December 9, 2007

and one more thing before I go….

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 5:18 pm

I also learned that I am a very stubborn person from this class. I was told that my topic was too hard and undoable and that I didn’t know enough to properly address the subject by many people. I learned I’m pretty stubborn though…I did it anyway. When there wasn’t any information on my topic…I kept hunting. When I had no idea how to understand Supreme Court Document, I kept going and figured it out. When New Kent County acted like there was no issue of segregation in their history…I kept looking for it. I’m stubborn, I’ve always known this, I just didn’t know how stubborn I was or that it translates into my school work.

The Holidays are a state of mind… not a time of year

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 5:09 pm

This semester has taught me not only about writing and research but about myself. I learned how to actually do research, how to write a solid paper, how to argue my point, how to correctly footnote, how to pick a topic, how to edit, how to do citations, and how to formulate an idea onto paper.I also learned that I can do the work needed to be a history major. I can manage my time, pace myself, make the deadline, pull many all-nighters, stand before my peers and stand by my idea, feel passionate about a topic, and work to the best of my ability. I wish I’d known what I wanted to write about before entering the class. Also, I wish I’d had a better sense of how to correctly cite in Turabian style. However, those are all things that I’m glad I know now and helped me to become a better history major by struggling. I thought at times that I never wanted to continue being a history major and that since I want to be a teacher why do I need to know how to write a 30 page thesis. This class changed my attitude though and even though the work was hard, I had to put forth huge efforts, and sometimes I thought I would never be able to do it…I did and I think this is one of the most useful classes I’ve ever taken in college.Writing is a tricky skill, researching can seem overwhelming, making choices, picking the right words, and attempting to make sense are all parts of being a history major and 299 taught me that each step of writing/researching is important and should be taken seriously.I ended up enjoying my topic, I only cried twice over it, and I became very attached to it. I will write my thesis in semesters to come and I have decided to start thinking about a topic now and start researching it so that I am prepared. I wish I’d known everything I learned in this class before taking it…my grades would be higher because of it. 

November 25, 2007

10 Minutes of My Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 11:49 pm

I’m doing my 10 minute presentation final tweaks right now and it made me remember to post. I was having a lot of trouble developing my thesis for the paper. However, I found that doing the presentation and having to figure out what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, and what really was important helped me to narrow down the thesis. I’m hoping that my thesis will come across well and that I’m able to argue my point.I’ve always said that speaking in-front of my peers isn’t my forte (younger then me is just dandy) so I’m actually a little nervous, especially since this is graded.At least I’m going first and getting it out of the way. 

November 19, 2007

No Sleep till Brooklyn

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 5:51 am

So I’ve been a little lacking on the blog posting. However, I have to say that it was not because I was ignoring them but because of the paper.
Now that I’ve had two days to think about it, as awful as I felt the paper I turned in was, I’m proud that I did it. I am also pretty proud that I didn’t cry over it. Complained yes, no crying. I got frustrated numerous times and wished that I had used time management better. Working on it for only four nights was not enough. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t start it earlier, I really need to get out of the habit of letting pressure work its magic.
I felt like for a draft, even though its graded, it wasn’t too terribly bad. It could have been better but for the first real, researched, read everything, didn’t actually BS any of it, paper that I wrote for a History class…it was a good try.
I’m keeping in mind for my thesis too, actually work on it ALL SEMESTER…I say that now.

November 8, 2007

Death Bed = Time to read

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 11:02 pm

Eric Foner’s The New American History, I have to say wasn’t that bad. I thought it was a nice break from other readings typically used in History classes. Some books are long reads and feel drawn out because they are on one subject by one author. This book was an easy read and each essay seemed to be just the right length for each topic. Some of the essays were better then others but all were informative. I thought it was particularly useful for the context in which we used it. The book was a good way to see how strong essays should be written and also gave good examples of what not to do, ever.

October 29, 2007

Laugh while you can.

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 8:48 pm

My life, well so far.

