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Kathryn Jue JOTPY Portfolio

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Kathryn Jue JOTPY Portfolio

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In March 2020, I learned about a graduate fellowship for a project called The Journal of the Plague Year. I was intrigued because of my undergraduate work with collecting oral histories of Vietnamese refugees. I really missed doing research in my life as a classroom teacher. This Fellowship seemed to be a way of fulfilling that undefinable project I’d been looking for. When I received an invitation after applying to join the project, it was like a public history baptism by fire. I knew nothing about public history, and I learned a great deal during those five months. However, with so much uncertainty with how my school district was going to respond to COVID, and the eleventh hour decision that we would not be starting the school year in person and all the changes that went along with that, I made the difficult decision to step away from JOTPY when the summer ended.

During the fall, I greatly missed the collaborative community, the curating, the debates about metadata, and the entire building of this rapid response, digital archive. This led me to join the Spring 2021 internship. I am so incredibly thankful to have been part of this internship because I learned so much additional information about public history. One of the aspects that I didn’t learn over the summer was the humanities portion of public history. The archive was so new that we really specialized in different areas, mine was building the teaching site. We did have weekly meetings that I greatly enjoyed, but they were more logistical as we tried to figure out how to best build the archive. Many of our meetings dealt with curation and the best process for that. I absolutely loved my summer team, but it was difficult for me to articulate exactly what I did when the summer was over. Going through the internship step by step, I feel far more equipped now to explain exactly what JOTPY is and the process behind it. I also was able to experience many different aspects of the archive, including curating and collecting oral histories, building a collection, writing a call for submissions, and writing public history. The two parts of this internship, aside from curation which I genuinely love doing, that I feel were most beneficial were oral histories and writing the blog post. These are both areas I would like to continue to pursue in some way, even if it not related to this particular project.

I did not begin the MA program with any inkling of being part of an internship team or being part of any sort of public history project. However, JOTPY has been the single best part of my graduate program. My work with JOTPY has been a perfect marriage of my two passions, teaching and history. I love being part of a project that is accessible to the students I teach. Not only does it demonstrate to them that history transcends the walls of the classroom, it was a space they were able to be part of by sharing their own stories. I also was able to fulfill a personal desire to be part of project outside my teaching world. I love history. I am incredibly passionate about it, and I am grateful every day of my life that I get to spend my days sharing that passion with teenagers. Yet, I have been wistful for some sort of research to be part of. I love writing, and as a teacher, my writing isn’t really seen beyond the realm of the classroom. I didn’t know public history is where I could fulfill this sort of void. Overall, I am incredibly grateful to have had this experience.

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Date Submitted (Dublin Core)

04/22/2021

Date Modified (Dublin Core)

05/13/2021

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