DH Dev. Report #9

This Dev Report focuses on notes taken when looking through most of the material assigned. Each website or reading is labeled with the notes underneath.

1.”Managing 100 Digital Humanities Projects: Digital Scholarship & Archiving in King’s Digital Lab”

  • “While technical digital humanities teams now have a vastly more sophisticated range of options than previous generations…this has done little to ease the problem of maintainability or sustainability.” Preserving old digital humanities projects is becoming more difficult to maintain due to lack of funding, different formats, and lack of maintenance.
  • Article plans to discuss the implementation of some solutions in King’s Digital Lab. This is to provoke discussion.
  • “The realisation of robust and holistic approaches to the maintenance of digital research outputs is a matter of some urgency, but no single solution will work for every digital humanities team.” Means that while this does work for some projects, it is not the end-all guide for helping to preserve these projects.
  • “The developed process helped KDL transition many digital humanities projects from an insecure to a sustainable basis, but the work is incomplete and will – in a fundamental sense – never end. Some projects, moreover, cannot be “saved” despite best intentions.” Cannot save everything despite best efforts, but those projects that can be saved will be done with constant care and attention to keep it intact.
  • “Conflating the scholarly and operational aspects of the lab is both an overt act of historicisation – an acknowledgment of the reality of digital scholarship in early 21st century higher education – and a pragmatic response to the inherited and emergent issues outlined in this paper.”
  • “Its institutional setting, technical expertise, and exposure to research problems that only time can generate positions it to explore fundamental issues of digital theory and method (including but not limited to digital entropy), while at the same time developing innovative methods for new research.” Reaffirms that it is an ongoing research process.
  • “Of the 100 projects inherited by the lab, about half are either of exceptionally high quality or seminal in other ways.” Does bring up the question—what is worth saving? Because we cannot preserve everything, why are certain projects preserved over others?
  • “Such circumstances entail a considerable moral bind: either ignore the demands of (some) project owners that their projects’ digital publications and data continue in perpetuity and turn them off (risking reputational damage and reducing the number of DH projects available to users, more often than not initially supported via public funding), introduce financial risk by maintaining them gratis (absorbing unfunded maintenance costs and undermining other activities), or do nothing and accept the existential risks that accompany a major security breach.” Ties into the problem of funding issues—cannot maintain the project if there is not an organization or institution willing to provide for the research.
  • “Limited or no support existed for significant post-funding system maintenance. In that sense, the funders themselves signalled that they did not expect (or were not prepared to support) the development of long-term or permanent digital resources.” Hard to get funding for permanent support of websites. They may be only for a short-term project designed to present information for what the organizers were planning for in the moment. Once they were done, they do not continue to support the projects.
  • “In large part the issues inherited by KDL are the result of a wider conceptual failure, and an inability (or unwillingness) to search ‘for critical and methodological approaches to digital research in the humanities grounded in the nature of computing technology and capable of guiding technical development as well as critical and historical analysis.’”
  • “If digital humanities projects become known for not only soaking up valuable money that could be used in other disciplines, but using that money on unsustainable projects, the central raison d’être of the wider tradition – using digital tools and methods to answer research questions in the humanities – will be undermined.” People might assume that digital humanities projects are a waste of time and resources when they are not maintained to an extent.
  • “Much like research, software development rarely takes a linear path, and the relative volatility of the open web and rapid development of new technologies presents an ecosystem within which published work needs to be protected and maintained over time.”
  • “Digital projects benefit from being planned and executed with their longevity in mind from the start.” However, not everyone is willing to plan that far ahead for projects they see in the short-term, especially when it comes to funding.
  • “Digital curation has been described as a ‘new discipline’  [Adams 2009 (Links to an external site.)], evolving from archives and libraries tasked with assessing digital material for collection, use, and preservation. KDL’s process for archiving inherited ‘legacy’ projects reflects this.”
  • Discussion of how KDL’s handling preservation.
  • “all PIs, internal and external, were offered three scenarios:
    • Service Level Agreements, and (where appropriate) software updates, which guaranteed hosting, regular software maintenance, and server updates under renewable two to five-year contracts, costed on the basis of individual project requirements and including Statements of Work (SoWs), when required, for necessary additional upgrade work.   
    • For non-King’s staff, migration to the partner institution for local hosting.    
    • Archiving of websites no longer in active use. This option did not result in the destruction of research data and could entail rendering websites static for migration to a legacy server, or packaging for archival storage.” This one can be a problem.
  • More discussion of KDL’s archiving techniques, like “KDL is discussing an arrangement with the British Library National Web Archive to improve technical and procedural alignment”
  • “The aim was to conclude the financial year of 2016/2017 with no undocumented or out of contract legacy projects remaining on KDL servers, and all legacy projects that were neither migrated nor archived being brought under Service Level Agreements. That was not completely achieved, but results were satisfactory.” Proves the project is not perfect but is doing its best.
  • “King’s Digital Lab has implemented pragmatic processes that take into account the human, as well as the technical, financial and political perspectives implicit in digital scholarship… Contrary to what might have been expected, KDL’s experience of introducing the level of transparency and process described in this article was almost uniformly positive.”
  1. Internet Archive Software Collection
  • Lots of old games, some I remember from my childhood days, are located within the archive. Usually these are called Abandonware because the original developers no longer make money from them, stop supporting them on newer hardware, and they might not work anymore.
  • Notable games: Frogger 1997, Zoo Tycoon, I Spy games, Tonka Construction, Jumpstart First Grade, and Barbie Pet Rescue.
  • I first discovered this section back in the Summer of this year. Played a few over the summer and sometimes during my break periods over last weekend.
  • Games targeted at very young kids do not hold up after a replay as they are too simple or limited. However, games targeted at all ages like the Zoo Tycoon series still hold up
  • To make sure the emulation of the old games works, use VirtualBox and a copy of an older version of Windows. Using Windows XP seemed to work fine with all the games I played.
  • I wholly support preserving old games like these for nostalgic experiences and people who had never heard of certain games until recently. It is a shame that there are not more companies supporting the preservation of old games.
  1. Voyant
  • I have actually used Voyant in a previous class to take a look at the words of a work of fiction.
  • This website is a great tool to see which words are commonly used through a written work or a group of works. For instance, finding trends in word patterns that might be more common in some genres or books than others. This includes a word cloud, a graph of the frequency of words, and a summary of the trends.
  • I looked though Shakespeare’s works as it was provided on the website. The three most frequent words in his work are “shall,” “lord,” and “king.” Much of the “distinctive words” in each of the works are names. The longest work he has written was Hamlet, with the shortest work being the Comedy of Errors.
  • I like how it also gives context to each instance of the word chosen so the reader can see where a word was used in a given work.
  1. GitHub
  • Have I mentioned I still do not like using GitHub to upload files? Because it is still pretty annoying. Even downloading from there is annoying and confusing at times because parts of projects I need are not directly outlined in a way that allows the full picture. It seems to just focus on the parts of the whole of projects.
  • It is simple enough to add text and strings to the documentations, I suppose, but I just do not like working with code.
  • What do I need to know about metadata collection and refinement? Probably how to remember the exact locations of where I take pictures because I tend to forget them easily.
  • Three issues—how to breeze through GitHub uploading, how to use code in my project documentation effectively, and how to add metadata to pictures without having to use the excel document.

