Thursday, July 30, 2009

The paper is done!

That's it, I have officially submitted my paper via email, be it for good or ill. It is the night before our public presentations, and we just came back from our practice session with the president's wife. She wanted to make sure we spoke loudly and clearly before tomorrow morning. I am so ready for tomorrow. We have presentations at 10:00 a.m. AND the donor of the family papers is coming! I'm so excited to meet her. I had a great phone conversation with her last night when I invited her to the event, so it will be nice to put a face to the voice. Speaking of last night, we fellows did so phone calling for the development office. Unfortunately, I didn't get a hold of anyone besides the donor of the Colton family papers, but I did leave a few messages.

Let's see...otherwise, me time has been spent doing last minute writing, editing, and preparing for the presentation. But I am done! I'm going to go back to my room, watch a movie, and eat a candy bar. Hooray!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time for an update

Okay, I know it has been another week since a substantial blog post, but since I have a draft of my paper done and am waiting for the tutor to finish editing it, I will update you on the last week. The weekend of July 18-19 was spent in the library finishing up all the research I needed to do before I could start writing. I finished all four folders of letters, and am so glad that I did! I really feel like I know this couple, and think I have enough evidence to write a good paper. I managed to get up early both days in the weekend and made it through most of my sources and the letters, which was great.

Monday morning (July 20) we had a presentation/workshop on powder horns. The President of Historic Deerfield has curatorial experience in various museums (including Colonial Williamsburg), and also knows a lot about military supplies. Deerfield has a large collection of powder horns; one of the largest public collections in the country, I believe. It was really interesting to see the designs on French and Indian War and Revolutionary War powder horns. You would be surprised what sorts of things you can find out about people from the carvings on the horns. The rest of the day was spent researching in the library.

Tuesday morning (July 21) we had the final discussion about our object papers before our presentation to the guides at 4:30. Because the weather was stormy and miserable only three guides ended up coming to the presentations. I think that helped the people in the group who are more nervous public speakers, but we still could practice talking about our objects despite the small audience. Also, the guides who were there were very interested and asked questions, which always helps.

Wednesday (July 22) was a full day. We went to Salem to the Peabody-Essex Museum (sorry, no witches). PEM is an art museum that also has a full-sized house brought over brick by brick from China. IT WAS SO COOL! Unfortunately (though not surprisingly), no pictures were allowed on the interior, but I will try to buy a postcard of it online (I didn't see it in the gift shop, though it was apparently there). After spending all day looking at fine and decorative arts, we went over to Manchester-by-the-Sea to visit the family home of Deerfield's "institutional memory." This gentleman is very involved with Deerfield; we see him a lot at the cocktails, lectures, and around town. He has also been very helpful for several people's papers because he witnessed several of the events people are writing about. He was the first curator of Historic Deerfield and a personal friend to the founders. Well, he invited us to his family home, which was right on the ocean. They have a private beach and own an island, both of which the fellows were able to go on. I SWAN IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN! There are pictures that I will try to post. It was so fun, cold, but fun for sure. Afterwards, we looked at pictures of the house's history and the books that particular garden had been published in. We were all exhausted as we set out for Deerfield at 11 p.m. but it was a good day.

Thursday morning (July 23) we had a presentation about the "Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate" exhibit that is in the Flynt Center with one of the curators. It is very interesting to hear about the evolution of use for these drinks and the cultural significance of each. We had a tour of the burying ground Thursday afternoon and time to research until cocktails and a lecture that night. The lecture was the final in the series about "Musical Instruments in Early America." The lecturer was actually from South Dakota, so it was interesting to hear how he made his way out to Boston. The lecture was fun, and afterwards we socialized at the President of Deerfield's house. At least we had an earlier night than Wednesday. It was a good day, though.

Friday (July 24), we had another field trip. We went to Connecticut to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. This museum is owed and operated by the Pequot Tribe (a nationally recognized tribe), and is near the tribe's casino. The building was MASSIVE! It was really cool to see the Pequot Village. You know the wax figures and settings you find in natural history museums? Well, this museum had an entire village set up like that which came with an audio tour. The tour was very effective. There was also a movie the museum had made about the Pequot War in the mid-1600s with the English. It was very moving. It was a good museum to go to, and we had a great discussion with one of the employees over lunch. I also tried a buffalo burger, which was delicious.

