Being at Peace with being Alone


So I’ve realized that I do not fit in with crowds. I’ve tried multiple times, but my many interests actually seem to scare people away. I find myself never being bored because my hobbies are all quite fun. If I’m not drawing, I’m writing lyrics to a beat. If I’m not writing, I’m watching Anime. If I’m not watching anime, I’m singing. If I’m not singing, I’m studying, If I’m not studying, I’m skateboarding and well you get the point. Usually when I meet people they have one or two interests at most and so they tend to be around people with only those interests. I, on the other hand, try to spice up conversations about my interests and they can’t relate. Even if they can relate to at least one of my interests my conversation usually incorporates everything that I am passionate about. When I do that people tend to think that I am bragging about the things that I do. I dance and rap and drum and sing and blah blah blah. I’m sure they here blah blah blah when I am speaking. I am also a debater and pretty decent public speaker. I am writing all of my interests because I believe that maybe I can find people like me. I do not do these things because I want to brag, but because these interests kept me feeling happy. Before I found my hobbies, I stayed at home often when I was a child because my parents felt that I didn’t need to go visit many places. As I grew older I found that I was an introvert, but I did extroverted things. I’m pretty much fully at peace with who I am now. Even when I tried to mingle people often thought I was just a little too weird and I had trouble understanding why they thought that. I thought I was pretty funny, but apparently I was wrong. I’ve stopped caring about whether people accept me or not though because I have so much to do with so little time. I’ll find happiness through doing the things that I love. If you have trouble fitting in, it’s not because you do not belong. It is because you’re extremely unique and have so much to offer to the world.


Unleashing the Hero

Hello everyone, my name is Shalanda Renee Plowden. I’ve decided to create this blog because I believe that it is time for me to start exposing the hidden hate, lies, and hypocrisy that come from those who claim they care about us. It is time that I speak and not stay silent. These feelings have been buried within me for some time, but I believe it is now time to set those feelings free. I’ve been ridiculed and beaten down emotionally and mentally by those who hated me without just cause. Even those who knew how caring and loving of a person I was hated me for absolutely no reason at all. I am tired of keeping quiet because I believe that I can be a hero to those like me who also try to stay sane during painful times. I thought that I would be able to wait and just let God and time deal with those who hurt me, but God revealed to me that he did not give me a spirit of fear, but a spirit that is extremely powerful. I lost my little sister last year September 10, 2016 and when I lost her the chains that were keeping me from standing up for myself were loosened. My little sister was my inspiration and the reason I was able to keep calm when people mistreated me. She was an angel with Down Syndrome who gave me hope and a reason to continue living. I was so angry all of the time, but I disguised it well because I did not want to jeopardize a great future that I wanted my little sister to have. I have been unafraid to die for quite some time, but when Asia left me I simply didn’t care about trying not to offend someone for being a good person. I was going to be me and if someone did not approve of me I felt that they could go kick rocks. I am currently that way and I do not think that I will change. I am exhausted which means I do not have time to slow myself down for those who cannot keep up. I worked hard for everything I’ve received and people wanted me to stop being successful so they could rise above me. When I was naive, I thought I was supposed to be nice by letting them take their anger out on me because I couldn’t change who I was. Well, that side of me died when my sister did. Standing up for yourself is not mean or offensive. I will fight back but in a righteous manner (and in a PHYSICAL manner too if they try to get a little crazy because I am not the one). I believe that my mission is to fight for and uphold justice. I will stand up to all the bullies in this world. I am not afraid anymore and I would happily die in a heartbeat if it meant bringing peace to this world. Follow me so you too can join the fight against unnecessary hate and end it. I want to write and get those who are not just to become filled with kindness. I want to wake them up because it is time for the hate, cheating, lying, and everything else harming innocent people to end. I want to lead this fight against evil. I am the individual who will rise up.  I am the Anomalous Heroine.


What Did I learn from Week 8?

