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00:00:00 - Introduction 00:00:39 - Reasons for attending UW-Madison

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Can you tell me a little bit about how you decided to come to UW for grad school?"

A: "Yeah, I guess it started with, well, applying to grad school."

Segment Synopsis: CL was deciding between UW-Madison and University of California at Davis. She intended to study topology/geometry. Ultimately, the city of Madison itself – and particularly its liberal character - appealed to her.

Keywords: University of California-Davis

00:02:47 - Involvement in protesting before the 2011 Capitol Protest

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Partial Transcript: Q: "I guess before the protests last year, had you had any -- had you been involved in any political stuff?"

A: "Sort of..."

Segment Synopsis: As an undergraduate, CL participated in an Asian-American mentoring program at Pomona College. The group was very political and increased CL's awareness of identity issues as a woman and an Asian American. Around the same time, CL began to follow California’s recall election of then Governor Gray Davis.

Keywords: Asian-American; California; Gray Davis; Pomona; mentoring

00:06:07 - Political action taken by the mentoring program besides the Gray Davis recall

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Partial Transcript: Q: "With the mentoring program, was there anything -- did they get involved in the gubernatorial recall at all, or was that a sideline for them?"

A: "Yeah, that was a sideline..."

Segment Synopsis: The mentoring program actively opposed a proposition to eliminate the ability to ask about race on government forms, ultimately aimed at halting affirmative action. Although a private college, Pomona actively recruited people of color, while excluding Asian-American students from that category. They comprised about 15% of each incoming class. The program pushed for the administration to consider diversity among the Asian-American student population itself. CL recalls speaking to Asian-American students who omitted their ethnicity on admission forms for fear of a cap on Asian-American students.

Keywords: Affirmative Action; Pomona College; UC Board of Regents

00:09:27 - Staying involved while studying abroad

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Are there any other specific issues that the mentoring program took on...other things you remember that were kind of involved in that?"

A: "So, the way that happens I was involved in that group the Fall of my junior year..."

Segment Synopsis: CL became involved during her junior year, but studied abroad for half of that year. She was aware of racial incidents that occurred during her absence and remembers writing an off-campus perspective of those events for the group’s newsletter.

00:13:59 - Involvement with TAA teach-out

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Partial Transcript: Q: "I guess lets start with the teach-out...

A: "I was not, I mean, TAA always describes that period of time as like, you know, 'Nam..."

Segment Synopsis: CL describes the origins of the TAA’s decision to unofficially call for a teach-out. CL felt that a strike was imminent, but as a small union, the TAA relied on action in concert with larger groups.

Keywords: TAA; strike; teach-out

00:18:38 - Personal impact of teach-out

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Partial Transcript: A: "I feel like the only time that that teach-out effected me..."

Segment Synopsis: CL only felt affected by the teach-out that Thursday (February 17). The teach-out began on Wednesday, but CL did not teach that day.

00:21:03 - Departmental reactions to TA decisions to engage in teach-out

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Partial Transcript: A: "But the teach-out I think was, though, the thing that also worked out well for the teach-out was that I was kind of going to do this without actually talking to anyone about it..."

Segment Synopsis: CL notes the extra work required for participating in the teach-out, and the spectrum of reactions to the TA's decisions within their departments.

Keywords: Dave Seal; Department of Mathematics; Seth Meyer; Shi Jin; Steffen Lempp; teach-out

00:26:02 - Impact of the involvement of departmental supervisors on teach-out

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Partial Transcript: A: "I responded to Shi Jin, actually, that e-mail..."

Segment Synopsis: CL sent an e-mail to Shi Jin offering her understanding of his position. Steffen Lempp informed Jin that he was working the issue out with his TAs.

Keywords: Shi Jin; Steffen Lempp

00:29:23 - After teach-out, TAA discusses what to do next

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Partial Transcript: A: "There was a lot of things that were discussed afterwards..."

Segment Synopsis: After the teach-out, the TAA encouraged members to avoid campus. Before spring break, the TAA held a meeting to address the possibility of a strike.

Keywords: Capitol; campus; spring break; strike

00:32:25 - Student reaction to the teach-out decision

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Going back a little bit, so you said you sent out some e-mails to your students..."

A: "It was mostly business, it was mostly about class..."

Segment Synopsis: CL sensed that some students supported the protests. CL framed her e-mails in a neutral way. Later, she received e-mails from students asking about information about events and actions relating to the protests

00:35:13 - Participation in protests before the teach-out

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So was the teach-out stuff, was that, would you say that was kind of your first kind of involvement with the protests or did you go to anything on the 14th?"

