Presenting at the Final Colloquium was a really satisfying way to round out a year of work. To me, when doing any sort of research, it is important to share the work that you do because simply learning for the sake of knowing more yourself is pointless. Therefore, I thought to share the research I had done was a really good culmination of this semester. After having worked so hard on this project, it was nice to share that work with friends. Personally, I really enjoy public speaking and want to pursue a career in education, so being able to share what I learned in that format was something I enjoyed. Although I initially found it difficult to transform twenty-eight pages into a ten-minute presentation, I think that challenge actually made me better understand my own research. I have found that one of the best ways to learn, is to try and teach someone else how to do or about the idea in question. Therefore, although it was hard to condense my work, I think it was really worthwhile and ultimately resulted in a deeper and more nuanced understanding of my own research.
Overall, participating in the Ramonat Seminar this year has been a really worthwhile and rewarding experience. Working this year, I learned so much more about what I can do as well as women in New Orleans.
One of the reasons I appreciated this seminar was, quite simply, because I was able to research something I am passionate about. Although, coming into the semester I was unsure about what I would research, as Catholics and Politics are not my areas of interest, I am glad I took up the challenge and that I put in the effort to find a topic that mattered to me. In Henriette Delille and Marie Laveau, I found women who I cared about and wanted to learn about. I found it really impactful to learn about these women and commit a year to study them because I think their stories are valuable and relevant to today.
Another take away I had from this year was a taste of academic research. I am glad that I had the opportunity to try to tackle a project of this caliber because I think I want to pursue academic research in the future. Trying, and succeeding, in writing a substantive piece of original research was really rewarding and helped to confirm my suspicion that I want to pursue history further.
Ultimately, working through the Ramonat Seminar has shown me that I can complete substantive research, has given me a piece of work that I am proud of, and has inspired me to participate in more research seminars before I graduate.