This week’s readings were mostly about creating a site on Omeka. It wasn’t just about it was actually showing you how to get a site up and running which is the title of the first reading, “Up and Running with” We’ve been talking about it in class for a long time, but actually seeing a sight about how to start my site was really cool. It went step by step which is what I like and it looked super easy just like it said! Sometimes things are just too good to be true you know.  xD The second reading was similar to the first going step by step again explaining how to add a page and content to your site. The little example was cute! I can’t wait until my site has items, collections, and an exhibit. xD The thirds reading, “Working with Dublin Core,” was more involved with the metadata of our sites. It discussed things like naming, describing, using keywords, publishers, rights etc. regarding our resources. It helped you, me, “standardize data about digital objects.” Fourth reading was pretty informative and I was just a little hurt when the writer said so far online results have been disastrous. I don’t want mine to be disastrous! She said students were trying to basically putting a paper up instead of something that was more along the lines of storytelling. I found that pretty interesting because I like storytelling, narration and things of that nature. I really hope my website will come out the way that I see it in my head. I want to be like the students in the writer’s class that wanted to improve Omeka. I may use it in the future so I think it’s important that I do a good job now. The last reading was sort of like an ode to Omeka because it really did a great job of explaining just how amazing Omeka was. It reminded me of the reading from last week. The project makers chose Omeka because of all of its great features like its attractiveness, ease of installation, extensible design approach, flexible approach to metadata, support for web-standards and import and export functionality. This article was pretty “techy” but it was really interesting when I arrived at the “The Omeka theme and user experience.” They showed an example of their main page which looked pretty neat. This reading also talked about metadata management and I for some reason I got super excited to start building my site. LOL


Louisiana Sounds across the Country: Specific Genres from LA (Proposal)

I love music! I am a Jazz musician, singer, and member of my university’s marching band. I sort of knew from the very beginning that my project would be about something pertaining to music. I’ve decided that I want my project to be an online exhibit that will showcase a selection of records and songs from ULL’s Cajun and Creole Collection. I want to show viewers where and how far Louisiana music has spread across the country. From artists like Wayne Toups to Buckwheat Zydeco, I want to remind the U.S. that Louisiana has some amazing artists that have truly left their marks in other places besides LA. I also want to put my explorations of their influence into my site. The reason I decided to want to create this exhibit is because I want everyone to appreciate and recognize Louisiana’s different styles of music. Many people hear music and do not think of its origin or origins. I want to keep Louisiana’s music history alive to remind people that while they think LA music may not be as influential or well-known, it actually has impacted the music industry in many ways. I want my site’s audience to be music lovers, Louisianans (of course), and people who like music like Cajun and Creole. I was thinking that Omeka would be my best site-mapping tool since is free and I’ve seen some pretty cool exhibits and collections  made with the it. I saw slickplan which was also free and I was thinking about incorporating the two, but I believe Omeka will provide me with everything I need to organize the information that I plan to put into my site. 0ff9aca2e171624fb9b5efbf46dd5315.jpg

What did I Learn from Week 7?

I cannot believe this is week 7! I am amazed at how fast time is moving. 😦 Well, things are still moving along and it’s so surprise that I’m starting to feel pressures of being a senior. Anyway, let’s talk about the readings for my history course.

The first reading “Becoming Digital Public Historians,” really inspired me because I loved how Mr. Owen mentioned that the students had lives outside of class and was still able to produce amazing sites. I can truly relate and looking at the students’ work, I want to be like them. Although I am busy, I do want my project to be meaningful when I am through with it. My favorite projects from the eight grad students were “Ending the American Civil War in 1865: A Podcast,” and “Vicky Rex: Or, Queen Victoria’s Vlog.” Abraham Lincoln is my favorite President so when I saw his face I was automatically drawn in. I love how Andrew (the creator of the Civil War project) linked his site to Soundcloud. I have a soundcloud and I am very familiar with it and it is usually used for music, but seeing him use it for history purposes was really cool. Catherine Bloom’s Vlog was just as creative because I believe that really thinking outside the box to use Vlogging as a project.