Saturday and Sunday (July 25-26) was filled with writing. I was up at 7:00 a.m. both days to try and pound out a draft of my paper. I managed to get a 17 page draft done Sunday evening. There isn't much to report about writing...

Monday, yesterday (July 27), we had a field trip to Old Sturbridge Village. This is a living history village that is interpreted to 1838. Many of the buildings were moved to this location in order to preserve them. It was really fun. I like to atmosphere at living history museums. I think I'm going to look to see what jobs are available! :) I will post pictures shortly.

Today we had a discussion with the several members of Deerfield's staff about what a museum is. We got to hear about how Deerfield is structured, the code of ethics, and collection policies. We also had a lunch so we could ask questions about museum careers and grad schools. It is always interesting but terrifying to hear people talk about their career path because you realize you have to think about these things. There are a lot things I need to think through this year in order to find a job and consider grad schools for museum studies. Tonight I will work on my paper as soon as the tutor finishes reading my draft and giving me suggestions. I'm not panicked because I have something to work with, and it's not for a grade. I will get it done, and have a decent product before we leave for our big trip on Saturday. I will try to write another long blog on Friday before we leave to let you know what we have done Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I'll update at somepoint!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I know I have not blogged in a while, but between object paper presentations, lots of field trips, the last cocktail party/lecture, and the paper being due by Friday, I have been busy. This weekend is all writing. I have about five rough pages right now, hopefully I'll be at ten by the end of today, write ten tomorrow, then I can spend Monday and Tuesday editing. I just wanted you to know I am alive. I will try to blog after our paper presentations and closing ceremonies Friday before I head out on the big trip. I will also write about the last week when I go home. I just wanted you to know I am alive. Sorry about not being more diligent about blogging the last week!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A long, long week

Hey everyone! Okay, so I know I haven't blogged in a while, but that is because this week has been crazy busy. I wills tart with Tuesday. All day on Tuesday we had a workshop for writing labels about the object we used for our object papers. The plans as of right now are that pictures of our objects with the labels we wrote will be used for an online exhibit on the Historic Deerfield webist in which the fellows will be accredited. The new exhibit going up in the Flynt Center (which is where the Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea exhibit is right now) will be on new acquisitions, which was what each of us did our papers on. So, after that long day of workshopping, we went to the library to research and then pakced for our overnight in Newport, RI.

In case you are not aware, Newport, RI, was hwere the summer "cottags" (a.k.a. huge mansions) of prominent famlies like the Vanderbilts stayed. It was unbelievable! We left Deerfield early Wednesday morning and after two and a half hours in a van, we attended a lecture about the "Gilded Age of Architecture in Newport." The lecture was in Rosecliffe, one of the aforementioned mansions. I have pictures of all the mansions we went to, but i have to upload the pictures, so this weekend I will post them at somepoint. After the lecture, we went to a really nice restaurant at which I tried "Irish bangers and potatoes." It was imported Irish sausage and mashed potatoes. Oh my goodness, it was SO GOOD! This was the first meal that really, really wowed me (as it ought to have considering it was about $14). But after lunch, we went to The Breakers. This was the summer cottage of the Cornelius Vanderbilt family. These are the Vanderbilts that everyone thinks of when you hear the surname. This mansion was AMAZING! Photographs were not allowed inside, of course, but I bought postcards with interior images, so you can see them when I get back. There were over thirty rooms (I don't know the exact number), and the furninshing were unbelievable. I could not image living there.

