Posts tagged ‘Virginia’

Thomas Jefferson as Virginia’s Governor.

Today started off as has been the norm for the past week or so – got to the Library slightly late, dug into some e-mails, and the cracked open some books to start my research for the day. I also began double-checking for holes in the outline for my essay, and sure enough – I had overlooked a big one. I had neglected to include the establishment of the Law school (then called the school of Law and Police) at William and Mary, with his good friend and mentor George Wythe as its first professor. This is essential, as it shows that FINALLY Jefferson had gotten some sort of improvement into the College. Awesome. So I dove into the TJPortal in search of further information, and found practically nothing. I had tried JSTOR, and I had already read the articles of interest that they had to offer.

Then it hit me – perhaps I should try the Princeton volumes of TJ’s papers. Jefferson said it himself somewhere (I remember reading it at some point…but I can’t remember where… the researcher’s dilemma :P) that his biography was contained within his letters, so into the volumes I went. So far, I’ve only found a letter to a Mr. James Madison singing the praises of what George Wythe was doing with  the law school. Based on what Jefferson had written, it seems like there were quite a few debates and mock trials taking place with lots of participation by the students and other Williamsburgians. Sounds pretty sweet.  However, I then had read somewhere (Gah!) that Wythe had later left his post, as the College was once again brewing with mischievous behavior in both the faculty and the students. A sad ending to something that had so much promise… 😥

I am now sitting here still doing my research, and hopefully I’ll find more tasty tidbits for posting by the time my day at the Library is over. So that’s all for now, more to come later! : )


July 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

The Joy of Finding a Part-time Job.

This morning I dragged my carcass out of bed at the ripe hour of 10 to begin expanding on my job search, in the event that the job offer at Barnes and Noble falls though. Since I had forgotten to post on Wednesday, I neglected to mention that I went to good ol’ BN for a job interview that went very well, minus the part about having to check with corporate(?) to see if they could take a new hire. So things are looking great now in terms of fitting in with the BN crew once more, however if they can’t afford to hire me then I’m in some deep,  serious trouble.

I decided that today, at the recommendation of my supervisor Jack, I would start with cafés and bookshops in the downtown pedestrian mall. I was pretty excited at this prospect, because the downtown mall is a fabulous place with lots of neat shops and fantastic people watching. So I parked my car at the Water St. garage (since the city market was taking place in the outdoor metered lot), and off I went.

My first stop was a little bookshop called Blue Whale Books. I went in to inquire for a job, and I was immediately brushed aside with a simple “no”. So I was then off to find greener pastures, and made a stop at one of my favorite restaurants called Revolutionary Soup. They are like a piece of Amherst, but slightly more punk rock and less Joan Baez. They offer all kinds of locally grown and baked goodies, and I’m pretty sure they’re vegetarian friendly too.  Unfortunately they weren’t hiring either, but at least they would accept my resume just in case.

FLASH: I was just going to type about the rest of my job hunting adventure, but I have just received a call for an interview from one of the bookshops that I had applied at! 🙂 It’s all set for Tuesday, and I hope that this job will work out nicely as I have a feeling that BN may have jumped the gun with me and may not work out. So with two great offers now on the table, I hope that at least one of them works out so I can continue eating this summer. 😛

Picture of the Day:

One of my favorite downtown Charlottesville restaurants, Revolutionary Soup.

May 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm 1 comment

Research, Research, Research!

I arrived at the Library this morning a few minutes late but very eager to begin my research nonetheless. I was first shown the reference collection by Eric, which was one of the tidbits that I had missed in the larger tour yesterday. Now if I ever need to immediately look up a phrase in French or what kinds of wines that Jefferson had once enjoyed, I know that there is a quick reference shelf that I can turn to for help.

After checking out the reference shelves followed by the biographies, I grabbed a few recommended titles and sat down to create an index of what chapters (or in 19th century and earlier cases what portions) of each book would have relevant information that I would need for my master essay. It turned out to be very fruitful thus far, with several books having great amounts of information and which even led me to other titles that could elaborate even further. It is also extremely convenient that I am doing this research in a library that specializes in anything and everything Jeffersonian, as nearly any scholarly title that you can dream of, almost any edition, is available right at my fingertips. Fantastic! This is a much greater step up from the average University library I think, as quite a few of the titles that I would be looking for there would either be classified as “lost” or on a 2-hour hold for a course. Not that University libraries are awful, they are in fact quite helpful, but Jefferson Library is a complete dream come true.

