The Symposium this spring semester had a topic for almost every single historical interest. Two session I went too were session five, Women in American History and Contemporary Life and session seven, Representations of Sexuality and Gender Relations. I thought that session five was very informative, however the one presenter Merica Spicer, presentation is the one I found most interesting. Her topic, Choosing to Stay: Seeking to Understand the Choices of Women Captives, was highly informative of how women whom were captive by Native Americans would chose to stay with them when given the chance to leave. These women had been abducted, kidnapped, and brought into a vastly different culture but after living in the culture for an extended period of time and being accepted into that culture was shocking. Some of the women would even become the wives of Native Americans. I always thought because of the amount distain for the Native Americans that people would always want to return the settler life. Then in session seven I learned about how the Gay Civil Rights movement was not reflected in popular sitcoms, that from the 1950’s to the the late 80’s that the programming was very indicative to how the public felt about homosexuality. I also learned that social guidance films could be used into a glimpse to how dating is changed over time, that someone should not be dating serious and date a lot of people. Dating was also for social interaction with the opposite sex.
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
GPA: 3.57, Projected Graduation: Summer 2016
Relevant Coursework: History of Jazz, American Legal History, U.S. Since 1945
Germanna Community College, Fredericksburg, VA
GPA: 4.0, Associate Degree
- Independently researching projects and delivering presentations encompassing historical, political and sociological disciplines
- Extensive use of databases including Library of Congress, JSTOR, Lexis Nexis, American History in Video, WorldCat and Naxos
- Ability to effectively gather, compile, synthesize and distribute information
- Concise expression of written and oral ideas
- Skilled in social media/blog platforms including WordPress, Twitter and Facebook
- Completed selective, yearlong Virginia Department of Transportation Supervisory and Leadership Training Program
- Established and maintained files pertaining to safety and hazardous materials
- Experienced in Microsoft Office, Google Drive and Commonwealth of Virginia asset management and payroll software
- Evaluated safety conditions at VDOT facilities and ensured compliance with state and federal safety regulations
Virginia Department of Transportation, Fredericksburg, VA- Operator
December 2010 – September 2013
- Facilitated the maintenance of roads and rights-of-way with a nine-person team
- Responded to and promptly resolved customer concerns and complaints
- Served during weather and traffic emergencies to institute public safety measures
Milton Department of Public Works, Milton, MA- Working Foreman
February 2000 – November 2010
- Oversaw three-person team in skilled maintenance of underground utilities
- Assisted foreman in directing maintenance of pavement infrastructure
- Communicated employee safety concerns to supervisor as Safety Liaison
I have approached this paper differently from my usual process. I got an earlier start than I normally do. This allowed me to avoid the procrastination that for me can very nearly destroy a paper before it exists, only to be saved by a desperate last blast of activity hours before it is due. I have written an actual rough draft this time. Instead of painstakingly assembling a paper line by line and then going back and editing, I allowed myself the freedom of a shitty first draft and, I must admit, writing is a much less stressful process this way. I still have not done a formal outline. I prefer to write the paper and then go back and move sections around and tweak transitions where needed. No matter how I approach a paper I find that my best work happens before lunch. My brain takes a break during the afternoon and my children take whatever is left after that. This paper has been enjoyable to work on because, while I have read about and listened to James Brown for years, I tended focus more on his music and unique personality than on his social and political influence which this paper has allowed me to delve into deeply for the first time.
I have found that my writing process for this paper is slightly different than the way I usually construct a paper. Usually I write an outline, that consistently changes, but I stick to it and it is my main guideline and I have to keep my thesis right in front of me or else I get completely side tracked. I also have found that I absolutely cannot write when I am at home, I have to be at a library, whether on campus or my local library. When I am at home I think about everything that needs to be done whether it is cleaning or cooking, and I am also constantly being interrupted by my dogs, kid, and of course, my husband. For this specific paper, I have started to work backwards. Because there is so many sources and information on Slavery, I tend to get drowned in all the information. Instead of starting with the primary sources, I started with the secondary and worked my way up my paper. Even though my paper is organized differently than the way I am writing, it is much easier for me to stay organized and on topic. Right now I have about 7 different word documents with paragraphs and information that I have wrote for this paper, and I will use them when I finally pull everything together.