I did, however, get a little taste of what it would be like to live in Newport. An alumnus of the fellowship lives in Newport and invited us for cocktails, dinner, and he hosted us overnight in his mansion! It was a fourteen-bedroom mansion with extensive gardens. There will be a lot of pictures of the grounds, don't worry. We were introduced to several Historic Deerfield trustees and other friends of the alumnus at cocktails, which was really neat. Talk about building connections in the field! There was even a gentleman I met whose mother was born in Kewanee! It's a small world after all...We ate a dinner of swordfish and greens, played in the billiard room after dinner, and had the run of the of house (as it were). Granted we were exhausted from the long day, but soon of us did go out onto the trampoline at midnight. It was fun and harmless silliness. Needless to say, we collapsed from exhaustion afterwards. The next morning we got up early for breakfast and the start of another day touring more mansions.

The second day we got to see a Gothic Revival cottage that a Southern plantation owner owned during the antebellum period. I really liked that house, though the rooms on the first floor were dark (naturally playing into the Gothic theme). We also had an architectural tour of the Isaac Bell house. Isaac BEll was part of the Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts Movement. Think of William Morris with wallpaper design and you have Isaac Bell with architecture. That was a fun tour. We had to eat and run, though, because we were due back in Deerfield for another cocktail party.

As the second week in the summer lecture seires, we got back to Deerfield and had about half an hour to get ready for another cocktail party, dinner with the guest speaker, and then the lecture. This week's lecture was on "Pianos before Steinway." It was really interesting, and the speaker was a lot of fun to talk to. He invited us for drinks after the lecture, so we hung out in the Deerfield Inn Tavern area and chatted for an hour and a half. We all were exhausted, though, so Friday was slow moving for everyone.

Friday morning we had a presentation on Asher Benjamin, who was an important wood carver and house designer in early America. There is a house of Asher Benjamin's design in nearby Greenfield, so this talk was relevant. Deerfield's Director of Marketing was the one who have the talk because he holds a MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in architectural history, and knows a llt about the subject. We also had lunch with the Director of Marketing and the Assistant Publicist from the marketing department. This was just one more opportunity to learn about another aspect of museum operation. The afternoon was spent in the library researching. This weekend will be busy, busy with research because the deadline is quickly approaching. AH!!!!

*As a result of this fast approaching deadline, I will not be blogging very often because I need to kick my butt and be productive*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Heads up

Okay, so since I need to be hyper productive for the rest of the time I'm here before the big field trip, I will not be blogging very frequently. The rest of this week is also filled with trips and lectures, so I will try to fill you all in this weekend between studying. Sorry to disappoint!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Catch up with photos

Okay, so I have the proper time to post a picture-filled post. New from last night: the birthday was lots of fun. We ate at the Northampton Brewery, then the 21 year olds went to a few bars while the two DDs hung out in CVS and Urban Outfitters. It would have been a great night except for the rain. Fortunately, most of us brought rain gear, so it wasn't as miserable as it could have been. I also made a cheesecake for the birthday girl, which we tucked into after we got back to Deerfield. It was one of those mixes I bought at the craft show. I can't wait to make the other two when I get back to IL. I probably will have to wait until I get to Knox since cream cheese isn't a good choice for the family, but it will be delicious whenever I decide to make it. This afternoon we get to have a craft activity with the educators who work in the history workshop (the family area of Historic Deerfield). I'm excited about it, but hope it doesn't last all afternoon so I can research. I HAVE TO BUCKLE DOWN WITH THE RESEARCH! These three weeks are going to go by so quickly that I don't know what to do with myself. I don't want to write a poor quality paper, but if I don't get even research done, that is what is going to happen. No more movies; that is what I'm going to have to do. But enough with worries and sadness.

Okay, so I will let you see images from the Hancock Shaker Village. Remember, this was the outdoor museum with the farm animals that I was really excited about. I enjoyed this museum a lot, but we didn't have enough time to go through to all the buildings. Most of the pictures are landscapes, but I'll try to find buiding pics too.

These landscapes are to put you in the geographic context of the village. It was a very beautiful location, and it being outcast that day actually added to the romanticism of it all.

