All posts by Jacqueline Antolos

Mama Mia! Is this the last post?- Jackie ‘s week

As I type this post, The End by The Doors plays in my head. Dramatic? Maybe. Symbolic? absolutely.

I would like to start off by saying how damn proud I am of all of us for getting through this semester. Whether we went through difficult situations, challenging predicaments, or simple, everyday scenarios, we ultimately got through it together. The advice, help, and genuine connections I made with a bunch of people this semester truly helped me through the highs and lows, especially in this class. Researching and writing for the longest paper I have ever written was not easy. There were many days where motivation was low, and other days when life squeezed its way in between the stressors. COVID scares and crazy work schedules were also working against me this semester.

Although people say that life stopped when COVID hit, I would disagree! If anything, it accelerated life into a different form: anxiety. With someone who already suffers from anxiety, this semester’s school, work, family, friend, and life stressors piled up and even simple tasks were hard to focus on sometimes. Some days would fly by with productivity while others slugged along with writers block and distractions. With the weekly meet ups and emails searching for guidance and advice from Dr. Lowe, some of this anxiety could be relieved.

Throughout the first round of presentations, I was so impressed with everyone’s knowledge on their topics. Before I presented, I felt intimidated but excited to finally conclude one of the final steps in our Capstone process this semester. After presenting, I felt instant relief and pride for each and everyone who showed off their hard work and knowledge. I am just as excited to see the presentations this week! Cheers, everyone! We DID IT:)

I Can See The Light!- Jackie’s Week

I can see the light!- the light at the end of the tunnel, that is. This past week was fairly productive but also jam packed with other assignments. Wednesday, I worked with David and we gave each other some helpful feedback for spiffying up our papers. I made some personal notes on my own paper about some word phrases and some clarfications that David brought up. The peer review sessions have shown to be super productive and helpful and I really enjoy getting to know more of my classmates during the hour-ish time period we have with each other!

My main focus this past week was the presentation for Wednesday. I am equally excited and nervous to present my findings! Part of me loves getting pumped up about research and showing the information to others, but the other part of me raises my anxiety levels and questions whether my work was sufficient enough! Either way, it feels like such a relief to be at this point. Wrapping up our findings and truly being able to connect and conclude it through a presentation is a great send off for this course. Additionally, I am thrilled to see how some of my writing partners’ work from the beginning has progressed throughout the semester!

Free Revision Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library
This is what my calendar is lookin’ like these days.

Cheers to wrapping up and presenting our findings- we all deserve this conclusive moment on our hard work!

The breakthrough I wanted (and needed)- Jackie’s Week

I can confidently say that this week was a hell of a lot more effort than most of the other weeks, but I did it! We did it.

I missed the one big crucial review class on Wednesday due to my wifi being down. Sometimes, I feel as if life really tries to “mess with us”. What I mean by this is, around 2:30, the rainstorm had started. I was feeling nervous because our wifi goes out literally every time it rains, but I had hopeful thoughts that it would hold up at least through half of our class. By the time 2:58 rolls around, no joke, the wifi was cut. 2 MINUTES before class. Unbelievable, right? Due to this wifi outage, I was worried that if I added any more work to my document, it would not save, so I began handwriting some of my paper. Again, unbelievable- but I guess that is just how life works!

Fast-forward to the next day, and by the grace of whatever god is out there, our wifi turned back on! I set my alarm for 7am and began typing it out. I had my class later on that day, and then decided to head home for a few nights to focus on this without any other distractions. Especially after this semester, I have learning that, if you able to, going home and “recentering” your through processes can help a lot. My home (with my parents) is in Bucks County. There are so many parks and other places in nature to explore and it helps me in this “recentering” process. Furthermore, it is nice to get some home-cooked meals and see my family!

I returned home, took a walk with my parents at our favorite park nearby, and then got right back into working. These past few days have felt hectic, and my eyes hurt from looking at the screen, but I know this hard work will be all worth it. My boxes have been slowly checked off my list, with a few still left, but over all a large weight off of my shoulders.

Core Creek Park, Langhorne, Pa. | Outdoor, River, Langhorne
Pictured: Core Creek Park where my parents and I love to go walking. Sometimes I take some time on nice days and read on the dock (pictured above!). It totally “recenters” my hectic mindset.