Born: February 23, 1987 Williamsburg, Virginia. Youngest of 4 children, only girl.

Dad left for sixth month cruise

age 2, started preschool

started dancing at Margie Williams Studio of Dance

age 5 began kindergarden at Grafton Bethel Elementary

dad left on 2nd 6th month cruise

played on my first sports team: soccer…team never scored a goal

learned to read

began playing basketball

went to Grafton Middle School

8th grade: began playing volleyball

started Grafton High School

became only freshman on Varsity basketball team


dad diagnosed with cancer

10th grade: met my “surrogate family” (basically a second family, she didn’t birth me, they’re pretty much a second set of parents and I’m their 3rd kid.)

got my first job at River’s Inn Restaurant (still have it)

competed in State Volleyball Championship

started playing Junior Olympic volleyball

senior year: placed 3rd in state volleyball

dad diagnosed with 2nd form of cancer

traveled to Europe with girlfriends for christmas/new years ’05

graduated High School

September 2005 attended Simmons College in downtown Boston

became addicted to facebook

played college volleyball

transfered to UMW

got an apartment

began Education Program, declared as History major

I picked these events because they had the largest impact on my life. Education is a huge part of my life and very important to me. High school was extremely influential and most major events happened then. Meeting my surrogate family was by far the most important event followed by playing volleyball. I added breaking my back because it still effects me today.
Each part of this chronology of my life made me who I am today. Each event is important and added because of the influence it had on my life. I included fun events that helped me mature like traveling to europe, getting an apartment, and living in Boston. I also added family things like my dad being on a 6th month cruise and having cancer, twice, because those were the huge tests for our family about strength and we prevailed.

Chronology is important in history because you can see a cause and effect pattern sometimes and also because it shows history in its true form: a story. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end…history has those as well. History is just on going so we never know what the end is going to be but specific events do in fact have endings. In a historical narrative chronology is important for the same reason. Having a clear path of a story makes it better understood.

October 10, 2007

Don’t Want Nothing But A Good Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 12:04 am

I run half marathons. I haven’t worked up to a full marathon yet but I’m training again to run another half marathon this May also I’m training for an all-womens triathlon for next summer. I like participating in all-womens events, I feel less pressured. This was a story about the first one I did for the More Magazine Half-Marathon. Its for women above 40…I ran with my mom and once I started training I was hooked. I missed playing competitive volleyball and pushing myself in sports…now I compete with myself and running for so long gives you a ton of time to think.
I did go to Simmons College and because I was president of my dorm, did in fact have to dance on may day. Also, in Mona Lisa Smile, the women who perform the dance, are Simmons women; it just wasn’t me. (Simmons women are in tons of Boston movies like Fever Pitch and The Departed…who doesn’t like a bunch of college girls in their films??) Also, it is true that impersonating a Wellseley girl is like treason for a Simmon’s women, they are two of the top all-womens schools in the country so they compete.

(my roommates read these and watched the movie and tried to tell me that they saw me in it…so someone believed me.)

October 4, 2007

You think you know but you have no idea.

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 10:03 pm

It was a freezing, cold, morning in New York City. As I stepped out of the hotel, cold hit me and took my breath away. At the same time, I was busy trying to hail a cab while furisouly chewing a power bar. My sneakers were tied and my heart was racing as I climbed into a cab with my mother and was wisked away to Central Park. Once there, we joined 5,000 other women and prepared to run a half marathon. It was spring but snow patches still scattered the famous paths of the park. Every woman reported to their average mile time group and perfomed their final streches. Finally after over an hour of waiting the gun sounded and we started running. The hills on the north end were the hardest, running by ponds took my mind off the pain, and the adrenaline rush from passing others made the 13.1 miles possible. The race was twice around the park and when I was lapped by the winner at mile 8 which, it was thrilling. Crossing the finish line was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. I completed a half-marathon and am proud of it.