DH Dev. Report #8

Lincoln, Omaha communities clash with law enforcement in ongoing protests |  News | dailynebraskan.com

To connect COVID-19 with Black Lives Matter in Nebraska, this essay will focus on the George Floyd protests that occurred around May-June 2020 in the Lincoln area. This reading is accessible through the ENGL 477 discussion for the class. It is from an outsider perspective recalling the events of the protests through the newspapers.

On May 29 through the 31st of 2020, protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement sparked after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis due to a police officer kneeling on his neck. The organizers held out signs stating, “white silence is violence,” “end white terrorism,” and “justice for George Floyd” to show solidarity for Floyd, his family, and for racism to stop (Pitsch 2020). However, the protest became violent after the Lincoln police with the Nebraska State Patrol used rubber bullets and tear gas on the protesters who were gathered around the busiest intersection in Lincoln. Around nine reports of vandalism, three people arrested, and one woman was injured after being ran over by a vehicle. Chief Jeff Bliemeister states that “we shouldn’t let the violent actions of a very small group of people in Lincoln detract from the overall message…[the violence and destruction] becomes the focus. Not the murder of George Floyd” (Wan and Pilger 2020). One protestor, Dominique Liu-Sang, describes her experience with the demonstrators in the crowd. She states that the protestors were scared with no weapons on their backs, and that they were “more apt to voice our anger and concern, but they weren’t being violent. They weren’t throwing anything. They were just peacefully protesting” (Kelly 2020).