Fast forward to this lovely Sunday morning. I reached out to my writing partner for Wednesday (Jimmy) and he was kind enough to wake up early to help me with my revisions. I was sure that my paper was not perfect so it is nice to get a second pair of eyes to reread and question some of the claims I have made. We oftentimes do not catch this on our own because know want we want to say, but sometimes it does not come out completely clear.

Overall, I truly feel like this class has grown so close- it makes much of the hard stuff easier to get through. My mother always says that “misery loves company”. Although I know we may not be feeling miserable over this paper, it certainly is stressful and overwhelming, so it is nice to have some people feeling the same way. Cheers to another week, y’all! We are really doin’ it!

What Week Is It?- Jackie’s Week

Man, life has NOT been easy recently. I believe that humans are tested in certain situations so we can grow from them. These experiences oftentimes come super unexpectedly and it normally never is easy. Well, life decided to give me a good ol’ test these past two weeks. Professor Lowe has been super understanding with deadlines, but of course I am set back.
This week, life still tried testing me, but I am learning to roll with the punches. My progress was slow but steady this week pertaining to our projects. I at least have attainable goals that i created for myself, so next steps are just meeting them. This weekend came around and I received my second COVID vaccine (crazy to think about). Life threw some uncomfortable symptoms because of the shot and my motivation and tiredness was certainly effected.

Another crazy realization that hit me this week is that we are seriously so close to turning in this paper! Woah!! After this weekend, I am feeling more positive about the near future. From being fully vaccinated to finishing this large project, good things are on the horizon! For all of us! I think we need to recognize that for ourselves more often than we do. Life can throw many of these challenges at us; my journey this week was to figure out how to fight back.
(I am also posting this from my phone via spotty connection so I apologize if this posts weird or something!!)

Struggling- Jackie’s Week 9

Man, what a week. I was immensely unproductive due to unexpected life problems, the lack of a spring break, and the mental incapacity to find motivation. These may sound like excuses, I understand how they appear, but these are very real experiences. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I have not done anything for Capstone or my project this week. This is a huge set back to the somewhat progress I was once making. I am truly trying to find some kind of excitement to spur some spark of motivation but it is very difficult at this point in time. I still am super interested in my topic but a handful of outside-of-class issues and situations have made schoolwork super difficult to focus on.

Although I apologize for not having much to say, I do plan to really dig myself out of this hole soon. I realize we have our draft due very shortly and with not much more prepared, I will have to force myself to be in “forge ahead” mode. Maybe this will force me to really get on with this paper. This week I hope to hit the 6000/7000 word mark and just try and knockout something. Maybe I will only hit 5000 but at least I will have progressed farther than before. This week’s class meet up was enjoyable, though. It lifted my spirits and gave me hope for my own motivation and paper. I met up with Wei during class and we got right into certain grading strategies we were looking for. Wei’s paper is phenomenally completed, as he is in his last stages, and it really proved to me that getting to those last and final stages is possible. He gave me super helpful advice with some word choices/phrases and helped me clear up some of the uncertainty.

Minimize conflict over homework | UMN Extension
This is how I am currently feeling.
Cannot wait for the next wave of motivation to hit again! (time is ticking!!)

I am hopeful that next Sunday I will have more to write about, especially more positive stuff. For now, this is all that I have to update you guys on. I apologize for that especially since I know you all are working your tails off! Keep up the good work 🙂

Jackie’s Week- Slow and Steady

This week has felt slow and steady. The weather being absolutely GORGEOUS certainly did not help my motivation with completing the first mini draft, but I did it! I caught myself many times throughout this week’s progress saying “slow and steady wins the race! Week by week, get things done!”. This mindset has truly helped me not get super overwhelmed with the workload we all are dealing with. It helps my mind section up to-do’s and dont’s for the week while organizing what assignmnets I complete on what day. This might sound a little over the top and calculated, but I assure you it has helped me! My anxiety about school and deadlines has waned a bit, although still ever-present (who fully gets rid of this stupid anxious feelings anyway?). Maybe it was the nice weather that helped me through this week, or the writing meet up, but i could confidently say that week 7 (i think?) treated me right.

