Monday, November 29, 2010

King Island Place Names Website Launch Party

We had a launch party for the King Island Place Names Launch Party. It was late this afternoon. But before it happened, there were last minute details to attend to. I didn't have the brunt of the work, though. That was Alex and Rebecka.

The website is:

In addition, I had to grade papers and prepare for class.

Then prepare a quick powerpoint for the launch party. Then, go to the room for the party. A few logistics details for my uncle and my son and my family. Then, I did my presentation.

Boy, it was a long day.

I'm tired.

I have a lot of people to thank. But I'm too tired to list them here. Instead, check out the Contributors page from our photo gallery. The website address is:

I had an interesting observation about this project: it has been funded by the National Science Foundation and we first received that funding in 2003. It's been 7 years.

That's a long time in the world of scientific research. A long time to produce deliverables for a $600,000 project.

In the end, we have a great website that has the King Island placenames in our dialect of the language; we have uploaded 11,000 photographs that the community can use; and we have two plant and bird guides for the island. There is also a lot of audio and video that the community can access if they have a login ID. Plus, two articles that I've written as a result of the project.

I made an interesting observation: the project has been book-ended by my baldness due to cancer treatments. I am bald today. I was bald in February 2003 after chemotherapy treatments from my first diagnosis of breast cancer. That was when I submitted the grant proposal to NSF. The project has had about as many ups and downs as my cancer treatment has.

The project has been difficult for a lot of reasons including cross cultural differences, interdisciplinary differences, personality differences, and community politics.

But it has also been the second most rewarding thing I have done in my life - the first being the raising of my son. It was so thrilling to give King Islanders the chance to return to their homeland; many had not been there in 20, 30, or 40 years. I feel very privileged to have been part of this process.

So, in the end, as of today, both the project and my cancer end on a happy note: the deliverables are in a finished enough form to give to the community. And, the treatment is working - so good news on the cancer front. I'll find out later this week what my tumor markers are.

Again, thank you to everyone who was ever involved in the King Island place names project. It was worth the wait. It was worth all the work. I am so happy I was able to help.

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