A stone round barn. It looks just as impressive as the round barn at Johnson's Sauk Trail. Of course, it being of stone adds an extra wow factor. The Shakers were known from their efficiency. They were "progressive" in the sense that they built and worked in the most efficient way and adopted technology that would help with that (like electricity and water power). This barn shows the architecture aspect of this because a round barn can be kept cooler for the animals thanks to the wind factor going around the interior of the building.
This is one of the barns that is connected to the round barn. This has some of the livestock in it, but there was also a barn complex that held most of the animals.
This is the laundry and machine shop. This is the building that holds the working water turbine I was talking about. Naturally work such as laundry and sawing/carpentry would be done in a building with a turbine to run the machines.

Moving on to the Strawbery Banke field trip. I really loved looking at the gardens at this place. Again, we didn't have a full afternoon to explore, so I didn't see even half of the site, but it was still cool. My favorite part was the fairy garden in the Victorian garden. I want to design a fairy garden for my garden. I'll show you.

Here is one of the views of the Victorian house and the gazebo. There is also a fountain behind this view, but I would love to live in a house like this with such an impressive garden.

There is also a children's treehouse on the side of the house. The museum used primary sources to find a description to this reproduction. Wouldn't it be sweet to hang out in a place like this? Imaginations running wild!
These two images are the fairy garden. Notice the little furniture and tea set. There are wind chimes around the garden, and everything is made from nature. Including the fairy house seen below:I really want to build this for my garden. As I'm sure none of you are surprised by this statement.

One of the buildings at Strawbery Banke also had a Masonic Lodge in the upper floors, so I was able to take pictures of that as well. Here are a few highlights.
Here is the charter for the New Hampshire Masonic Lodge. The reason why the Masons run one of the buildings is because the inn keeper at Strawbery Banke was a Mason and the organization still uses the upper floors of the house.
I thought this was cool. A carved Masonic symbol in cement sitting in the fireplace of a second floor room.
In that same this needlepoint was hanging above the fireplace. One of the Mason's wife made this and someone found it in mint condition in an attic. The frame is original as well, but the craftsmanship is most impressive.
In another room on the second floor hangs this hair art. This a a family tree of one of the Mason families. People would use human hair for an art media. Weird, right? But very pretty.

Okay, so the final two pictures are the exteriors of the houses I guided in.
Here is Wells-Thorn, the house with each room set up in a different time period. This was the first house I guided in. And it looks like I don't have a picture of Williams House. Sorry about that.

I hope you all enjoy these pictures. If there is anything you want to see more of or hear more about let me know! Until later!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cocktails, lectures, gardens, and birthdays

Okay, so due to internet difficulties and a full schedule, I am just now blogging. On Thursday, we had a seminar meeting which provoked a really great decision on historic preservation and what is worth saving. It took the entire seminar time, so we didn't get through discussing much of the readings, but I enjoyed the conversation anyway. Thursday afternoon was my last day guiding in Williams House. Thank goodness guiding is over! It isn't because I don't enjoy it, but having every other afternoon completely filled up when there is a research paper hanging over your head isn't fun. It is rather stressing, actually. But at least I have one less thing...

Thursday evening began the annual summer lecture series. This year's theme is music in New England, and the fellows get to rub elbows with the lecturer and Historic Deerfield notables at a cocktail party, fancy dinner at the Deerfield Inn, and attend the lecture. That was interesting. Maybe by the third week I'll be somewhat used to it, but it's strange to experience that kind of society when coming from a Midwestern farm. So this is what the other side's life is like? Interesting. The food was good, and I really enjoyed talking with the speaker, so overall the night was a success.

Friday we had a field trip to Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH. Oh my gosh, I want to work there! We had a tour with the curator of horticulture and landscapes. It was so beautiful! Strawbery Banke is a neighborhood in Portsmouth and the museum site is interpreted from the 17th century to mid-20th century. You see colonial kitchen gardens, Victorian gardens, 1940's victory gardens, as well as several museum houses. We had a delicious meal with the salad from the gardens, and a great talk with three of the employees. I really want to go back.