The second reading titled, “How we really use the web” made me laugh. I enjoyed the reading because everything in the reading was so true. I do not read everything on sites except for what was mentioned (news stories, reports, or product descriptions). I am always in a hurry and sometimes I have to scan certain things because I have too much going on or I have to read something else. So the first fact of life was definitely agreeable. Fact #2 was also something I agreed with because again I also satisfice. The only time I don’t is when it’s a super research heavy project, but if I’m just searching the web about a random topic I click until I find something I like whether it be the best source of information or not. The part that resonated with my soul (LOL) was, “Guessing is more fun. It’s less work than weighing options, and if you guess right, it’s faster.” Yes indeed it’s faster and that is exactly why I do it. Fact of life #3, “We don’t figure out how things work. We muddle through.” Well, that one was right again. I pretty much just figure stuff out. Again like the article said, we rush through things and again I have to rush quite often because of my schedule. It’s just a fact of life, which is unfortunate. Agreeing with the article though, we do get things done. I mean I do…sometimes not as quick as I’d want it done, but it gets done nevertheless.

The third reading was titled “Designing for the History Web.” This relates to our upcoming projects. Designing a website for history is something I never thought I’d do, but I’m doing it and I have a pretty good idea I believe, but I still can’t wait to see the end result. This reading talked about how there are so many websites out there, but out of those many readings which ones are actually being viewed? The reading talks about aesthetics which they believe is at the other end of spectrum in regard to web designing. I believe the point that was trying to be made was that if you want an aesthetically pleasing site, then do not sacrifice the factual historical content. It was interesting to see that a South Korean web designer was an example of someone who had a great evaluation of web aesthetics, content, and usability. Reading this made made me want to go check out the website mentioned, “the Atomic Veteran’s History Project.” Apparently, super good design is not needed to create a really cool website. What shocked me was the possible prices of these sites though. $100,000?! Do you know what I could do with that?

The fourth reading is something I really needed to look at because I thinking about using Omeka as a tool to help create my site. The reading started with trying to answer the question to whether or not something else exists that is better than Omeka and the humorous answer that there was not. He said Omeka had no real competition because it provided so much for free. For no money you can create a good historical website that is good for presentation, a library, museum, etc. Omeka truly is a mix of everything that one needs to make a professional site using great authoring tools. It combines functions that help with collaboration between collections and interpretive professionals, etc.

The fifth reading talks about “Understanding Web Design.” That’s also the title of the reading. To understand web design, you must understand what it is. So what is it? According to the reading, “Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.” That phrase was written twice so apparently it was important obviously. Web designing is not a simple task and there are some critics out there who, I don’t know, criticize quite wrong? They sometimes, a lot, pick out the wrong parts of the site to talk about. I’ve learned that aesthetics are cool and all, but sometimes they do not make up for usability and functionality.

The sixth reading was about responsive web design which kind of means how the viewer sees the site in regard to their screen. Instead of horribly explaining it i’ll just quote from the reading which says, “Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.” I never really thought about resolution in regard to sites because I though sites adjusted automatically and according to the reading I thought right. Sites are automatically supposed to accommodate for resolution if you use the right technology. History_Logo.svg


What Did I Learn from Week 6?

This week the main topic was Physical vs. Digital Exhibits and Archives. I never really thought about comparing archives and exhibits so this was pretty interesting for various reasons.

The first reading titled Getting to the Stuff: Digital Cultural Heritage Collections, Absence, and Memory made a really great point that really stuck out to me. Ms. Sheila said that a student tweeted that, “collections are useless unless used.” In my mind I was like, “yass (*snaps*).” She then went on to talk about how these collections must be discovered. I found it quite shocking that many museum catalogs are not shared. I assumed that museums would automatically want to share everything, but I thought wrong. Once collections are discovered it can cause traffic which will get more people to actually see the information. Ms. Sheila said that she looked to other online collections like eBay which I never would have thought to go for collections. There are actually many genres of museums with varying content, but going back to what I mentioned earlier, Ms. Sheila said that history museums did not put much of their information online in regard to content and collections. I saw for myself that there are some museum websites, like she said, that are lacking in content and can be compared to a brochure. While there are some really cool websites, she said that even these have problems because it takes a lot to keep these sites up and running. One idea to sort of lessen the problems was to possibly link material objects with pictures and files through connected open data. I thought it was a pretty cool idea seeing how I would have never thought of it.

The second reading discussed the @ symbol and I automatically thought of Instagram and Twitter. Well, the entire reading wasn’t about the @ symbol, but it fit into code and living software aspects of the reading. The @ symbol is used for so many things now and as the reading said it has the ability to be included and reproduced in a variety of materials. It was said that the @ symbol and its confusion is connected to design collections. In regard to design museums, because things like the @ symbol can be connected to so many materials, products from the designers of these type of collections have no real form. That is why, if i’m not mistaken, there was a desire for the collecting and preserving of design.

