Thursday, September 2, 2010

finished: draft 1.2

Kevin and Linda Clutterbuck's garden, Norridgewock, Maine
July, 2010; photograph by Anna Cook

This week, right in the middle of a heat wave here in Boston and between a two-day migraine headache and the start of fall semester classes, I decided my first full draft was as done as it was going to be. I closed the files, saved them to my USB drive, and tomorrow morning will print two copies and drop them off in the mailboxes of my first and second readers.

The draft comprises an introduction (context and methods) and three chapters. It clocks in at 98 pages, which is longer than my adviser will like but shorter than the final draft is likely to be. I feel very proud to have written those 98 pages over the past twelve weeks, however rough they may be (and believe me, some sections are rough).

What happens from here? Well, first Hanna and I are going -- hurricane Earl permitting! -- to spend Labor Day weekend free of labor at her parents' home in central Maine (see above).

Then, my readers will look over and comment on the rough draft and my adviser and I will sit down and plan out the timetable for my final version. There are some constituents voting for a final draft to be submitted in September, and some in the May completion camp. I myself am divided, but leaning toward May for both personal and scholastic reasons. I''ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased that this phase of the project -- which at times felt endless verging on the hopeless (Hanna will testify to the tears involved) -- is over and the next phase can begin. I've always been a bigger fan of revision than I have of the initial, terrifying draft.

Cross-posted at the Future Feminist Librarian-Activist.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

for those interested

My primary blog, as some of you already know, is the Future Feminist Librarian-Activist. The blog is a hybrid of personal, political and professional posts -- including posts related to the topics I am wrestling with in my thesis.

For those of you who are interested, posts on the FFLA that discuss my research and writing process are tagged with the "thesis" tag and can be found by clicking on the link provided or, once at the FFLA, selecting the "thesis" tag from the tag list on the left-hand toolbar.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

project update: 8 june 2010

When I spoke with many of you at the time of your interview, my original projection for the completion of my thesis was August, 2010. Since then, a couple of changes in my life -- including being hired for a second part-time job -- have caused me to push back this final deadline to May, 2011.

Over this summer, I will be working on the first draft of my thesis, tentatively titled How to Live?: The Oregon Extension as Communal Experiment in Living, 1975-1980. The three chapters explore the Oregon Extension's faculty community, the Oregon Extension as an academic program and the experience of students, and the Oregon Extension as a space of self-exploration and self-definition, particularly in the context of its institutional and cultural connections to the Evangelical subculture.

At the end of August, I will submit my draft for comments to my primary and secondary readers. Following a hiatus during the Fall semester in order to complete my MLS degree (Master's in Library Science), I plan to write the final draft during the Spring semester and present my research at the graduate colloquium in May.

While I am not actively seeking out additional alumni to interview at this time, since my primary focus is writing, I am happy to hear from any alumni who wish to participate in the project by filling out a questionnaire and/or recording an oral history interview. Please see the how to participate page for more information and contact information.

I am also experimenting with the free transcription software Express Scribe as a means for manually transcribing the interviews I have collected, which represent over twenty-five hours of conversation. As I complete transcriptions, I will give the narrators an opportunity to review and amend these documents prior to making them available, with the digital audio files, online through the Internet Archive.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment here at the blog and I'll be sure to follow up.

In the meantime, I hope all of you have a restful and creative summer.

In peace,

Saturday, May 22, 2010


This blog has been established to provide content access to the Oregon Extension Oral History Project coordinated by Anna Cook (OE '01). Please check back in the future for more information as the project develops and this site is populated.

In the meantime, if you are an Oregon Extension alum interested in participating in the project, please contact me (Anna Cook) at annajcook [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment on this post.

If you found this site while searching for information on the Oregon Extension program, please visit their website at