These protests occurred simultaneously alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of staying isolated to avoid the spread, the protestors risked their lives and the lives around them to stand up for an issue they cared deeply about. The issue becomes complicated as the line between safe pandemic procedures and the right to protest blurs with conflict of interest. For these protestors, finding justice for George Floyd outweighed the risk of spreading the disease. In response to the protests around the Lincoln area, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Barid remarks that the “idea that folks (who) have important messages that they should get out, and that their voices need to be heard, may be subjecting themselves to further threats is absolutely painful for all of us to consider” (Basnet 2020). The Mayor encouraged protesters to continue to wear masks and keep their distance between each other to stay safe.

Regarding the readings for this week, focusing on Black Lives Matter protestors is a part of the field of Black studies. Within the “Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities” reading, Gallon describes Black studies as the “comparative study of the black cultural and social experiences under white Eurocentric systems of power in the United States” (Gallon 2016). For these protestors, the Black Lives Matter movement represents need for change in the system to stop oppression against the African American community and a need for the police system to be overhauled.

(505 words)

Bibliography

Basnett, Chris. “Watch Now: Potential COVID-19 Spike a Concern as Protests Continue, Lincoln Mayor Says.” JournalStar.com, August 3, 2020. https://journalstar.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/watch-now-potential-covid-19-spike-a-concern-as-protests-continue-lincoln-mayor-says/article_19ca8e35-e959-5d18-886b-18d77f9db6c0.html.

Gallon, Kim. “Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016: 4. Making a Case for the Black Digital Humanities.” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, 2016. https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/read/untitled/section/fa10e2e1-0c3d-4519-a958-d823aac989eb (Links to an external site.).

Kelly, Bill. “Arrest in Lincoln Will Not Deter Black Lives Matter Protester.” netnebraska.org, June 23, 2020. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/1225280/arrest-lincoln-will-not-deter-black-lives-matter-protester.

Pitsch, Madison. “Protesters in Lincoln Show Solidarity with George Floyd.” https://www.1011now.com, 2020. https://www.1011now.com/content/news/George-Floyd-Protests–570878351.html.

Wan, Justin, and Lori Pilger. “WATCH NOW: City Officials Call for Calm after Protest in Lincoln Turns Violent Overnight.” JournalStar.com, July 9, 2020. https://journalstar.com/news/local/protest-in-lincoln-turns-violent-overnight/article_c2e6fdcf-fc58-5786-9c31-68ee2c364e23.html.

DH Dev. Report #7

Chief Standing Bear Statue

This essay will focus on two buildings in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln area, the Love Library and Morrill Hall, and the Native Americans who inhabited the Lincoln area.

The two buildings that I have researched include the Love Library, which I took pictures inside, and the Morrill Hall, where Archie the Mammoth is located. Love Library, known as the Don L. Love Memorial Library, was completed around 1943 originally used as a living space for the Army Specialized Training Program. It was later opened for all students in the fall of 1945. It was designed to utilize the “divisional plan” system of library organization. (UNL Libraries, 2005). Morrill Hall, also known as Elephant Hall, serves as the present location of the museum of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was built in 1927 as a fire resistant alternative to the original museum on campus. The name was chosen after Charles Morrill who donated fossils to the museum and advocated for funding to help build it (UNL Libraries, 2005).

There were two Native American tribes that lived in the region that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln currently stands on: the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, also known as the Sioux Tribe, and the Pawnee. For my research, I focus specifically on the Pawnees and their removal from these lands. The Pawnee presided over a large part of the Great Plains territory which included much of the middle portion of Nebraska, especially the present-day Lincoln area. The Pawnee used to have land holdings in Nebraska, but it shrunk as territory in which the non-Natives and the government controlled grew (Wishart, 1979). The Pawnee eventually were removed from Nebraska by the mid-1870s to live in a reservation in Oklahoma. Scholars have argued about the issue whether they left by their own volition or due to pressure from the Sioux Tribe (Svingen, 1992). As with our readings for this module, we must consider the ontologies and epistemologies of researching the Native American Pawnee. From research, it appears that the Pawnee were forcefully removed from their land due to the fact that their ancestorial remains were left behind. (Svingen, 1992). This work showcases research of the Pawnee’s reasons for removal but does not represent them.

The Love Library and the Morrill Hall stand as reminders that this land was taken from the Native Americans to help provide learning facilities for students. We must not forget that this is not our land, but instead it is the Pawnee’s land who were forcefully removed for the non-natives and the United States government.

