"You need a way to refer to your data and let us know where things are coming from," said Robin.

I stared at the scribbly pages on the table between us and nodded. It was a mess. The great thing about letting your narrators read and refer to one another's stories is that you end up with fantastically rich reactions. The problem is that you end up with stories that cross-reference each other, and it gets hard to disentangle who is quoting whose paraphrase of whose original thought. Was this Jon quoting Lynn? Lynn referring to Rob's interpretation of Jon's reaction to Lynn? My annotation on Lynn's reference to Rob's interpretation of... where were we, again? It was making my head spin, and I'd spent dozens of hours with these narrative transcripts.

"The data comes out over time," said Robin. "And there are different voices, but the newer ones know and refer to the older ones," I added. "Very specific pieces of the older ones, and they reinterpret it in light of what's happening to them now."

"So you need a citation format," Robin said again, as I scribbled a long citation prototype on one corner of the transcript. (1 Jon Stolk, 2014, p. 4). That seemed so... clunky. I wanted to be able to create concordances, just like the...


What if, instead of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I had 2 Rob 4:18-22? Break my transcripts into "chapters" by topic, and "verses" within those chapters by thought-unit, and then used a familiar compact citation format within the text?

1I think that’s one of the interesting things about being in a place like this. And I say Berea, because it’s quite unique. Because most of the people who are here are not here because it’s a job. They’re not here because of the pay. They’re not here because of the glory associated with it. They’re not here because they love Berea, Kentucky. They’re here because they like the school and they care about the students and they care about the mission. [2 Mark* 16**:1-4]

*Mahoney, a professor at Berea (yep, this content's open-licensed)
**may not actually be chapter 16 in the final numbering, I need to go through and split everything properly

Instead of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I have Gary, Mark, Lynn, and Jon... and Rob and Alan. I can now take my data and dump it into some sort of open-source Bible web software and make concordances, and study notes, and... all those other things that people do with Bibles that we already have a ton of software for. My data will actually be navigable. I can easily hyperlink to subsections of it from within my dissertation text.

My indexes and commentaries and concordances on the narrative text also turn into analysis, and all that analysis (not to mention the narrative text itself) -- through all the open-source tools people have released to analyze the Bible. I can repurpose the work of hundreds of Christian software engineers to visualize and understand these 6 professors talking about engineering and technology curriculum design. BWAHAHAHA!

Of course, I'm going to need to resist the temptation to rewrite the transcripts into something like this:

A reading from the First Data according to Jon.

Thus saith the JON: My name is JON. I have been at Olin since 2001, and it is since 2001 that I have been at Olin. Lo, I have arrived a little bit before students arrived, in the summertime at the start of July.  I, the JON, was at Olin early enough to hear lots of conversations from the founding faculty, the group of 8 here before me; 8 they were in number, and their number was 8. For I am the JON, and thus have I spoken, quoth the JON.

The word of the JON. (Thanks be to JON.)