I have pictures, but I have to get going because it is Jenna's 21st birthday today, so we are taking her out to eat in Northampton, and we are leaving shortly. I will post pictures tomorrow because I know the internet will be available tomorrow. I'm sorry to rush through this post. But tomorrow, my friends, images from the past few field trips and Deerfield...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Stupid internet

Okay, I just wanted people to know I'm alive, but have to blog in depth about the past two days tomorrow because I am sitting in a Jeep outside the library to get an internet connection at the moment. I will be in the library tomorrow at some point with a chance to use the internet for real. Sorry!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Research, Jurassic Park, and field trips

Sorry about not blogging yesterday. Yesterday consisted of a short lecture on historic timepieces, which was really cool. The president of Historic Deerfield gave us the talk, and we got to see the gears of a grandfather clock/music box built in CT in 1790. It was really fun. I guided in the afternoon. I gave two tours, my first in the Williams House. The first went really well, but I think that was because the people were really interested. The second tour, on the other hand, was the best it could be considering that the group didn't seem into it at all. I also started reading one of my secondary sources about Victorian views on love and sexuality. This book is going to be really helpful in my research, and it reads really easily (HOORAY!). I still have a long way to go on this research, but I just have to push through until the end. We then watched Jurassic Park after everyone got back from the library. I have to say, I wasn't impressed. I liked the cast, but definitely wasn't into it. I know, I know, many of you are screaming at your computer screen right now, but I just don't care about dinosaurs. That certainly wasn't one of my phases as a child. The rest of the night was spent talking with Kate, Andrew, and Matt until 3:30 a.m. So much for my getting up early and working at the library this morning...

I ended up sleeping in until 9:30 this morning and relaxed before our field trip to Historic Harrisville, NH. The scenery of driving through parts of Vermont and New Hampshire was gorgeous! I really want to roadtrip up here with my photographer friends and we just have at it with cameras. Maybe someday... Historic Harrisville was a milltown that is not a museum. Instead, an organization wanted to preserve the exterior and structures of the mill buildings, but renovate to the point where offices or studios could use the space. I didn't get any pictures (which is so sad because the landscape was so pretty), but it was rainy and gross for most of the visit. Some of what we talked about was over my head because the women giving the tour was trained in architectural preservation, but it was still cool. This evening there was a potluck at the president's house, so we all socialized with various employees of Historic Deerfield. Now I am at the library with articles waiting to be read for homework for tomorrow and letters to be read. I will end now, but promise I will blog tomorrow!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Architectural Fragments and research

This morning was filled with a lecture about architectural fragments by the architectural conservator. The conservator also happens to be the grandson of the founders of Historic Deerfield. He is a very intelligent man, but due to the dullness of the subject, it was difficult to follow everything he was saying. It did help to go into the barn where all the fragments are stored, however, because it is easier to see what he was talking about when confronted with the pieces than with just pictures. I am sort of curious about the building techniques and construction materials of the Midwest now, but probably not enough to begin a study of it on my own.

I have spent the rest of the afternoon in the library reading through more of the letters. I still have a long way to go, but I have a good start on the second file and have completed the first file. Tonight will be spent in the library, with the goal of completing this second file. I think I will also ask my tutor for suggestions on how I should approach the subject. There are so many things that I could talk about from these letters, that I'm not sure where to begin. I'm curious if the formalities and commonalities of each letter are representative of most courtship letters in antebellum America or if it is specific to this couple. I may try to look for more information on courtship rituals - were there any manuals describing the right way to court someone? What role did the women have in these situations? I still don't know for sure, but I think my tutor should be able to help.

I know this is short, but I'm sure it will be a pleasant change for most of you reading this; especially since I have heard from several people that my blog posts are so long that it is difficult to keep up with. Therefore, enjoy this short post! (I may post a mostly picture post tonight of "The Street" and Hancock Shaker Village since people have also been asking for those pictures...)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July - independence for more than just America

Okay, so I know it has been a few days since I blogged, but that is because I was on an adventure. I decided to go to Boston Friday and Saturday BY MYSELF! I bought the bus tickets, booked a room in a hostel, and did the Freedom Trail! I know, I know, I didn't tell you all before I went, but I didn't want people to worry or try to talk me out it of. I needed to do this. I wanted to see if I could handle a city by myself. And guess what, I CAN! In fact, Boston wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be. I mean, it was so small (for a city). The cityscape was much shorter than Chicago's. I mean, if you divided the number of tall buildings in Chicago by 5, you maybe have the number of tall buildings in Boston. No doubt that it because it older, so the buildings are smaller, but still. I have to say, my living in Chicago for a term has added more confidence than I could have realized before this trip. I have no problems using public transportation, am usually comfortable in groups of people, and just took everything in stride. Okay, so I'll try to recount my weekend play-by-play.