A: "Yeah, yeah, so the 14th was a Monday..."

Segment Synopsis: CL discusses her involvement in Capitol protests, including marching on the Capitol that Monday, February 14, in the “I <3 UW” protest, watching the Joint Finance Committee hearing online, helping the TAA with miscellaneous tasks at the Capitol, and collecting signatures.

Keywords: Capitol; march

00:40:55 - Organizing within the Department of Mathematics

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So I remember seeing you a few times in 300 North East...Was that kind of a base of activities for you?"

A: "I spent a lot of time there, yeah..."

Segment Synopsis: CL spent time in 300NE but focused on organizing within the math department. CL and Dave Seal assembled a list of department members who were interested in the protests.

Keywords: Dave Seal; Department of Mathematics

00:44:25 - Attempts to establish a way for colleagues to donate to the recall effort

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Partial Transcript: A: "And other things that we were doing at that point, Dave Seal and I were trying to set up..."

Segment Synopsis: CL and Dave Seal tried to establish a way for colleagues to donate to the planned recall effort. They worked with Peter Rickman of the TAA toward this end, but ultimately nothing came of their efforts.

Keywords: Dave Seal; Defend Wisconsin; Peter Rickman; recall

00:48:25 - Dialogue with other members of the math department

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So did you also...was there also kind of a two-way flow...How much dialogue did you have with other people in the department?"

A: "I feel like people weren't quite, didn't really e-mail back..."

Segment Synopsis: Few people responded to CL’s e-mails with comments and opinions; most asked informational questions.

00:51:23 - Involvement with TAA before the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So maybe taking a little bit of a step back, had you done much with the TAA before the protests?"

A: "No, not -nothing at all I think..."

Segment Synopsis: CL was barely involved but had attended the TAA orientation party at the beginning of each school year. She first attended a general membership meeting during the protests.

00:53:40 - Decision to become active in TAA

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So what made you decide to start doing stuff with them once the protests started?"

A: "I don't -- so TAA is not something that...I don't love the TAA..."

Segment Synopsis: CL did not approve of the way the TAA was run, but believe strongly in its necessity. She did not think the material provisions of the budget bill would affect her, however she objected to those provisions that limited the scope of collective bargaining.

00:56:49 - TAA's discussion on who to endorse in the recall election

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Is there anything else you want to kind of add for now?"

A: "Well, let me say this..."

Segment Synopsis: CL describes the TAA’s refusal to endorse a candidate in the recall election. She attended the meeting at which members reached this decision.

Keywords: Scott Walker; recall

01:00:19 - Beginning of second interview 01:00:43 - Experience of sleeping over at the Capitol

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Lets start out with the night you slept at the Capitol, tell me about that."

A: "It was only one night..."

Segment Synopsis: CL decided to camp out in the Capitol after it became clear that the protesters would soon be evicted. She describes her arrival at the Capitol, the appearance of the rotunda, and the mood of the messages posted outside the governor’s office.

Keywords: Firefighters Union; Madison Police Union; Scott Walker; Teamsters Union

01:05:24 - Falling asleep in the rotunda and leaving early the next morning

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Partial Transcript: A: "I think we left the Capitol the next morning around 5 or 6 AM..."

Segment Synopsis: CL left the Capitol early because it was difficulty sleeping there. She had worried about noise, but before midnight it lessened.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; drum circle

01:07:55 - Company kept in the Capitol

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So did you go with other people?

A: "I went with Matt..."

Segment Synopsis: CL went with her friend Matt Roake. She saw several people she knew. The goal was to stay as long as possible.

Keywords: Matt Roake; knitting

01:08:58 - How the Capitol lock-out impacted the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "After the Capitol was locked a few days later how did that change the kind of stuff you were doing? Or did it?"

A: "It did, sort of, it definitely made the protest feel somewhat decentralized..."

Segment Synopsis: CL stayed near the Capitol and was online constantly. The Isthmus maintained a live Twitter feed that helped track activity at the Capitol.

Keywords: TAA; The Isthmus; Twitter; social media

01:13:09 - Attending TAA Stewards' Council meetings

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Partial Transcript: A: "After that, right about at that point, sort of after spring break and beginning of April..."

Segment Synopsis: CL began attending TAA Stewards’ Council meetings. The general membership meeting before the break had lasted for hours. Many members had never attended a meeting and were unfamiliar with the TAA’s operation.

