Failings and What Not- Reflection Four

It is now a race against the clock. What can we still do in three weeks, knowing what we’ve done in the last three? That is the real question. I think I will continue to do independent research in the future because on this topic I know I will not be able to do everything I want to with the information I have about stratification. That being said, I do think that there are somethings that weren’t as clear to me in the beginning as they are now, in terms of research structure, that I wish I had thought about before. The one that stands out the most is the relationship between the digital tool and the written work. I realize now that I had always considered the digital tool as part of my analysis on the research as was collecting, but not an explanation of my analysis. I realize now that a lot of the other scholars were doing it the other way around. For example, I wanted to use ArcMap to analyze distances and put that into my written work. But what I’m now doing is understanding stratification and using ArcMap to explain it. I don’t know it’s a weird balance.

I also think that this week could’ve been more productive than what it was. I received new papers and research from people in Colombia this week but it sort of feels like it’s a too little too late. But we knew this was coming when we started to get into it: eventually you need to limit yourself.

The most frustrating thing this week has been using R. Not because it’s hard, or because coding is impossible, but because there seem to be a set of circumstances stacked against me. I kept running the code and it wasn’t working- eventually I reached out for help and it was a simple mistake about the links I was using. So I fix that, run the code and it turns out that the government server was down. It’s been down the whole weekend and I don’t know when it’ll come back up (hopefully tomorrow). So I don’t know if the code even works at this point and like I mentioned earlier, this was the code I was going to use to measure distances.

The reading has also turned out to be more work than I expected. Stratification is a huge topic and there’s a lot of legal aspects to worry about. How can I truly explain stratification without reading the laws regarding it? How will I even argue anything like stratification causing segregation if I don’t know the area’s effects. It seems to me that I will only be able to answer the first and simply touch on the second.

But there were positives this week! Namely, I got responses from a few government officials which was very unexpected. I also got my ArcMap to work and start rendering correctly. So now that that is set up I can move along with Story Map which turns out is a pretty easy to use API. The only thing you need to have clear is how to tell your story.


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