The writing process is something I’ve never really enjoyed. For some, it is a long and painstaking ordeal, of planning, outlining, and revision. For others, they can simply sit down and write. I find myself in the middle. I do not thoroughly plan out my papers, nor do I simply write and be done with it. I do some planning (talk about x then y and so on), but I tend to write a paragraph, or even a sentence, then revise that one part until I like it and move on. This process of mine makes writing a chore and I feel as if I have to force myself into doing it. On the positive side of my approach, it makes my drafts stronger, which in turn means I have to do fewer major changes to my papers. A problem with the writing process for many, I believe, is that people like formulas. They want a step by step guide to things and writing doesn’t fit nicely into that. Yes, there is an intro, body, conclusion, but what you put in those 3 parts is what matters. The directions for writing assignments tend to be vague as well, write x number of pages about a topic. There’s a lot of freedom in writing and maybe it’s that freedom that can be overwhelming.
Provide a brief update on your progress drafting your research paper. What is going well? What has been frustrating? What are you discovering about your writing process—how do you like to work? What is the best time? Do you work from an outline? Do you keep a running outline? Did you begin by free-writing, and only later start putting your ideas into a coherent order? Do you edit as you go, or generate a mass of material before going back to edit and revise? Do you cite as you work? Do you prefer long sittings, or short bursts of activity? Do you write things out by hand or work exclusively on your computer? Reflect on your process—it’s good to be self-conscious about what works for you.
I have almost completed my research paper. All I have left to do the majority of is create my PowerPoint and my notes to go off of while I am presenting. Writing and organizing my paper has been going very well. Thankfully I have not had any writers block this time. There are things, however, that I am finding frustrating. One of those is that the sources that I need are pretty scattered. One source may be used in a small part of my paper, such as those on the Romanovs, and then not again. It can be a little annoying to have to track down these random sources, but I am aware that this is a part of research work. Another thing that can be a little frustrating is there are not tons and tons of sources on BOTH the Civil Rights Movement and communism. The sources on each of them separately are endless, but the two together is a much narrower field. In my writing process I begin very simply. I like to try to psychologically trick myself into thinking that all I am writing is a paragraph. I will set up what I want to say in each paragraph, and write paragraph by paragraph until my paper is complete. I usually overthink what I write, so I do tend to edit as I go. I will, however, read completely through my paper once it is complete to check for misspellings, typos, and sentences that I want to change. I will write by hand if I do not have my computer with me, but I type exclusively. Any writing time that I can get, whether short or long, is good for me. I do prefer, however, long sittings when writing or doing any homework. I have ADD, so it is hard for me to go from activity to activity, because it can distract me. When all is considered I think I am pretty good at writing papers. I enjoy them more then tests, because it is easier to get my ideas out, and I work better over long periods of time (being under a crunch of fifty minutes gives me anxiety).
Initially, I had little idea of where to start or what direction to follow when writing my final paper. So to begin to formulate my ideas, I reviewed my paper proposal as well as my lit review. Then I just started putting words on paper. I’d reread it every so often, and after half an hour, I’d gained a sense of what I was arguing and what I needed to write about. After that, I edited my horrible confusing first attempts, often doing away with whole ideas. Now that I think I have some idea, I can begin writing a first draft. I’ll probably send the whole thing through several revisions, moving my words from document to document, leaving a trail of drafts behind me. I do this because I’m constantly afraid I’ll change something I actually wanted to keep, so instead, I save stages of my work, and allow myself the freedom of deleting and reformatting huge chunks in a brand new space.
