The “tank” wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be.  I hated that I read my “pitch” but I got the job done.  The panel was more than generous for giving up their time to assist us and it was obvious many of them had read up on our theses beforehand. A million thanks to all!

Here are some of my takeaways:

Kate Bowles– An expert in narrative autoethnography, Kate is a great resource for me and hopefully she will be open to me reaching out in the weeks/months to come.  Her suggestion of following up on Lorraine Hedkte’s work on re-membering is a great lead. As she said, it’s all about “bringing the lost person back into your life in an active way.”  Must investigate further! Her question for me as to how I intend to involve my family really resonated with me, as I had not considered them at length.  Something to consider, for sure!

Dr. Zamora It’s always a pleasure to speak with my professor!  I love her “outside the box” thinking when it comes to all things and my thesis was no exception.  I had to rewatch her clip a few times to really let what she was conveying set in. I’ve started reading Joan Didion’s book and it’s definitely a beautiful and heart wrenching story of loss. Great inspiration!  I will have to look through Everything is Illuminated asap!  She mentioned that the boy in the story was “haunted” in a way by his father’s voice and I can really relate to that. I’ve uncovered some old home movies and it’s the one thing that cuts through my heart.  It’s almost like the memory of the voice goes away because it’s as unique as a fingerprint and won’t be encountered in real life by chance like with, say, a cologne. There’s something there. Also, I really like her idea about considering the kinds of “messages” that I include in my story.  To not be so strict with my format, in a way, by allowing some be real and others be maybe fabricated communications that are meant to be real and kind of blurring the lines even more…..really playing with what it means to remember and shifting the lines between telling the actual story and imagining what it was.  It’s great to get another perspective on what I’m doing…especially this early in the process.

Christina Cantrill– Her perspective about technology and space/time really got me reconsidering an online component to my thesis.  I’ve been playing around with the idea in my head for some time now and the more and more I think about it I realize that there are some affordances that media would provide for my project that paper alone cannot.  I would love to have my work to have an online presence.

Rolin Moe He popped in some great resources/feedback onto my blog post during our session. He really got me thinking about the creative ways to tell my overlapping narratives.  His suggestion of House of Leaves blew my mind by the online reviews alone.  I love forward thinking and appreciate the nudge to be experimental with the way in which I assemble my project (playing with font and layout, etc.).  Great advice!


Last night I continued writing: my letters and my father’s letters.  Here’s the weird thing.  I feel much more comfortable writing my father’s responses to my letters than I do my own letters to him.  I think it’s something about being insecure with my writing ability, being judged, or my work being “good enough.”  however, when it comes to writing my dad’s words to me, I just sort of “know” exactly what he would say to me. I can hear his voice better than I can reimagine what I really would have been feeling/thinking/said to him…especially so long ago and during such a traumatic time.  I kind of forgot the old me.

I started going in order at first but then switched to writing about milestones in my life that I would want to share with my father such as when I met my husband.  That is the letter that I enjoyed writing the most so far.  It felt great to tell my dad all about Ray and how we met.  It felt the most “real” so far in this process.  I wrote his response to me as well and I am confident that I captured how he would have responded to me.  I am going to forge ahead with my writing but will keep in mind that I may change the order in which these letters are presented in the final project.  Also thinking about an online documentation of my project.  I think it will be powerful and doable in the timeframe.

To date, I’ve written 10 letters to my dad and have gotten 4 “back from him.”  





Trying to keep up with my research reading….Zotero is all nice and organized!

Capture zotero 10-23-17

Oh, there are some pretty embarrassing pictures of me when I was younger if you have time (sorry, I’m in reminiscing mode)


2 thoughts on “Dad

  1. Totally fantastic reflection on the Thesis Tank and your letter writing process. You are getting responses! I’m fascinated that you say his are easier to write (I notice his handwriting is quite different from yours).

    I also love that you have so many images and artifacts to work from. Seeing all the photos of your dad and your family help situate it all for an outside viewer (I like that he likes dogs, and it looks like that one game of Monopoly he seems to have all the deeds!), from all phases of life, including his time in the service.

    Nothing to be embarrassed of in the photos, thanks for adding that.


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