Still Buzzing.

June 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm 1 comment

As has been the norm for the past week or so, I’ve been very, very busy with my research and working at the bookstore. Things are still going quite well, even in light of some confusion on my part last week. While I was studying the people in TJ’s life during his schooling years, I realized with some fear that I hadn’t even developed a thesis for my essay yet! So I sat down with Anna and discussed where I was heading with the project and what needed to be done. I recieved some very valuable (albeit I’ll admit a little confusing) input from her and an ICJS research fellow, and it helped calm me down a bit.

I also called Scott with my concerns as well, and he informed me that I just needed to sit back, relax, and start cracking open more books. Which is basically what Anna and the research fellow had said, but when I was talking it all over with them my head was spinning in 50 different directions of “oh s***” and I had to struggle to pay attention.

Anyways, what I also had learned from the experience was that one must do A TON of background reading on their subject before they can even think of crafting a thesis on their own. I was embarassed to admit that in trying too hard but also taking the matter too lightly I had just expected that a thesis would just pop up out of nowhere and fast. I realized that if I was going to create a stellar essay on (in my opinion) an understudied facet of Jefferson’s life, that I needed to get my act together and start plowing through the book that Professor Miller had lent me (if you’re reading this, thank you so much – it’s been a massive help! :)) and also through the several books that I had checked out of the library.  So this is most of the reason that I’ve been so busy lately, with the other being that I fell waaay behind in my Kanji studies, so that’s been eating a massive chunk of my free time as well.

As for the weekend, I worked at the bookstore and then picked Scott up at the Richmond airport late Saturday night. He is visiting me (yay! :)) for pretty much the entire week, and thus far it’s been fabulous having him around. He is a large wealth of knowledge and fun, as well as a great source of comfort. I’m hoping to do some minor historial sightseeing while he is around, so hopefully I’ll be able to drag him either up to TJ’s place on the mountaintop for a while or to James Madison’s Montpelier for a poke around to see all the new and exciting renovations that have been put in place since the last time I had been there two years ago. Back then the house was stripped down to its colonial skivvies – nothing but the original brick and old wooden framework on the inside, so it’ll be exciting to see the house finally restored to what it may have been like when Mr. and Mrs. Madison were living there.

Onward to today, things have been running smoothly as per usual, with the minor side task of trying to wake Scott up, at his request, at 8 AM (no doubt he has fallen back asleep by now, kid’s a heavy sleeper). I myself am currently at the library, digging through the interesting find of a book on Mr. Jefferson written by one David Saville Muzzey. I somehow was fortunate enough some years ago to have obtained a 1911 copy of his infamous textbook American History as a gift from my mom, after my copy of James P. Boyd’s 1888 Political History of the United States was ruined. Muzzey’s book  apparently is well-known in educational circles as “the book” that defined how American history is percieved by the masses in general today. From what I’ve read it had been used as a standard textbook up until the 1940’s. There is a decent blurb here about the book.  Given the apparent patriotic and intellectual idol worship nature of Muzzey’s writing in that volume (and fascinating lack of political correctness, as one passage compares the Native American to “the Mississippi negro” who “loved to bask idly in the sun” [Muzzey, pg. 20, available on Google Books]), I’m not too keen just yet on citing his work on Jefferson. But it seems to be decently written thus far, minus the complete omission of foot- or end-note documentation. Hmm. We’ll see.

Pictures of the Day (As promised, a two-fah):

Ah, the relaxing view from... my parking spot. :)

Ah, the relaxing view from... my parking spot. 🙂

Majestic Charlie.

Glowing Charlie.

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Entry filed under: Fun!, Random, Research Findings. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Business as Usual. What a Riot – Studying the Happenings of William and Mary During Jefferson’s Student Years.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Scott  |  June 22, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    “No doubt he has fallen back asleep by now”?!

    HERESY!

    Reply

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