I woke up at 7:30 on Friday to walk the mile and a half (or so) to the bus station and catch the 8:40 bus. All of you know that I'm not a superstitious person, but it was great because I found a penny on the floor face up on the floor by my seat on the bus. I took this as a good omen :). After four hours of traveling, the bus pulled into South Station. After grabbing a tiny, cheap lunch, I finally found the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) subways, and took the orange line to the downtown area. I wandered around by Faneuil Hall and Government Center. There was a bunch of shopping that I did not participate in, but I looked briefly at some of the stores. Then I wandered around across the street and by the docks for several hours. Finally I found the plaza where a Celtic concert was going on for Harborfest. Although I intended to listen to the whole concert, I only heard that last three songs because I couldn't find it before that. It was still fun, though.

By the late afternoon, I decided to head to my hostel because it was a half hour MBTA bus trip. I found the hostel with little difficulty, but I have to say I wasn't impressed. After grabbing a sub for supper, I hung out in the hostel all night. It was a lot of fun to talk with the other travelers. I met an Irishman, a guy from Liverpool, a Londoner, a Glasweign (a girl from Glasgow, Scotland), another guy from the UK (I didn't hear from where), an Israeli, and one Mexican. There was also a group of Russians, but they didn't really talk to anyone. It was SO MUCH FUN to sit and talk with them. I also tried New Zealand red wine (compliments of the Irishman), but didn't like it. I "offended" the Irishman because I didn't drink with everyone else, but water was the best choice especially since I was dehydrated from walking around all day. I had some really great conversations about traveling, differences between UK schools and US schools, the ridiculousness of the American drinking age, and random stuff. I didn't stay up with the rest of the people because I was exhausted, so I went to bed at 10:30. The beds in the hostel were very uncomfortable, the pillow was flat, but I fell asleep for a while. One of the girls in my room snored, so I didn't sleep sounded once the early morning came, but I dealt with it.

I got up at 7:30, checked out of the hostel, and started for downtown Boston. Unfortunately, I was on the bus for over an hour, had to wait for another one, and so didn't make it to Bunker Hill Monument until 10:30. I climbed the 294 steps to the top and took pictures. Oh my gosh, I am so out of shape! (I'll post pictures at the end of the blog, I want to get everything down first.) After Bunker Hill, I went to the USS Constitution and watched it cast off for its anual 4th of July trek around the Harbor. I didn't hear them shoot off the 24 guns, but it was cool to watch the ship cast off. I then continued down the Freedom Trail, had to backtrack a few times because I lost the trail. I walked by the Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, the Old South Meeting House, Old City Hall, Copps Burying Ground, Old King's Chapel and burying ground, site of the Boston Massacre, and Fanueil Hall again. Basically I went on the whole Trail except the last three stops. I lost the trail and I wanted to stay by Government Center because I needed to use the orange line to connect to the red line to get to South Station again. Instead of wandering around after the Freedom Trail, I sat and listened to another concert from Harborfest. I really liked them. It's hard to describe their style, because the guys played accostic guitars and a bass, but the vocal style sounded kind of folksy. Whatever genre it was, it was a good concert. I didn't hear the whole thing because I wanted to get to the Station in plenty of time to eat and catch the bus. After a three hour bus trip, I was back in Deerfield, feeling exhausted but accomplished.

Okay, so what have I learned from this experience? I now know for sure that I can manage myself in a city and that being a tourist is exhausting! I walked at least three miles, my shoes started breaking (they are getting pitched), didn't grab sunscreen, so am really burnt, and while I slept my leg muscles cramped up. At least I slept in until 12:20 this afternoon. Today is an easy day to recover from my trip. I'm glad that I did this, though. I know that I can handle myself in most situations now. That's a good feeling to have. I also now have a Boston t-shirt to prove that I went there! Okay, so here are some pictures...