(420 words)

Bibliography

Svingen, Orlan J. “The Pawnee of Nebraska: Twice Removed,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 16, no. 2 (1992): 121-137

UNL Libraries, “Love Library.” UNL Historic Buildings – Love Library, 2005. https://historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=84.

UNL Libraries, “Morrill Hall.” UNL Historic Buildings – Morrill Hall, 2005. https://historicbuildings.unl.edu/building.php?b=33. Wishart, David J. “The Dispossession of the Pawnee.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 69, no. 3 (1979): 382-401. Accessed October 22, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562970.

DH Dev. Report #6

Documenting the impact of the Coronavirus in Downtown Lincoln

CLICK HERE for the StoryMap

For one of the programs of this project, I decided to use StoryMap. The use of StoryMap allows this project to display images in a way that documents my trip around the downtown area during COVID-19. Unlike simply displaying the images, this map method allows users to walk around areas where they would most likely find reminders that the pandemic has impacted Lincoln. My StoryMap starts from where I was dropped off by the bus nearby the YMCA all the way to various shops around the area. By documenting the images this way, it feels more like a story of how some areas of downtown are handling the restrictions better than others. While a lot of the businesses were closed due to COVID-19, they started opening back up and displaying messages informing customers that not only are they back in business, but that they are required to follow procedure to go inside.

(152 words)

Here is the metadata for the provided pictures:

For help documenting the number of people there were in the Downtown Lincoln area, I decided to use the traditional method of pen, pencil, and paper to draw a graph. Since I did not want to copy the StoryMap method of creating a drawing involving locations, the graph method would show another aspect of COVID-19 impact on the downtown area by comparing two groups without the need of a website to do so. When I used to go downtown, there were usually a lot of people walking around. Documenting for this project, however, there were barely any people outside in the hour I walked around. On the left are the number of people who were outside wearing masks, and on the right are the number of people who were not wearing one at all. By comparing mask users to no mask users, we can see how not having a mandatory mask requirement outdoors leads people to refuse to wear them.

(160 words)

DH Hour of Code

To play the game, CLICK HERE.

Screenshot of the game

In this game, the goal is to collect as many pigs as you can before a stormtrooper touches you. Every time the player has to maneuver around an obstacle, another stormtrooper and a pig appears. The stormtroopers represent the people who could potentially carry a risk of spreading COVID-19. The pigs represent the everyday tasks people are required to do, such as groceries, in-person classes, work, and other errands that would require someone to interact with other people. By collecting the pigs, you get 10 points. However, the stormtroopers never go away, they keep increasing in numbers as the number of pigs (and time) goes by. This represents the current pandemic where more people will increasingly be infected with the virus inevitably. There is no way to win. With the amount of commands you are able to do in this game, it was very limiting to get my point across. I was not sure how to make it so that as time progresses, the amount of stormtroopers and pigs increase. The same applies if there was a way to slow down the stormtroopers’ movement by staying away from them to represent the impact of staying  6 feet apart.

DH Dev. Report #5

Comparative analysis of tools for visualization & narrative creation

The three tool sets used for this Dev report are StoryMap, a combination of GeoJSON and Github, and lastly hand drawing with pencil and paper. StoryMap is the easiest website to use but limited in implementation, GeoJSON allows users to see coding but is not very user friendly, and traditional drawing methods are simple to use but needs more to it if it is considered a digital project.

StoryMap allows the user to create a tour using a map to showcase images and text. In my opinion, StoryMap is the tool that I had the easiest time working with. It is simple to create a title page, add in slides of other areas, and be able to freely move between them when showcasing the map. It is straightforward and works somewhat like PowerPoint but using map locations. However, StoryMap can be very limited, which stifles creativity. The user has a set marker they use for pointing the locations but cannot freely outline a wide area like they could do with GeoJSON.

GeoJSON I personally found to be the most annoying out of the tools to use. Using the software, the user is able to see the coding the map is based around. While it is nice to be able to freely draw the points out on the map and have the creativity to embed more than what the stock design of StoryMap has, it is not very user friendly to use. Embedding images requires using Flickr instead of directly uploading. People that can easily understand code could put this website to good use, but for the casual viewer who might not know about coding, it could be very confusing.

The last technique is hand drawing the visualizations on paper. As Graham states in the reading, “the practice of creating visual representations of data is ancient,” which is why we are working with traditional media as a tool. I decided to draw a picture of part of the UNL campus and marked down a few key areas I took pictures of:

The drawing that was used for this report.

