Despite my project’s metamorphosis into something beyond (and better) what I originally imagined, I went to bed last night feeling like I still had details to add, things to change, ways to organize things differely.  Ultimately, this project has left me wondering if software developers…and really any type of academic ‘innovator’…ever really feels finished.  As I continue my project, I’ve made the artistic choice that I’m not so much rushing to finish, but working toward a presentable ‘pause’ in the process that allows for feedback and reflection.  My presentation tonight represents sort of a fleeting moment in the project’s life, a momentary manifestation of the work I’ve done so far (and the potential for work ahead).  It’s not finished, but I’m starting to understand that that’s the point. 

Poetry aside, this project has taught me a lot about my work ethic, both good and bad.  I don’t think I’ve ever done so much research that I ultimately discarded and cut from the final work.  That being said, I’ve also never strayed so far from an original idea for a paper or project, and this happened totally organically through trial-and-error research, because I had the luxury of time and deliberation.  My hands-on research gave me the most inspiration; what struck me most was hearing Ronnie (NY Post delivery man) talk about the newspaper as an imperative, physical media…without knowing how profound his viewpoint was. 

The frustrations of this project were kept at bay by constant reassurance that this is a process…not a means to an end.  None of us really had any idea what we were doing, so we made it up, and the frequent conversations with classmates allowed our work to inform each other’s.  Of course, I felt most distressed when I was trying to upload video (to no avail) at 2 a.m. with nowhere to turn to guidance…or when my entire newspaper path mysteriously disappeared and I had to start over…or when my camera died halfway through my archive visit and I was reduced to photo-taking with my iPhone camera.  But these frustrations were honestly a welcomed change from the typical final’s week writer’s block that leaves most of us staring at a computer screen with 6 hours to go before we have to e-mail a 20-page literature review.  I’ve always felt comfortably at peace with the paper-writing and citations, but I think…this semester… I’ve slowly been won over by this new beast of digital humanities.  Also, it’s never very exciting to sit through several hours of paper presentations, but I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to tonight’s class much more than I’d usually anticipate any class time during finals.

Thanks to Shannon, Rory, and everyone in our class for such a crazy, informative, fun experience.  I can’t wait to see what everyone has to present tonight!