Earlier in the week, I worked with David, Izzy, Jimmy, Ian, and Jayne in a writing meet up. This went super well as we all worked on our mini drafts individually while scattering questions to each other along the way. It is really refreshing to see how a group of total strangers can come together within weeks of knowing each other and truly give honest and constructive advice to one another. It puts my faith back in humanity!!

During our Wednesday class, I was partnered with my Urwin-days writing pal, David. We each took a look at each other’s progress and maybe took too long chatting about our papers and how difficult life has been recently. Again, its super nice to know that other people are also struggling with a lot of the same challenges. David asked super crucial questions to my paper’s main arguments and thesis and it really helped me recenter my goals for this paper.

My mini draft mainly consisted of my intro, my historiography, and a few pages about life inside the home, and the challenges with experiencing the outside world “through the kitchen window”. David even commented on this quote stating that the home sounds like a prison- and it was for women at this time (and maybe still even today!). Her challenges with cooking, cleaning, and keeping a “perky attitude” while do it all (literally) were some of the things I wrote about in this first opportunity at a draft. I plan to continue onto a woman’s outside activities, careers, fashion, and racial injustices in the upcoming mini draft assignment.

tired housewife in the 1950s ironing laundry
An accurate depiction of the exhaustion felt by housewives and women. Women's work
Women's work
A much less accurate depiction of everyday life. No one looks this happy doing dishes after a long day of cleaning and cooking, anyway!

Cheers to everyone who made it to this week! We are getting stuff done and lookin’ good while doin’ it! Happy almost Monday! 🙂

Jackie’s Week 7- Exciting Things Are On The Horizon

Week 7! Woohoo! Little by little, we are all cracking down and getting through portions of our paper. This week, I was given the pleasure of meeting up with Jayne, Ian, Jimmy, and Izzy. We each worked diligently through some of our assignments. It is really nice that this class has formed such camaraderie that we can give constructive and truthful advice to one another. When questions arise, I am appreciative that I have these people to meet up with, break down some of the challenges, and get back into my writing. This week’s meet up was another one of these helpful times with my peers.

Additionally, we began writing some of our paper! This feels weird but it also feels right. For weeks, we have been grinding through our sources, punching away at our keyboards, and collaborating when we can. Personally, I think I have finally broken through with my writer’s block. Maybe it was the research that was making me hesitant about this project or my lack of motivation, but when we were asked to submit an intro and a paragraph last Wednesday, I felt as if I finally was on a roll! Since then, I have continued from my one paragraph and I will persevere through the others. This will not be easy but I am finally feeling more hopeful for the end result.

In the works this week, I intend on hitting the next word-count mark, maybe even push beyond it, in hopes of completing this on time! The semester is appearing to be picking up, with larger projects accumulating and approaching quickly by the end of this month and early April. This makes me super nervous but I am hopeful, with the help of my peers, professor, and a few affirming calls home to my mom, that this will all work out! Cheers to another week, everyone- we got this!

Week 6 and I am losing steam! Jackie’s Week

Wow. Here we are week 6 already! I am stunned. Honestly, this past week was filled with getting things turned in right on time. This was a week that was jam-packed with due dates and I was preparing to get extra work done so for my dad’s 60th birthday weekend, my mind could fully relax at home. Of course it didnt, but we all have high hopes- right?

This post happens to be so late on this rainy Sunday night because I just got home from the birthday weekend extravaganza (getting take out and having cannoli cake). The reason I bring this up is because it proves how much my mind has not been focused on my paper. Yes, I turned everything in on time and when I sit down to do these assignments, I feel fully motivated and super excited about my paper. But the moment I close my book for the night or switch over to writing another paper, my mind pushes this paper out of the way! Maybe it is because I am nervous about it or I am constantly doubting my abilities to write really well, but sometimes I truly feel stuck. It is nobody’s fault but mine, I know that, but it is so hard to swallow the procrastination sometimes and move along with the work!