Unlike StoryMap and GeoJSON, much of what you can do with a physical drawing can be done without limitations. All of the options are freely available for the person to draw. While it is easy and simple to do by hand, it is a lot harder to design it around a digital project. Considering much of our projects are digitally based, it would take a lot more effort to creatively make a main map that popped out as much as the digital ones did. In my opinion, using the pencil and paper method only works as a portion of digital projects and cannot stand alone. It requires either StoryMap or GeoJSON to be put to good use as part of the whole.

DH Dev. Report #4

Observing the Impact of the Coronavirus in Downtown Lincoln

Explore downtown Lincoln at Downtown 101 | News | dailynebraskan.com
Courtesy photo

Limited protections against COVID-19 required by Lincoln leads to the downtown area requiring masks indoors but very limited precautions when it comes to the outdoors areas. Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the downtown Lincoln area will help with comparing it to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln impact because it allows for multiple perspectives on the whole of Lincoln’s handling of the pandemic.

COVID-19 has impacted downtown Lincoln in a limited way. The majority of businesses require mask usage when visiting their buildings, but do not specifically require them outside, not do they actively encourage social distancing procedures around the area. For downtown, Lincoln is doing the bare minimum required for such a widespread pandemic. As a result, the majority of people I saw on my observations did not wear masks, did not practice safe social distancing procedures purposefully, and acted as if a pandemic was not occurring in the outdoors. When I looked in the windows of a few stores, the people inside were wearing their masks like they should be. This dissonance does not keep everyone safe.

As found in Chapter 31, Hunter et al. explains how “encouraging people to experience culture from different perspectives is a core value: we seek to enrich the object of study by layering multiple, simultaneous, valid interpretations onto it.” By experiencing Lincoln through both the Downtown and the University campus, we are able to compare how the two areas are handling the pandemic in a way that shows how our culture is varied. People look at how the campus actively encourages health and hygiene practices by putting hand sanitizer stations, various social distancing reminders, and reminders to wear masks. On the other hand, downtown Lincoln does not actively encourage it outside, and instead presents its reminders with various signs supporting mask usage. Those that support mask usage and social distancing would believe that Lincoln in general is not doing enough to handle the pandemic, while those that object to the masks would say the University campus is over exaggerating the problem. Knowing ahead of time the assignment for comparing the downtown campus impacted how my observations would be handled. Instead of focusing on the outside and the inside places like I did on campus, I focused primarily on the outside. I also relied on both the people and the outside environment for my observations of downtown instead of just relying on the people themselves.

DH Dev. Report #3

Documenting the impact of the Coronavirus at UNL.

Each picture is linked from Flickr, which provides metadata about the image such as the camera used when clicked.

Protect Yourself and Our Husker Community Sign
Photo #1. A UNL sign reminding people to follow proper COVID-19 procedure.
Hand Sanitizing Station
Photo #2. A UNL hand sanitation station that also thanks people for being safe.
Bird Scooter
Photo #3. A Bird scooter sitting unused, either due to the rain or COVID-19 concerns.
6 Feet Sign
Photo #4. A UNL sign telling people to stay 6 feet apart.
Archie
Photo #5. The Morrill Hall Mammoth statue, Archie, wearing masks on his mouth and trunk to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Visit Morrill Hall
Photo #6. A Morrill Hall sign asking about tickets, masks, and staying 6 feet apart.
Share the Sidewalk Sign
Photo #7. A Bike UNL sign telling bikers to yield to pedestrians. Both are wearing masks.
Please Wear a Mask in This Area Sign
Photo #8. A UNL sign of Herbie, the school mascot, holding up a mask to let people know masks are required in the area.
Caution Taped Books
Photo #9. A section of the UNL library closed off with caution tape due to COVID-19.
Single File Library Stairs
Photo #10. Arrows right before the stairs that dictate which direction people are supposed to use them in.

Here is the Excel spreadsheet on additional metadata of the images:

DH Dev. Report #2

Comparative analysis of tools & text and image.

In this essay, I will be discussing my initial impressions, and the advantages and disadvantages to using Blogger, WordPress, Flickr, and Omeka as tools for Digital Humanities projects. This essay concludes by stating that, in my opinion, Omeka and WordPress are probably the tools I would prefer to use depending on whether I want to display information like a museum or chronologically.