The third reading sort opened my eyes to what the other reading had said about terms having multiple meaning. It was like an actual example. The the title of the third reading was, “What do you mean by Archive?” The reading stated that terms really have so many meanings that I and someone else could use the same term but actually be talking about two completely different things. It was stated that archivists will use the term to describe a particular kind of collection. There are many ways to use archives and there is a variety. There are tape, web, and digital archives.

The last reading was titled, “Preserving Digital History,” which is kind of self-explanatory. This reading was showcasing and discussing ways to keep digital history alive and active. One website was mentioned and its goal was to promote history among a popular audience. Unfortunately there were only four copies of archive from the site and apparently it didn’t keep up its intended purpose. Many sites like that are short lived because digital materials are quite fragile.

I’ll be honest, this week was interesting, but a little difficult for me to comment on because some of the topics were completely new to me. I enjoyed receiving the new information though. Digital-History-e1439003930813

What did I get from week 5?

This week has been insane, but next week I get to try and use the new schedule I created to help me get these blogs out early.

Anyway, in regard to what’s actually important, this week’s reading for History 451, I decided to read them out of order. The seond reading was  super long, but it did hold some valuable information. Its main topic was crowdsourcing. I had never heard of that term, but I learned what it was and its significance. It’s a cheap way to raise the profile of academic research. This method is currently spreading and so far it has had a good bit of success. One team developed the “transcription desk,” which I thought was pretty cool. The article explained that products of crowdsourcing like the “transcription desk,” wil be used for scholarly and general access purposes. Within this article it also defined what a crowd and community was in regard to this method and I thought mentioning this would transition well into the first reading which was building and audience.

In the reading about crowdsourcing, crowd basically was described as sporadic and anonymous and community equaled heavy peer production. In regard to building an audience that article mentioned that there were two principles that could help someone create and maintain a useful and used website. The first principle was to think about what? COMMUNITY! (see what I meant by transitioning well…Yay.) When creating a website you must pat attention to who you’re attracting rather than the number of visitors. Those who you’re targeting can give you an idea of how your websites functions whether good or bad. The second principle was to be simultaneously flexible and focused in your approach. If your audience is made up of people you did not want to attract then you must reevaluate your approach. If your information is too broad then narrow your focus. The article said to segregate your information or elements of your site to serve your audience in a targeted way.

Finally, I move to the last reading about citizen history which is a topic within crowdsourced scholarship. This reading was short in comparison to the second reading. Citizen history was described as an experiment in finding out what happens if we trust visitors, or citizens, to bring different perspectives to history. An interface was designed to help citizen historians to organize their research. This crowdsourced scholarship invites participants to draw conclusions to answer big questions.

I really enjoyed this week’s reading because I believe I gained a great amount knowledge that will benefit me when I begin to create my website. My website will help me and others, but I will not say too much because it’s a surprise and I am kind of excited about it.


What Did I Learn from Week 3?

The first reading, “Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians,” leads to the second reading. It explains how evaluations happen in regard to Digital scholarship by historians. One important line, although at the beginning of the reading states,”Historical scholarship is, of course, already digital in many ways. Historians conduct research in digital libraries, use digital tools in their teaching, and participate in conversations on digital networks.” Universities have opened and created laboratories for digital innovation because digital history and teaching methods can always be reevaluated.

So the second reading was titled, “How to Evaluate Digital Scholarship.” When I read the title I assumed that it would have something to do with academics and it sort of did. College students like myself, if I’m understanding correctly, must always deal with Digital Scholarship because we always have to provide evidence for the sources that we use. In a university setting, and others as well, there is most probably a digital project that has to be completed but not as formal as what is being discussed in the reading. These projects are extremely important and are necessary for digital production.The third reading was titled, “Short Guide To Evaluation Of Digital Work.” These readings are very connected and the third one gave a checklist. It discussed issues of accessibility and funding in regard to digital scholarship and the questions were very important in regard to the overall concept.