For this upcoming assignment, I am actually super excited for the outline. I am an outline freak and I live to stay organized so doing that part of this week’s assignments will be fun, I think. The looming cloud over my head has been the thesis statement and 2 paragraphs. My mind is like a big bowl of alphabet soup sometimes- there are so many damn words up there but sometimes I cant form proper paragraphs! My brain is feeling like that right now so that is why this post is all over the place. Sorry about that. I have super high hopes for my thesis though! My topic inspires me to be a better and more thorough writer and researcher and I have to always recognize that people had it worse so I could have it better. That is the humbling reminder for this week. Once again, I am confident that we will all kick this paper’s ass and have fun doing it! The helpful and friendly energy that I get from everyone in this class proves to me that I am not alone in this process and we can all get through this together.

Productive Meet-Ups and Historiography Planning!- Jackie’s Week 5

This week in our Capstone course was dedicated to the consideration and critiques of our sources. I began the week meeting with Izzy, Ian, and Wei via Zoom. In this meeting, we consulted some of each other’s ideas, gave helpful advice, and worked quietly to get ahead on ur workload. Some of us completed our Baby Steps Historiography and others began editing and working on our full Historiography due this week. I began organizing some sources for the full Historiography and taking into consideration the timeline importance of this part of our paper. I found this meet up really helpful and it was nice to build some rapport with some of my peers!

In my Baby Steps Historiography, I decided to highlight Sentenced to Everyday Life: Feminism and the Housewife written by Lesley Johnson and Justine Lloyd. The authors cover direct evidence and research points on post-WWII women in Australia, the UK, and the United States. Initially, I was hesitant to add this source into my research process because it was not a US-centered book. While delving into some of the subserviency housewives had to experience, the author’s make it a point of proving how similar the Australian, UK, and American housewife experience was. Additionally, their focus on how media has led to such harmful stereotypes defeats much of the original “glamor” surrounding popular fictional figures like June Cleaver. Lastly, The Feminine Mystique written by Betty Friedan is a piece that in analyzed in this book. Johnson and Lloyd take many quotes, phrases, and ideologies from the early feminist by accurately explaining feminist prehistory (aka life before the fight for equality).

Image result for sentenced to everyday life feminism and the housewife

My next steps for this week is compiling and completing my full Historiography. My plan is to highlight the 3-5 sources and dissect their research and arguments. I am beginning to realize that although some of these mini, weekly, assignments feel tedious sometimes, they are super helpful in narrowing in on my own argument and goals for this paper. I am optimistic for this week!

Storyboard Time! Jackie’s Week 4 (I think?)

Man, this was one stressful week! I feel as of lately, I consider every week the most stressful week Ive had, but it truly feels as such. Assignments are in full swing, my preschool job is encroaching on the “full-time-hours range” rather sticking to my goal of only being part-time, and weekends fly by! I will be honest and admit that I thought today was Sunday until I realized I was late for work- hence the late blog post.

On the research end of this past week, I thoroughly enjoyed the storyboard activity. I have always been a very hands on and visual learner. These traits have transformed into me being a very visual paper-writer with outlines and handwritten drafts scattered about my desk. I have never completed a storyboard before but it was so fun! I took out my colorful sticky-note pad and got to work! I began breaking down many of the topics within my broad topic. This began to appear like a very good idea, and it felt right, up until we presented our boards to the class.

Wei and Sabrina graciously critiqued me, with compliments sprinkled throughout, that this paper might be too broad! After glancing over my storyboard, I realized I might have gone slightly overboard. I had 6 large claims/topics with detailed evidence and sources. Yes, these topics certainly helped me narrow down what areas I wanted to focus on with the 1950’s housewife/women experience, but for sure there was some weeding out to be done. Sabrina mentioned that I cut out at least one or two of these larger topics to scale down and refocus the main reasons I was writing this paper. Her honest advice helped me immensely! On the spot, I recognized I could cut back on 2 or 3 of these larger topics to make room for the nitty gritty analyzation of the other 3.

Alas, my cutting back had begun. I decided to take out my large topic on fashion, hairstyles, and beauty and failing marriages and divorce. This would leave me to engage with depression and mental illness, drug use and abuse, gender roles and expectations, and women of color’s separate expectations and roles in society. Overall, the physical process of creating this storyboard reorganized my brain and my main motivations into researching this topic. Additionally, the critiques and editing that followed this process helped me immensely advance and hone in on the paramount aspects of post-WWII women’s lives.