Rough Drafts, Prayers, and Pedicures

Between mid-January and early March I visited multiple archives around Chicago to collect research for my project. I compiled anything I found substantial to my topic into my own stylized notes. These notes later helped me during the writing portion of this draft. I was conflicted about telling the stories of Vietnam War resistance at Loyola, Mundelein, and DePaul in their own separate entities or to weave them together to encapsulate their common cause and objective. I decided to pursue the former. For my own purposes I believed that writing about each university separately would be easier to distinguish their timeline, similarities, and differences.

After multiple long nights and excessive amounts of green tea, my rough draft is complete. When I say rough, I mean very rough. The document itself is plastered with notes for future revisions, grammatical and stylistic errors. I found challenges in the lack of some evidence that I needed to support my arguments. In particular, I did not realize until writing my draft that I was missing crucial information on Mundelein College and DePaul University’s response to the Kent State shooting. It must have slipped my mind during research. I was also overwhelmed by the required page count (25-30 pages), but I’m not sure why. I have written 15-page research papers in the past, so a few more pages couldn’t be that more difficult. My classmates and I were #blessed to receive an extension from our instructors. Long nights also didn’t necessarily mean writing at the library. Because of the skewed weekend hours at the library, my friend Amanda and I opted for a more radical setting at Clarke’s on a Saturday night. Though this draft took a lot of sweat, blood, and tears, it is satisfying to have something on paper.

Thankfully, this is just the first draft — there is still room to improve! I will take my professors’ feedback and revise my paper. Between now and the second draft’s due date, I will revisit the archives at Loyola University and DePaul University to gain clarity on some of my sources. And, once I begin to revise my paper, I will take a more thematic approach to my topic and try to interweave the histories of anti-war activism at Loyola University, Mundelein College, and DePaul University. I am looking forward to finalizing my argument and evidence, and to eventually produce a polished paper.

-Matthew Day


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