Not until this class, and certainly, not until our Lab, did I realize the amount of human labor required to create a searchable item. In the past I was easily frustrated if I could not find a website that had popped up during a previous search. Now I realize how important directed searches are. There is a person who manually reviewed, categorized information and transferred those categories to a platform so that someone can do a “quick search.” Even that phrase makes me pause for a moment. Is there really anything that can truly be considered a quick search?
I enjoyed the process of categorizing the metadata. The act of organization was soothing during a tough time. However, I did not enjoy the process of assigning themes to poetry. Poetry was the only reason that I became a history teacher and not an English teacher. I will read a poem but analyzing poetry is totally not my scene. Some of the poems were cool, I would read it and think, okay that was deep, or wow a kid wrote that?! But for the most part I was reading it and hoping the next page had a picture or image that I could analyze. The issue that I selected was all poetry. That part of the process was more challenging for me, but it was a valuable learning experience. It made me think of how restrictive themes can be if a person is using their experiences to assign categories and themes. How does my life experience as a middle-class, white, female, public school teacher cloud my interpretations and subsequent categorizations? It made me go back and review the categorizations from the three selected poems from our last activity, some categorizations and themes were the same but others were different. So it made me think about the phrase universal, is anything really universal?