Busy at Work

For the past two and a half years at the museum, I’ve rarely had busy days. In fact most of those days were spent trying to find something to do. Conducting oral histories only takes up an hour or so here and there, the real work comes when the oral histories are transcribed. Luckily, transcribing has never been a major part of my job as I loathe to transcribe. For me, the real work comes with editing the transcriptions to make sure they are accurate. This takes time. If I barrel through, I can get two done in a day, but it is usually just one. Once that is done, I have to mail the transcript and recording out to the interviewee for final approval. Getting the mailings ready usually takes between thirty minutes to an hour, according to how long it takes to burn the interview to CD. Currently, I have a lot of interviews transcribed for which I must do this process. The reason I had so little to do before is that my former boss only allowed me to get a few oral histories transcribed at a time, so between transcriptions I had very little to do. Now that the project is coming to an end, I was given permission to have the rest of the interviews transcribed, and so they have been. Now they must be edited and sent out for approval.

Once they are approved, then comes the real tedious part. They each have to be uploaded with their audio to the website. They then have to be indexed by subject and time stamped. This is a laborious process, but luckily, I have work study students doing this part for me on the ones that have been transcribed and approved. When all is said and done, we hope there will be a fully functioning website where the oral histories can be listened to and studies by future generations. There will also be a book compiled of excerpts from the oral histories, telling a unique history of the last 100 years of the university. There is a lot to do before the end of October, but I firmly believe that it will get done.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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