Week IV – The Struggle Is Way More Real

I think that the fact that this blogpost is so late is evidence again that the last week, aka Week  IV of this internship, has been TOUGH.

The week was going great, I finally had some good secondary sources to write my historiography, and I was saving them all for Friday reading and annotation. Since I didn’t have much for my historiography when I met with Dr. Shermer last week, she sent me off to keep reading more books, to try and find more useful sources. It is not surprising that not much has been said about the Higher Education Act of ’65. Rising tuition and the unaffordability of higher education for many has just recently come to light.

Anyway, I digress–so, Wednesday night, I’m all set to upload my new sources to my zotero bibliography and start annotating, but once I turned my laptop on — smoke started coming out of it. I thought I had been imagining things, because considering all I had to do on my laptop that week, it would not, COULD not, just die on me yet. But, after a long struggle of battery issues and what not–my HP G60 is now dead. The hard drive? Fried. There was a burning smell. I doubt I can recover anything.

At this point, I am thankful my bibliography was online. My sources were mostly books. Other stuff is still in online databases, I will just have to re-download stuff. But anyway, I finally got a replacement laptop, and am now writing this blog entry from it.

Besides my sad week–I have made some progress! I’ve had to order some missing books via ILL, so I’ll be waiting for those, but there does seem to be a lack of historical essay on the topic. What I have found so far is a book by Michael Shapiro, et al. in which they assess the student loan program created under the Higher Education Act, and how more loans were offered than grants in the 1990s. They also assessed how students that are taking out loans are defaulting, and how that rate has fallen and risen over the years. I’m not done with the reading yet, but it’s some interesting information and assessment of how the tuition burden started falling on students in the latter half of the 20th century.

Hopefully I’ll find even more information by examining this book’s bibliography. For now, I’ll be backing up every single thing I find, and maintaining online documents of all my research. I can’t risk losing all that! (Little notes I had taken along the way are all gone! Guess this is a learning experience of its own.)

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