I am Mrs B.
I started this blog over two years ago as I has a mad idea. I was disappointed that all the history seemed to disjointed. At this time I had not heard of the big history concept. But I was clearly an advocate of the idea.
I wanted to produce a timeline that was produced using peer reviewed material. It would be adaptable, and it would include both the big events and the smaller bits.
But I had a some issues. Firstly, I was a new mum, and was going back to work. And then I got promoted at work, and then again. With each one, my spare time was reduced. And now, I have a toddler, and have to do all the things that’s involved with toddlers.
So, obviously I want to start my task, but now I understand that instead of doing this as a whole formed project, with all the videos etc, I will have to do this as I go along. I have tried this thinking before, but have not really got past moaning a bit and some brainstorming maps.
This blog will be a starting point. As I research, I will blog and discuss what I find. I can then also review books and articles. From this I can create videos, and start to create the timeline on a website.
The aim is now to read, review and start planning my first set of videos. I hope to post on here every couple of days. Fingers crossed that I get somewhere this time, even if it’s only with the toilet training.
Well, it turns out that history is very very big. I have not done as much as I hoped for on this in the last year. This is mainly because of my son, and going back to work. My little boy is adorable, but he clearly hates sleep! And my reading time is therefore curtailed.
So what is the plan? I am listening to audio books on history, and looking into different ways to collect the information that I want. I have found the cue card system too fiddly for mass information. And I do not want to just keep my information digital (it’s very old fashioned, but it is also the reason that I buy so many pens), I like paper copies. Using my note to collate information is a good one. I have also got a note book in which I put my ideas for the data collection. I want to use these a bit like a mood board, to help with the final design of the website.
The other area I was hoping to look into was youtube, and creating videos that could provide historical information. One subject per video, fully researched, and then presented with a link to source information. I think that this could help to launch my idea. I was also thinking of linking it all to the history taught in British schools
I would expand a bit further too. Only two things worry me about this process – the research and the actual videoing. But it’s a pipe dream until I take the next step …
It’s a small word for a big task. And I keep on asking – where do I start?
I have two problems when it comes to research, even with my science background. One, because I want to cover everything, I get distracted really easily. And two, those distractions can take me on huge tangents, away from my original subject.
Another thing that I failed to mention in my last post was that I have another extreme hindrance to the research
process – my 3 month old son. (Needless to say that I conceived of the time line idea before I actually conceived.) Although, the thought of him being able to use this as a tool for schoolwork spurs me on.
So, back to research. I was sat up doing one of many night feeds, wondering how I would conduct my research. I know that I can read once I have sorted the housework and my son is asleep – but how do I take effective usable notes in such short bursts? Then I thought of how I revised at uni – record cards! I knew that I would still need full notes for all of my sources to refer back to, but record cards would make the actual data collection easier. So I would collate points under suitable headings on the record cards, referencing the sources on the back of the cards. I can then go back and get full detailed notes later on, whilst still being able to develop the basic time line. I would also break each down (as much as possible) into eras, epochs etc. And when it comes to states, civilisations and people’s, then I will begin by looking at known kinglists, religious lists or stories.
So I made a trip to my local stationary shop, and I have bought two sets of record cards – one white lined, and one coloured set. So the plan now is to start reading and make notes. Lots of notes. And a basic chronology, and full notes, and a timeline…
Wish me luck!
Well, the best place is at the beginning…
From a very young age I have been obsessed by the prospect of finding out about everything. My parents, friends and husband have been very tolerant with my need to ask questions, read far too many books and generally be a know-it-all. My theory is that if I have a working understanding of quite a few subjects, then I will be able to hold a conversation with absolutely anyone.
So, now I have found a way of combining my love of knowledge with my two passions of history and science. I am aiming to create a website, with a timeline for the duration of the universe which then is able to give up to date, peer reviewed information in a style that is accessible to everyone. Ambitious, probably impossible but those who dare win!
Where to go from here then? Well, the plan is to start constructing the timeline and then write up some detailed text on each subject. Updates on progress will be posted here, as well as previews. I
So until next time – Neffi
P.S. I realise that there is Google and Wikipedia, which are both very good at finding out information. However, no website that I have seen has covered subjects in a fully comprehensive way. This might be because it IS impossible, but I hope to have fun finding out!