As I was looking over the few books that I had checked out I noticed many little gems that dotted volume one of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, such as this one on page 24:

I always was of opinion that placing a youth to study with an attorney was rather a prejudice than a help. We are all too apt by shifting on them our business, to incroach on that time that should be devoted to their studies. The only help a youth wants is to be directed what books to read, and in what order to read them.”

– Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Turpin dated February 5, 1769

I find this particularly interesting because not only is he dissing on the same method that had trained him as an attorney, but he is also saying something in which this idea of near self-teaching in terms of education may have inspired portions of Emerson’s Education. Interesting! 🙂

Picture of the Day:

My little study space in the Nichols Room at Jefferson Library.

Also, as a side note, I had my I.D. tag made today, so now I’m really official! Wooty woot! 🙂

May 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm 2 comments

Amazing First Day and Richmond Airport Rainstorms

Today began with a whole lot of excitement when I bounded out of bed this morning in order to get ready for my first day at the internship. I was so excited and nervous about it that I was shaking for a good portion of the short commute. As I pulled into the white gates that lead to the library, I recalled the last time that I had driven past those gates two years ago while telling my father that someday I would study there. It felt amazing realizing that the day had finally come, and so much sooner than I had originally expected to boot! 🙂

I then entered the building to much surprise – it was very, very nice inside (and out!) and to be honest I originally had no idea what to expect. There was an elegant little entrance followed by a shared office to the left. Then directly ahead of me was a very nice exhibit on Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks and the medicinal plants that she may have used in her day.  I was then met and given a tour of the rest of the place by my supervisor Jack and was introduced to A TON of nice people who also work there. I had an amazing time, got my official Jefferson Library card, and checked out a few recommended reads that will help me in starting my research work.

I then unfortunately had to jet and take Scott to the Richmond airport to fly back home to Boston (ba dum ch). We arrived at the terminal with at least an hour or so to spare, so we just hung around and chatted until he had to get on the plane. When the time came, we said our goodbyes and off into airport security he went. I scuttled away as fast as I could to avoid tearing up, and luckily it worked as to avoid what would then be an inevitably blinding waterfall spouting from my tear ducts. However, the moment I reached my car in the parking garage, a nasty storm blew in, making the travel on I-64 miserable and somewhat similar to driving through a raging river.

I did brave the storm though, and made it back to Charlottesville in time to make some calls for various things like setting up my internet service. I then cooked a delicious meal of rice pilaf topped with pan-fried chicken in olive oil with onions and mushrooms, and I gobbled up every amazing bite. What a day.

Picture of the Day –

My new library card!

And also this is yesterday’s Picture of the day, which I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to post –

Went shopping Wednesday night for essentials like food, cleaning supplies, and paper towels. Photo by Scott Wilson.

May 28, 2009 at 3:03 am 1 comment

Rainy Day Tuesdays and Arrival in Charlottesville

The grand adventure of my 2-3 month long internship begins (well, sort of) today.

After braving twelve action-packed hours of driving down the eastern seaboard through the dead of night, I have finally made  it to Charlottesville and settled in somewhat.  The whole trip is, in retrospect, just a giant blur with a few tiny but tasty morsels sprinkled in. The biggest of them all being the surge of disappointment that I felt when it turned out that there was not indeed a Steak n’ Shake restaurant of off I-95 in Maryland but what appeared to be a shut down imposter. I had been so excited for the past week or so in anticipation of sinking my teeth into a delicious Frisco Melt, but alas, I would have to settle for highway hashbrowns washed down with a nearly tasteless chai tea latte from the nearest service plaza. Oh,the disappointment.

The day did look up however, as soon as I had finally made it into Charlottesville with my trusty co-pilot Scott at my side. All of the paranoia of landing a decent sublet (not to mention the fear of being scammed since I found the place on craigslist and do not live anywhere near VA and thus could not see the place beforehand) was quickly dissipated as soon as I had taken the first step into my new digs. Everything was nice, spacious, and even cozy. My first housemate turned out to be a dream as well, seeing as I didn’t even know that I was going to have housemates until about a week ago.

But I digress from the main purpose of this blog, which is to keep a record of my research done this summer and the interesting findings that I may have.  I am very excited about this summer and if the start of it is any indication of what is to come, than it is going to be a fantastic one.  I start interning officially at the Jefferson Library either Thursday or Friday, so we shall see just how well this first internship will go! 🙂

Picture of the Day –

The messy, messy aftermath of having just unloaded the car after a 12-hour straight marathon from MA to VA. And Scott's head.

May 27, 2009 at 12:18 am Leave a comment

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