Simmons College is a small, all-womens school, full of tradition, located in downtown Boston, and was where I attended before UMW. One of the longest standing traditions at Simmons College is May Day, when Simmons women celebrate May and perform the traditional may pole dance. The college is the only remaining all-womens college to still perform the dance. It is one of the greatest honors to be selected by the president of the college to be one of the performers of the dance. I was lucky enough to be selected. We practiced for long hours, were yelled at by alumni “passing on” their knowledge of the dance, and began to hate ribbons wrapped around poles. The pay off was worth it though, one day President Chever met our group at a practice and announced that he had signed a contract with Columbia Pictures Corporation which, required us to be the May pole dancers in Mona Lisa Smile. We were so excited and on the first day of filming when the director of the film, Mike Newell, approached us with his instructions it felt surreal. We never got to meet any of the stars of the film because we were in one 3 second shot but we got to be in the movie. We were representing Wellesley women, which was almost like an act of treason as a Simmons woman, but we were in the movie and I think, my 3 seconds of film stardom, was pretty cool.

October 2, 2007

I learned a new word from this reading.

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 11:29 pm

Brinkley, Alan. “Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945.” in The New American History: Revised and Expanded Edition ed Eric Foner. Philadelphia, Temple University Press: 1997. 133-158.

“Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945,” an essay by Alan Brinkley, examines scholarly works about the inter-war years, and each piece is significant, and how research about the time period evolved. Brinkley argues that Arthur Schlesinger Jr.’s chronicle of the entire inter-war period and his interpretations are the most significant peices of works to be written about the time period. Brinkley claims that it is Schlesinger’s three volume work, The Age of Roosevelt, which had the most influence on any future research done on the inter-war period.
Brinkley separated his argument into five different sections in order to prove his argument. In each section he discusses the evolution of writing on the inter-war period. Brinkley provides explanations of authors and how their works vary from Schlesinger’s but can easily be related back to him. Brinkley also discusses how interpretations of the New Deal, politices between WWI and WWII, culture, and society have all gradually changed over time. In addition, he finds links between each work mentioned in order to support his opinion on Schlesinger’s work.

September 27, 2007

it’s a keeper

Filed under: Uncategorized — maura @ 4:33 pm

Pratt, Robert A. The Color of Their Skin: Education and Race in Richmond, Virginia,
. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1992.

1. Provide some information about the author.
Robert A. Pratt is professor of history and department chair at the University of Georgia. He was born in 1958.
2. Why did the author write this book? What’s the author’s perspective?
The book is a study on the city of Richmond’s resistance to school desegregation. Pratt wrote the book to tell the story of Richmond, Virginia’s resistance to desegregation and to show how the judicial decisions made in the area helped to structure public education across the United States. Also, he intended to tell the story of individuals who helped to fight for equality in education. He takes a very academic and legal approach to the topic.

3. What is the author’s methodology? What sources does the author use? What is the book’s thesis?
“Despite the furor over attempts at school desegregation, Richmond’s blacks did not give up on public education; instead, they made the necessary adjustments and worked to ensure that their children’s educational needs were met, even in the absence of a solid white middle-class base.” (pg. xiii)
Sources and methodology?
Pratt used court documents, court rulings, statistics, other books about segregation and massive resistance, and periodicals as his sources. He also had interviews with those involved in the desegregation of Richmond schools.

4. When was the book written?
The book was in 1992. (Though in his acknowledgments Pratt writes that the book began as a seminar paper and later developed into his doctoral thesis then eventually into the book.)

5. How will you use the source for your paper?
Pratt spent a large portion of the book discussing and explaining the “freedom of choice” plan and how it developed, what is was, and why it was used. He also discusses how New Kent County, Virginia ended up developing the plan. Also, Pratt gives ample information about the court case which ended the plan and how and why it did. I will be able to use it in my paper to help explain the freedom of choice plans and how New Kent county adopted the plan. Also, Pratt gives useful information about the Green court case.

6. What are some of the problems that you foresee in using this source for your paper?
The jargon that is used in the book is very legal. As I have no constitutional law background, I have to read sentences over and over again to fully comprehend what they are saying sometimes.

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