So I found a pretty cool doctor to highlight: William T. G. Morton. He was one of the discoverers of ether as anasthetic and worked as a dentist and was always fighting with various mentors or old colleagues over credit for the discovery.
I found this pretty useful website and I think it would be interesting to use him in our Profiles section on doctors. He was a pretty avid supporter of painless surgery (well, who isn’t) and used ether inhalation on thousands of soldiers during the Civil War, including during the battles of Fredericksburg, Spotsy, and Wilderness. Poor guy died of a brain haemorrhage and many people don’t consider him the key discoverer of the surgical uses of ether, though he fought that to the bitter end.
On the bright side he did have fabulous facial hair:
Other than that the work is going ok. Researching medical tools and practices from the Civil War isn’t as easy as you would expect since everyone who writes about the Civil War is a bit mad about everything (I mean that in the nicest way). Also the books in the library aren’t really helpful- at least the hour perusal I took on Tuesday. Looks like I’m off to Internet Wonderland! I hope the pictures are grotty
So the map meeting went pretty well on Monday. I got lost in Melchers looking for 310 before one of the art professors told me there wasn’t a class room 310. And then I realized it must be in Mercer. Yeah- I’m always late for stuff, typical.
But other than that: I got the geography class group I wanted (with my friend, Matthew) and they gave us some good ideas about what they can and can’t do. Basically, we are making two maps: one general area map that shows the areas of battle and the movements the wounded had into Fredericksburg and then out to Belle Plain and the other Port Whatsit. The other map is going to be of Fredericksburg (relying heavily on the map provided to us from Dr. Hennessy). On it will be the buildings that were around then and are still standing in some form along with specific areas of town like the City Cemetary (now the Confederate Cemetary) and Marye Heights etc. From there, we will make it interactive (obvs with the help of DTLT).
I also found some interesting books on Civil War medicine which can be used in the sections Katelyn and I are in charge of. As far as medicine I kind of invision lots of gory pictures. Too dark? I also found a good person to highlight in our section on doctors: William T. G. Morton. He apparently was one of the first people to use ether as an anesthetic so he’s relatable on a broader (and Curious George) level.
Morton walked from Fredericksburg towards Spotsy (I think) battlefield to help out more and saw all the wounded walking towards the town. Its pretty grotty. I have a feeling a lot of this project is going to be, though.
I’m feeling a bit better about all this though. It doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it did before Spring Break. I’m feeling a bit optomistic. But that could be b/c its 3 am. haha
We got our omeka basic outline site up before break so ahead of schedule on that one. There are some bugs to work out but basically we are happy with it. Some of it is aesthetically confusing but I’m sure we can work that out. I’m excited to start taking pictures as the weather gets better. We should go early in the morning when the light is best so that they look nicer and not overexposed.
Going to meet with the map people on Monday to talk about what we want from them. Hopefully we can give them something to work with. I think we can pull it off. And we know most of what we are going to do, so that good.
I’m 22 now so yay!
Ol’ Judy Hample is skipping out early (hahahahahahaha) on April 1. I wonder who I’ll be shaking hands with at my graduation now…. Also is she still going to live at Brompton until June 30? Too bad its a historic house or I would suggest we go TP and egg it for funsies
It finally feels like Spring! (Remember to stay away from the brown acid!)
Ok so I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, I just went on an innocent trip to Mardi Gras and was only supposed to miss Thursday through Monday….and then AirTran canceled my flights and left me stranded in New Orleans and I got strep throat, wrote one of the worst papers of my life for the history thesis and missed one of my midterms…. Obviously my karma is broken b/c I haven’t ever missed this much school.
Anyway here is what I thought of some wikipedia pages:
The first one I looked at was the History of Berwick-upon-Tweed, this little area around the border of Scotland and England that was apparently important during the Middle Ages (I was just browsing around and the name seemed cool)
The first thing I noticed in the history section is this page has been edited A LOT. And frequently. Its part of this WikiProject on Medieval Scotland andjust from scrolling the page you can see that different people have contributed to it. There are random sentences kind of added in as their own paragraphs in between other larger paragraphs etc. Also people have linked and footnoted practically every other word.
When I looked at the discussion section stuff gets real: this is this long long fight about whether you can have exclamation points in Wiki articles (except in quotes). Another topic of note is there is a pretty large talk about how Anglo-centric the article is….which kind of makes me confused. Anyway, apparently even though they are now part of the UK, and most people over in the US wouldn’t see the difference, Scots don’t see themselves as part of the “Anglo” designation… Does this statement make me seem like a bad history student?
The next page I looked at I just clicked at random from the wiki history page. And it was the September 11 Attacks page (oops haha). Anyway, the article is REALLY long. So I looked at the history page and clicked on earliest button and saw that it was created in early November. And it is updated nearly every day. I was kinda afraid to look at the discussion page and: the first topic was “Osama Bin Laden is Quite Possibly Dead” which is very long, kinda freaky and full of conspiracy theorists. Nuff Said.