The Freedom Trail is an actual marked path running throughout Boston. It is made of red bricks two bricks wide and has these medallions dispersed randomly. It's easy to follow for the most part. There were a few times when I lost it because it went through really busy places, so following a crowd didn't even help, but normally following a large group of people is a good strategy.

This is the Bunker Hill Monument. Now remember that the Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breeds' Hill, but history has forgotten that detail. This was the first site I saw because it is the northernmost section of the Trail. This isn't in Boston, but in the neighborhood of Charlestown. I climbed all 294 steps to the top. They were accurate in their counting, because I counted them as well. Here are some views from the top...

If you notice, there aren't that many tall buildings. It is still similar to standing in the Sears' Tower, but it was still cool to be in the Bunker Hill Monument.

I then went to the USS Constitution. This ship was the first ship in the United States navy. It was commissioned during George Washington's presidency, but I don't think it was completed until John Adams. Every 4th of July it sails to the Harbor and shoots off 24 guns across the water. I only saw it cast off, but it was really neat to see the navy go through that whole procedure. It was here that I realized that I was going to get sunburnt very, very badly but couldn't do anything about. I also bought a Boston t-shirt at the USS Constitution museum shop.

These are images from the Old North Church. You know, where Paul Revere saw one or two lanterns in the steeple before his famous ride? The guide at the pulpit is actually correcting the story, but there were so many people that I didn't hear everything. I wanted to go into Paul Revere's house, but that cost money, so I didn't. I only did the free sites...It's bad enough that thanks to food costs I only have $4 to my name, but my adventure was worth it.

I think that is it, if any of you want more details just ask! It's so exciting. "I'm a big girl now!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seminar and Library Research

This morning we met with the staff photographer to discuss her responsibilities at Historic Deerfield. Did you know that there are pictures of Historic Deerfield objects in Felicity, the American Girl book? There are all sorts of publications that have used images from Deerfield, which is exciting to see. Afterwards, we talked about our field trip yesterday and some of the readings we completed earlier in the week. I won't bore you with more details.

Since it is a three-day weekend, two people went home today, two are having friends over, and the other two are hanging out. It will be nice to have no obligations for three days, though. I'm excited. Since our tutor won't be here this weekend either, I spent the afternoon researching instead of shadowing the guide at Williams. I got through the first folder of courtship letters, have two more to go, and I have to figure out an approach. I checked out some papers from past fellows about courtship, so I'll read those this weekend to get a sense of things I could do. Tonight I am totally just going to relax. It will be great. Watch a few movies, go to bed early; I know it doesn't take much to make me happy, but that works for me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hancock Shaker Village and Mass MOCA

Hooray field trips! I really appreciate that we get to go to all of these places and meet lots of museum professionals on top of the fellowship program provided everything else that it does. The Shaker Village was really interesting. Today was the first day of their audio tour, so the educational coordinator really wanted our feedback. Honestly, I'll have say that I prefer going through historical sites on my own. It was weird to have to listen to the tour constantly. I eventually stopped using it. I wish we would have had more time there, but it started raining in the afternoon, so we couldn't do any of the outdoor paths. I found the farm animals, though. It was great; I pet a lamb, dodged free-range chickens, and had a calf suck on my hand - just like home. We also got to see a real-live working water turbine. That was so cool! We also talked with the education coordinator and the collections manager. They gave us a tour of the collections, their library/archives, and additional information about the museum. I love meeting all of these people and networking. My world just keeps expanding, which is encouraging for when I will be applying for jobs after next year.

After the Shaker Village, we went to Mass MOCA. That is, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Okay, so you all know my opinion of art I was less than enthused while wandering aimlessly around the exhibits. The coolest thing was that this museum is in an industrial complex. They gutted out the 19th century industrial building to create exhibition space. Sorry that I an not more enthusiastic about this particular event. I am now going to relax the rest of the night before our last work-day tomorrow. I can't wait for a three-day weekend! I'll get pictures up from the Shaker Village at somepoint...