Keywords: Dave Seal; George Brown; TAA Stewards' Council; Tamvana Makuluni; strike

01:16:14 - Getting involved with the Stewards' Council

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Lets get into the TAA stuff maybe a little more...Maybe lets talk about the Steward's Council next. How did you decide to get involved with that?"

A: "It was the middle of -- the height of the protests..."

Segment Synopsis: CL's colleague Dave Seal was involved and said she should get involved, too. She was hesitant at the time and still feels ambivalent about being a steward.

Keywords: Dave Seal; TAA Stewards' Council

01:18:55 - Steward Council meetings, and involvement with TAA

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So after you got added to the e-mail list and sort of became a Steward, were there meetings that you started going to right away, still during the protests? Or did you start doing more stuff with that later on?"

A: "Later on, about April..."

Segment Synopsis: The Council did not meet during the protests. CL did not understand the purpose of the Council and did not think making posters and arm bands was an effective use of their time.

Keywords: Stewards' Council; TAA

01:22:49 - Splitting up meeting attendance with peers in Department of Mathematics

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You guys discussed at some point divvying up various TAA events or meetings to go there anything to expand on in terms of how you guys were coordinating?"

A: "We sort of coordinated because the stew-co meetings technically happened once a week..."

Segment Synopsis: CL describes process of divvying up Stewards' Council meetings between other Department of Mathematics council members.

Keywords: Dave Seal; Department of Mathematics; George Brown; Tamvana Makuluni

01:25:10 - Juggling responsibilities while protests were going on

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So how about sort of overall managing time during the did you juggle different things that were going on?"

A: "I lost a lot of time at the capitol..."

Segment Synopsis: CL barely remembers much else from that time. Research and grading were put on hold. CL taught, but had taught the same class before and did not require as much preparation time as before. When her grandmother died in April, her focus shifted away from the protests toward other responsibilities.

Keywords: recall

01:29:06 - Activities after protest

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So how about any other activities since the protests..."

A: "No, not really. Voting..."

Segment Synopsis: CL was not as involved as before. CL attended the protest of the budget bill’s passing. She recalls how the Capitol felt radically different to her.

Keywords: Stewards' Council; TAA; capitol

01:33:14 - Memories of TAA general membership meetings during or after the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Are there any - do you have any particular memories about the general membership meetings that you went to during the protests..."

A: "I remember the one that was happening at 300 North East..."

Segment Synopsis: She describes her first general membership meeting held in 300NE, as well as another meeting before spring break. CL thought that second meeting was hampered by lack of understanding between grad students across disciplines.

Keywords: 300 North East; TAA; teach-out

01:37:30 - Challenges of providing direction for the protest

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Partial Transcript: A: "I remember thinking that it was - it felt - there was something about it, because it was so democratic..."

Segment Synopsis: CL wished that the TAA officers and executives had provided greater leadership. Their democratic approach to decision-making seemed ill-suited to this particular situation, especially as members sought direction.

Keywords: Stewards' Council; TAA

01:40:17 - General memories of the protest

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Partial Transcript: Q: "How about other general strong memories from during the protests..."

A: "I remember, well there were a few things, I guess..."

Segment Synopsis: CL recalls the effort to keep the protests peaceful. A friend and former colleague visited Madison during the protests and had yelled provocative statements outside the Capitol. CL was sensitive to the possibility he might offend people, as having the public side with the protesters was very important.

01:43:04 - Friction between TAs in Department of Mathematics and the rest of the Department

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Partial Transcript: A: "It was hard at times, too, to make sure that people understood why we were doing this, and whether or not it might be appropriate to say things."

Segment Synopsis: While at the protests, CL received a phone call about an issue within her department.

Keywords: Dave Seal; Jo Nelson; TAA; teach-out

01:48:26 - Relationship between protestors and police

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Partial Transcript: A: "That's the thing I really remember, too, about the protests was just, the Capitol police, people have a lot of criticism for them, the Capitol police, the Madison police department I feel like in general were very much on our side..."

Segment Synopsis: CL remembers the support of the Madison and Capitol police, who were skilled at recognizing and resolving tenuous situations. Overall, the protesters had a good relationship with the police.

01:49:56 - Future plans for political involvement and organizing within the math department

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Partial Transcript: Q: "How about any future plans..."

A: "Probably just a couple things here and there, I've been trying to organize more in the department..."

Segment Synopsis: CL plans to encourage colleagues to become TAA members, and to help getting out the vote before the recall election. She remarks on how the difficulty of union recertification has undercut the Walker administration’s denial of union-busting.

Keywords: Department of Mathematics; Kathleen Falk; Regina McConaghey; Scott Walker; recall; recertification