So after that to be on the safe and fun side I found the Wikipage for Scott Fujita, the lineback for The Saints. He is the best thing since sliced bread etc etc (sigh)- Anywho, he actually has a really interesting family. He is white but was adopted and his Dad is a Japanese-American who was born in an internment camp. Scott is involved in lots of really cool charities and is really outspoken about gay rights. Also he has the cutest twin girls ever- just like Drew Brees’ son:
Anyway, from the history it looks like he’s had a page since late 2005 and people update it pretty regularly. Interestingly he doesn’t have a discussion page. I thought it might be because he is still alive or something so they blocked it but I checked Reggie Bush‘s (sigh) Wikipage and he has a lot of commentary….mostly from haters saying he is a cheater and lame. Whatevs- he’s only 25 give the kid a break. Ugh- don’t get me started.
So thats what I’ve found in Wikipedia. Some of it was interesting, some creepy and uncomfortable, some eye-candy. What I’ve learned about the discussion sections is that people aren’t afriad to let their freak flag fly.
So I just shared our contract with Dr McClurken and its pretty clear we need to find a better way of communication within the group. We were supposed to meet today but obvs the snow changed that. The biggest problem is that everyone seems too afraid to make decisions or say something that other people might not like. This is not very good when all of this is for a grade… I admit that I didn’t start working on it when I should. It was the Superbowl and oh yeah I’m writing a thesis right now…
So when it came down to it and it didn’t appear that anyone was going to speak up about the contract being due the next day I created the new document and added to what we had already decided in class on Thursday. I assigned the dates and elaborated on sections that needed to be clearer and invited everyone. Then, I noticed that Taylor had just done the same thing. So I emailed everyone asking what they would prefer. Hours later and no answer. So I combined the two as best I could. I tried to email everyone again but no answer. So I just made an executive decision and I hope no one is miffed.
So to fix this, I created a separate GoogleWave chat for the group. We all have crazy and different schedules so hopefully this will help. Obviously we have some kinks to work out.
On another note: GUESS WHAT HAPPENED:
This is what the Quarter looked like last night according to my friends:
I BELIEVE I BELIEVE!! BLACK AND GOLD WON THE SUPERBOWL!!
Things are going pretty slow with our Civil War hospital stuff. I think we are kind of hesitant to put our ideas out there. I’ve been reading some of the materials and a lot of it is kind of dry.
One problem is we don’t have a time to meet with each other since everyone is so busy. We will have to figure something out or look on our googledoc more.
These are our ideas for the site set up:
Looks like we are going to use omeka to create the site.
And probably a timeline as well.
Background: battle and evacuation of wounded, timeline, maybe battle map
Hospital grounds: interactive(?) map, hospital conditions (maybe some info about period medicine), now and then photos
Civilian supported relief: Gettysburg wounded, Sanitary and Christian Commissions
Local civilian response
Profiles on key figures either in each section or in own section
As far as deadlines- so far we know that we want to have the basic site set up by Spring break
Basically we have a lot of planning to do.
(FOUR DAYS TIL THE SUPERBOWL!!!)
A new way to keep track of who you know and the conversations you have, no matter how or where you communicate. Whether you start a conversation on email, continue on Twitter and finish with a SMS, Silentale automatically captures, stores and indexes all your messages, including the contact details and attachments. [Invite Only Beta]
This could be pretty useful to have on a project since I know I for one have problems keeping track of my mental to-do list. This could also help keep track of communications between group members and any outside sources on the project especially since we have so many different means of communication: facebook, umw email, gmail, googledocs, google wave etc.
The only, unfortunate, downside to this is that it is also incredibly creepy. Kinda Big Brother-stalker-esque
WHO DAT SAY THEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS!! WHO DAT!!
Real post later
This past week we have had many different websites and online tools presented to us. I’m pretty familiar with most of the websites but some of them are different. Now that we have a del.icio.us account I am kind of at a loss for what to do with it and how it is different from…well the bookmarks bar. I know we can share our bookmarks with other people so that is a plus, but it kind of seems to me like another username/password I have to remember and then hardly use.
One thing we could use it for is as a bibliography. Its not as creative but it would be a quick way to get to online resources for researchers instead of reading the sources at the end of an online article and then search in the online databases for forever. Since I am making my bibliography for my Senior Thesis this week it would have saved loads of time if this was attached to the articles I found. The leg work for this project is crazy.
I am really excited that we learned about Omeka as well. This semester I am also making a finding aid for Brompton (as a part of my work in the HisPres Research Center) and want it to be online. Omeka or the umwblogs would be great ways to publish this finding aid in a way that would be easy to update in the future for other people who work on the project after me. Online finding aids are the best way to catalogue these collections since it can be accessed from anywhere in the world and researchers can decide if a location has what they need before they travel there.
I could use the UMW blogs to create this finding aid and then use del.icio.us to link to other finding aids or online projects in related areas like the Civil War Hospitals project I am working with my group on.
Larger museums could use blogs for curators to talk with the community or other institutions about what they are working on and this could allow for the greater exchange of ideas and collections sharing.