultural Research: Stephanie Kwolek

Are y’all even ready for this?! Meet Stephanie Kwolek, an American chemist who invented kevlar.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stephanie_Kwolek_at_Spinning_Elements_by_Harry_Kalish.TIF

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Kwolek was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania in 1923. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Kwolek worked for the DuPont Company as a chemist where she specialized in the creation of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength and stiffness, the most famous of which is kevlar – “a material used in protective vests as well as in boats, airplanes, ropes, cables, and much more—in total about 200 applications.” –Chemical Heritage Foundation

Kwolek began her most famous work in the 60’s and, if I am to use that as a jumping-off point, can deduce that her work was being published and lauded during the beginning of America’s Second Wave of Feminism. An interesting time to be a female in a male-dominated field, to be sure. While feminism is still, very clearly, a topic for discussion in my own time, the Second Wave was marked by a distinctly white-females-first mentality that I believe is being broken down in my generation. This, along with the greater emphasis of females in STEM fields, are two of the greatest differences I see in the cultures Kwolek and I experience.

In order to find Kwolek’s research, I typed “female technology” into a Google search and scrolled through the first several articles until I found a type of technology that interested me. As the granddaughter, daughter, sister, niece, girlfriend, and friend of police and members of the military, I know how vital kevlar vests are. Choosing Kwolek for my research project was kind of a no-brainer after reading that.

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Required post about adding a widget to my blog.

I just added the Facebook Plugin Widget featuring “Smart Women Role Models” to my blog.

To find the widget option in a WordPress blog you must:

  • Be in your blog’s Dashboard
    • This can be accomplished by typing in your blog’s URL with the word ‘admin’ at the end. Ex: chelseymickblog.wordpress.com/admin
      • You may need to sign in to move forward.
  • Hover over “Appearance” on the right column of options in your Dashboard
  • Click on Widgets
  • Select the Facebook Page Plugin widgets
    • Widgets are listed in alphabetical order
    • Decide where you want this widget to appear on your blog
    • Click the “Add Widget” button
  • Before proceeding to editing your new widget you’ll need to grab the URL from the Facebook page (this means you gotta be in your Facebook account)
  • Visit the “Smart Women Role Models Facebook” page
    • Copy the page’s URL
    • Paste said URL in the space marked “URL” on the Facebook Plugin Widget option
    • Give your widget a title
  • Click the “Save” button.


You’re done. Stop crying.

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First required blog post.

This post is supposed to reflect what I have learned from the process of creating a (new) blog.

As I already maintain a blog (MickSnark) on WordPress, the creation of this new site was fairly easy.

Successes in making a new blog: I did it. Yay me.

Challenges in making a new blog: Instructor’s instructions were written in an order I found frustrating. Regardless, the instructions were complete and I did manage to accomplish everything required by incessantly referring to said instructions.

Conclusion in making a new blog: I doubt I’ll ever want to do this again.

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