The four websites tested for this comparative analysis are Blogger, WordPress, Flickr, and Omeka. Blogger and WordPress have very similar functionality, but WordPress appears to be targeting a professional audience compared to Blogger’s simpler design. They both are designed to present information in a blog-style written daily by entry. Blogger and WordPress are great at showcasing daily entries in a website. Blogger showcases a Microsoft Word style form when writing information, while WordPress allows for more style. However, both Blogger and WordPress feel simplified in terms of providing good metadata and presentation to images and videos unlike with Flickr and Omeka. Flickr is a website designed to showcase images and videos in a gallery collection. It acts basically as a storage system. Flickr allows for excellent metadata tags on its photos and videos which showcases the recorded information of where they were taken, with what they were taken with, and other small pieces of data reflected on the picture or video’s page. However, Flickr feels primarily like a storage system for storytelling through images and does not allow a greater context to the images on an entire website unlike the others in this essay. Omeka serves as a professional style website that can provide users with collections and displays sections of the website based on different criteria the user puts in. It does not necessarily have to be by date but can be by topic or by however the user wishes to tell information through storytelling. Omeka would probably be the best website for illustrating metadata on a variety of types of media that includes not only images and video, but also maps, soundclips, music, people, GIFs, and any other digital information. Using collections, Omeka can serve as a digital museum for showcasing information on a topic. Although it is versatile, Omeka can be confusing for people unfamiliar with it because setting up the site to work can be a bit of a pain when it does not register correctly. Even while working through collections and providing information to individual pieces, such as images, Omeka can feel overwhelming in the amount of information that people are able to provide.

Graphics & Logos | WordPress.org
This website uses WordPress to present information

In terms of which ones I prefer to use, it would depend on the situation. I am already very familiar with how Omeka and WordPress work from previous classes taken. Omeka would be the best for websites in which I would like to discuss a few topics in depth and display images related to that topic. It would be great for a museum system. WordPress would be great for displaying observations that occur daily, somewhat like a diary system. While Blogger and Flickr are not bad per se, they would be less fit for a large project than Omeka and WordPress. As I am currently using WordPress for this Digital Humanities publication, this website is working fine enough for organizing these blog posts based on the order in which I had done them. Flickr is hosting the images for the Digital Humanities Dev Report 3 which is perfectly suitable for the purpose of this assignment. Considering Blogger is a more simplified version of WordPress, I probably would not use it for any of the projects and rather would use it for personal note taking.

DH Dev. Report #1

Observing the impact of the Coronavirus at UNL.

https://news.unl.edu/sites/default/files/UNL-01.jpg

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus during COVID-19 expects their students to wear masks and stand 6 feet apart from each other. While the majority of students do wear masks, virtually no one stands more than 6 feet apart from each other on purpose. Criticizing this blatant disregard for safety is a form of making that students should participate in, based on the Hunter et al. reading.

On the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, students continue to walk around blissfully unaware of a growing problem. There are indeed fewer people around campus than what is typical of a semester. It could be because a lot of students do not have in-person classes or that many of them are self-isolating away from the madness that is COVID-19. Those that remain on campus, however, are required to wear masks. The majority of them follow the mask protocol usually by wearing disposable or cloth masks to cover their mouth and noses. Around 5 groups of people observed do not wear masks yet continue to talk to their friends as if a pandemic is not occurring. While the students that do wear masks are following one expectation of the university, people do not follow the other expectation that involves purposefully social distancing themselves from groups.

Purposeful separation of students is a major issue. By chance, separation can occur when there are groups of people that happen to walk far apart from each other. However, this does not account for the people who like to stand less than two feet apart from each other while speaking. Perhaps it is because they assume their friends will not give them the virus, or perhaps it is because they assume the masks will protect them from any face-to-face interaction. Nonetheless, it is common to see groups of two or more students huddling around each other or walking together. Markers laid around some public areas encourage the social distance practices, yet from observations people do not follow them unless strictly told to do so by higher authority. Lines are an especially egregious problem. While waiting to go inside of buildings or to the lunchroom, people disregard social distancing protocol in favor of quickly getting to their destination. The priority for these students is to get in and then get out of the location rather than patiently waiting for the situation to be safe.

By not abiding by the rules stated by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, these students are risking their lives and the lives of others in order to feel more comfortable with their friends. Hunter et al. describe the process of making particularly with the idea that the world “is the proper place to frame discourse about identity, social justice, and even the ineluctable interconnectedness of abstract debates about human rights vis-à-vis technology and the environment.” As students, we should criticize the people who refuse to abide by the rules, and as makers, we create discourse by pointing out the glaring issues that we see on campus.