One of the disadvantages to writing this way is that I tend to become much wordier than necessary and I end up with more content in one section than I probably needed. Sometimes my focus on one section leaves me with less analysis on other sections. I’m very much in favor of teachers looking over my drafts because it helps me streamline my ideas. My first few drafts allow me to say everything I think necessary, and my second few take into account my teacher’s instructions and suggestions for focusing my topic, or fleshing out necessary points. On the whole, I like writing end of the year papers, especially when I’ve already done so much background work. Having done the primary source analysis and the lit review, I feel quite prepared to discuss the importance of beards to early modern England’s notion of masculinity with particular attention to As You Like It. Formerly, that subject sounded quite difficult and unattainable, but I’m very excited about it now.
Typically, when it comes to any sort of paper, I force myself to work on it a little each day. I make an outline for the paper (that changes a million times) and try to direct my time each day to one point or source on the outline. This could just mean reading and writing down some information, or it could mean reaching some conclusion about one of my points.
For example, by Friday I should have read a interview with an arpillerista, a couple of articles about arpilleristas, and have 2-3 pages dedicated to that idea or topic (sometimes written, usually just bullet points).
Recently, as I have been working on three 10+ page papers at once, I have realized that it is very difficult to stick to that plan when I am not engaged in the topic or really tired (because I am writing three research papers). On the flip side, when I am “in the zone” I can pump out more research and writing than expected. The plan is there for me as a safety. Those expectations for daily progress are rarely followed, sometimes not met or over exceeded, but without them I feel anxious.
For this paper, because I am interested in the topic, I have actually been forcing myself to stop working on it at times when other papers (with sooner due dates) are on the agenda. This makes me less nervous about the thesis next year because it does not feel like work when I am writing, and that daily prescription of writing will at times be something to look forward to.
As for all the housekeeping stuff like citations, formatting, etc. I wait until my paper is completely polished to start working on those. I keep track of author and page number for my footnotes as I go, but it would really interrupt my flow of thought to go put it in the right format mid-writing session. I also am known to write a paragraph and almost immediately delete it, so pumping out footnotes every five seconds would be quite a waste of time.
In all, my outline and plan for writing act like those bumpers kids use at the bowling alley. I do not want to get off track and get stuck in the gutter where nothing gets done until the due date. On the flip side, I know I am not going to make it down the alley (finish the paper), nor make a spare (a grade like somewhere in the B range), without them.
At this point in my research I have all my primary and secondary sources. I think having done a literature review on a few of my secondary sources will really help my final paper. It gave me a better grasp of the overall literature. I think Jermey D. Popkins’ article “Historians on the Autobiographical Frontier” has been the most beneficial source to me thus far. This article talks about how memoirs and the changes in the history profession created a new specialization in the profession: social history. Popkin is a historian that looks at the importance of memoirs, autobiographies, and social history. The research is backing up most of what I wanted to find out why these Navy SEALs memoirs are being published.
When looking for online websites providing historical analysis of the Navy SEALs I googled Navy SEALs to try and find some good sites. I found a bunch of horrible websites that claimed to be former Navy SEALs that created a fire storm of comments about stolen valor. After search for a while I came across the Navy SEAL Museum and The U.S Naval Institute.
Couch, Dick. “USNI Logo.” SEALs: 50 Years and Counting. February 2012. Accessed March 14, 2016. http://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2012-01/seals-50-years-and-counting.
This was just an article I found interesting by one of my secondary source authors Dick Couch. This website has a lot of information on the Navy SEALs as well as literature about them. I think this is a great source since it is run by the U.S Navy. The only critique I have on this website is that is does have an archive on the site however if you just general search topic your are flooded with multiple hits in the archive, news, books, articles, and comments. I would like to see it better organized for general searches on the website.
Snyder, Rolf. “The Navy SEAL Museum.” National Navy UDTSEAL Museum. January 01, 2014. Accessed March 14, 2016. https://www.navysealmuseum.org/.
I found this when just google searching about the Navy SEALs. I think it is great source, it is highly accurate and has a lot historical information on them as well as gear that is used. It starts from their creation under President John F Kennedy to present day, while the website is constantly updated, they do say what is coming down the pipeline. I don’t really have any critiques about the site it self other than it could probably be better organized.