I am also from Wisconsin. I just rebuilt my home dark room after taking a class from the local community college that did just what you explained, no real instruction. I have found this forum very benificial for someone who is just getting back into the darkroom process. That and ebay I should say.
What I miss in SE Wisconsin though is a decent photography store selling darkroom supplies (chemicals and paper etc.) Have you had any luck?
I am very new to B&W photography with a newly built darkroom. I'd taken classes at a local commuinty college, but they were basically "here's how to develop film/here's how to make prints" classes...no real instruction. As a result, I'm reading books, and looking here & there for input.
I'm from Wisconsin so there are many opportunities for b&w cow photos
and great changes of season! I look forward to learning & perhaps posting a few of my "newbie" pics for help!