Reading four was interesting, but I wasn’t particularly surprised when I read that online museums weren’t that popular. Going through a virtual museum will never replace the actual feeling seeing something in person and maybe even taking a picture with or of it. The reading suggests that people simply aren’t interested, but I  think that’s only half of the problem. If people are simply not interested then I did not grasp why this reading was created since it is assessing user experience. Even if virtual museums are always being improved upon, I do not believe that will necessarily make people more interested in viewing them rather than going to an actual museum. *Also, virtual museums don’t have really cool gift shops where you can pick items up and examine them.




What Did I Learn from Week 2 of Hist 451?

So, I haven’t posted in a while since July. I am now taking a graduate level course at my university and I really like the class. I’ve already learned so much and I know I’ll learn a lot more. I was supposed to write a summary of last week’s readings last week, but I’m writing it now. (Shame on me ):  So, here goes. The first reading was titled, “Defining Public History: Is It Possible? Is It Necessary?” by Robert Weible. In my opinion, my answers to his title questions were yes and yes. The definition of Public History may never be super specific, but having a general definition aids in explaining what Public History is to someone and in a way makes it credible. I always look up definitions of things I don’t understand and so people who do not understand what Public History is would definitely want an explanation. Mr. Weible tried to explain the difference between a traditional historian and a public historian and I think he did a decent job. Traditional historians do tend to keep their audience specific and even though they may not mean to. He said Public Historians reach people outside of the profession and I think that is extremely important since many people outside of the profession do not know as much about history as they probably should.

Moving on, the second reading was about Digital History and Exploring the WWW or World Wide Web. It was long, but somewhat interesting. In so many words, the authors Rosenzweig and Cohen, basically explained that history has changed our lives forever. He compared activities we use the internet and technology for today with the same activities of the past. They explained that some historians saw this new historic step and were quite skeptical of it and now we see that there definitely some cons in regard to how much the internet has taken over our lives. Digital history is important to know about because of its impact and how much it continues to grow in our lives.

Although by  different authors, the third reading followed up on the second reading asking the question, “What is Digital History?” Well according to Seefeldt and  Thomas, Digital History is meant, “to create a framework through the technology for people to experience, read, and follow an argument about a major historical problem.” I thought that line out of explanation paragraph was pretty cool and I was nodding my head while reading it. Of course Digital History can be explained with more words, but I will keep my words brief. I just want to say that I loved how the authors gave me a tiny road-map breaking their writing into sections with transitional titles.

The fourth reading made me angry…just kidding. I did get frustrated a couple of times because I continuously throughout the reading had to look up some of the words that were used for absolutely no reason. This reading is why people sometimes choose to simply not bother with history at all. The author, Cecire, was writing as though she just wanted to congratulate herself on how extensive her vocabulary is. I was not too clear about what she was getting at, but I came to the conclusion that she was explaining ethics in regard to the Digital world.

The last reading was my favorite and I even copied the tweet that Ms. Onion used. (LOL) I agreed with what she was saying and I do believe that it is important to source what you are putting on the internet. Obviously there is some information that everyone just knows and can easily be looked up and verified, but other things like with the JFK picture she mentioned should definitely be sourced. I am so glad someone like Madrigal, who was mentioned in the Onion’s writing, stood up for historical correctness. Ms. Onion is doing the same and people like her are trying to get people to understand just how important history is and why it should not be taken lightly. *That tweet is hilarious x’D

It’s OK to Stand Up for Yourself


I am not going to say all, but there are individuals out there who will take person’s kindness for granted. They could care less about how thy make others feel, yet they do not appreciate when someone treats them like they treat others. I used to have problems standing up for myself. It was hard because I never wanted to hurt someone’s feelings even though they would hurt mine. It took a long time for me to realize that I just they couldn’t take anymore of the unnecessary jokes and mocking and general meanness. I was not bothering those people, but they would emotionally attack me for no reason. It was bothersome and it made me not want to live to be honest. I wondered why kindness was so taboo. It was as if the golden rule was obsolete and no one followed it anymore. I decided that something had to be done. I was not going to be doormat and I was not going to let them walk all over me like one. When people would try to discreet with their hate, I would catch it and let them know that I caught it. They would put a shocked expression on their face and then I’d just smile. They thought I was stupid and had no common sense because I was soooo nice.

What they did not know about me was that I kept my anger bottled up because I was trying to be the bigger person. I realized that I could still stand up for myself and come out as the bigger person.

Standing up for yourself has so gives you so many personal benefits because it acts as a confidence booster and then you start to believe that you are capable of so much more. That is what is happening to me and I’m so excited! I am now starting to believe in myself and not hold myself back because of what others do to me. In order for them to leave me alone, I used to switch up my behavior and try to be boring so they wouldn’t notice me. That was a waste of time because sometimes people simply do not like you because you’re you. What God has given to you is yours and no one has the right to take what belongs to you whether it’s something like joy or an actual object. Enjoy your blessings, be you, and live the life that God gifted you.


Fear Should Never be an Excuse


Today made me realize that if I know that I am able to do something that I love, I should just go out and do it. There was an outside BBQ today and music was playing. There were only a few guests dancing and I love to dance. I was afraid to go and join because I was afraid of what the other guests would say. One of my favorite songs came on and I made my decision. I got out of my seat and headed over to the group. When I entered I immediately started having a ball. It was fun and a few more people joined after me. I’m actually not that bad of dancer and I have a few videos on YouTube and InstaGram, but this was different for me because this was informal and no one knew that side of me. I was happy in the end because I got other people to come out of their shell and we all had a great time together. I’ve gotten better at reacting situations like this one because when i was little younger, I most probably would have waited almost to the end.

Fear is a barrier in our lives and it is truly unnecessary. I find that most of our fear comes from what we feel others might say about us and the truth is, we all probably want to have fun, but we’re all letting the exact same fears control us. I will continue to keep saying that life is too short to let silly little thoughts stop us from enjoying our lives. Dancing at a BBQ or singing karaoke or anything like that is fun and I can’t believe that we allow our thoughts to keep us from doing fun activities like  the ones mentioned. If we stand up and face our fears then we could accomplish so much more in life because we would be able to go full force and put all our effort without creating limitations that we ourselves create. In order to be great, we must believe in ourselves 100%, which means if we have limiting fears, then we cannot be great. So, fight your fears and tell them that they will no longer be needed.

Waiting on that Special Someone?



Yes, I love anime and the show above is My Little Monster. I think the couple above is so adorable! (-///-)/  At my age I’ve experienced a couple of romantic encounters, but nothing too serious. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I’m fine with that because going over all of the guys that I liked, I kind of want to slap myself. Ha! I’ve realized that my guy is somewhere doing something at this very moment. Those other guys were not for me which is why we didn’t work out. I’m saving myself for marriage, so that part of a relationship is not what I’m interested in. I want a guy that will be both my stud-muffin (x’D) and my best friend something like  Shizuku and Haru. I mean look at them. (*///*)~ He is nerdy and handsome at the same time and you may think, well duh, it’s an anime character. I’d like to consider myself an optimist and I believe that guys like this exist. We all have our special someone thinking the exact same thing that we’re thinking and they’re waiting on us just like we’re waiting on them. How on Earth do we meet them though? Well, there is a thing called patience and following your dreams. I believe that when you find something that you love to do and invest in that activity or project, your special someone will be somewhere in that vicinity because your interests are similar. People get personality and interests completely mixed up. Haru and Shizuku up there are super different in regard to their personality, but they’re both super smart and caring.

I don’t the guy version of me (although that would be nice and is it wrong that I would prefer him to be Caucasian with dark curly hair, glasses, and super smart?) because that is asking a bit much. I just want a guy with a similar heart. I believe that I have put myself in places where I will meet guys like that. The only way to do that is by doing what I love. I will start volunteering more and be a better philanthropist. It is quite simple you will meet party guy at a party most likely. You will most probably meet future politician on an internship. It gets more complicated when you’re looking for actual substance though. The thing is, you have to make yourself available to your special someone. He will never meet you if you stay away from him. It’s super hard for me to meet my guy since I have so many interests, but I think I’ve finally figured it out. I want a someone with a good heart who wants to help the world like me. If I just be good person and what I’m supposed to do as a good person, I’ll meet my guy being a good person somewhere (x’D). It may take a little time for your guy to notice you because he’ll most probably be super into doing whatever he is interested in, but if you continue to shine in your area, your paths will cross and the rest will be history (good history). \(^///^)/