Thursday, March 14, 2013

This is hard!

I was really overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work I had last week (I still am but the deadlines have eased up so it's not as bad) and I caught myself thinking "this is so hard!" but then I stopped and realized no. It's not hard. It's a lot of work yes, but it's not difficult or unmanageable. Hard was being in Quebec where I had to think and communicate and learn grammar IN French. Hard is when you are so mentally exhausted that you can't even put together a coherent sentence. Hard is when you ask yourself daily if it was worth it and if you're going to survive. When you wonder how you'll look back on the experience because at this moment, you just want to curl up in a ball and cry. In Georgia I know what I'm doing. Yes there is a lot of reading and writing but I can do this. I just need to continue to apply myself and get it done. And stop whining. Because this is not hard.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My favourite moment of the week

My favourite moment of the week, this semester, is 3:45 on Wednesdays. Weird huh? Let me explain. Even though it's still two days before the weekend and I have classes on Thursday and Friday, I only have one class each day. The bulk of my week is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. As well on Wednesday's I don't have anything scheduled after that last class finishes at quarter to four so I feel all of a sudden like I have TIME. It's rather wonderful. It's no secret that I have a LOT of school work this semester. I'm plugging through it but I have to be very dedicated and spend a lot of time on it. My friends don't understand the sheer volume of reading that a history student has to do, never mind one who is taking five history classes.

Today that awesome moment came early, when I got the email saying class was cancelled. It was like a present. Class is less than two hours long but all of a sudden I had my whole afternoon free. That made today feel like Friday which was pretty nice. I finished up a project I've been working on all weekend and then took my time doing some things around the house. I baked cookies in the mid afternoon and while I was waiting for them to cook I flipped on the tv. I rarely watch tv but today I turned it on and flipped through the channels (that is even more rare for me. I usually just check three or four that I know I like and then turn it off if nothing appeals). It turns out that the moment I chose to turn on the tv and randomly flip through channels, the new pope was just walking on to the balcony to make his first address!!! How cool is that? I didn't even know that "the smoke had gone white" because I had been offline and mixing my cookie dough but somehow I managed to randomly turn the tv on at the exact moment that history was being made. I was pretty happy. I also go to tell my dad who the new pope was (he was working and hadn't heard). I love being able to beat him to big events like that ;)

So, for a Wednesday, today was a pretty great day. I got the gift of time, which I used quite constructively, and I got to see the new pope announced. Nice.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

WARNING: PMS and Midterms don't mix

This post won't be very characteristic of me, and may not even get published but I feel like typing it out anyway. The important thing to remember is that I am pmsing and in the middle of midterms and this is not aimed AT anyone, it's just an observation. PMS always makes me a bit homesick because my horomones are out of whack and it makes me less tolerant of things that wouldn't normally bug me. Today I've hit a wall on American Nationalism. I am tired of the narrow view that no one else (namely Canada) had any impact on world events. This approach doesn't surprise me and in a lot of ways I understand it. The US has a lot of history to cover without getting into what other countries were doing but I guess I'm feeling a bit homesick and I'm missing the broad inclusive approach that my courses at Laurier usually take. At home I do "North American Studies" which incorporates BOTH Canada and the US (and Mexico when applicable). Here it's ONLY about the US. And Britain, Russia, France and China but no reference is made to Canada at all. Even the Quebec Conference during World War 2. If you listen to my prof or read the text book Prime Minister WLM King wasn't even there. No wonder Americans don't have any awareness of Canadian involvement on the world stage. They aren't TAUGHT it.

The other thing I'm getting sick of hearing about is "states rights". Canada has this too but it's not fought as bitterly as it is down here. Half the cases we are studying in the Supreme Court (for my Constitutional History course) are about who has the most power, the individual states or the federal government, and it's exhausting...and we're only JUST hitting the Civil War. I don't know if it will get better!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my trip to Europe because I will be visiting monuments and sites dedicated to remembering the CANADIAN contribution to the wars. I'm looking forward to that if only because I feel like my Canadian pride is being battered here in the face of so much American patriotism. I need to get past these midterms and start writing my essay on the burning of Washington. That should bring it back :D

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ebenezer, GA

 First off, I LOVE my coworkers at Wormsloe. They totally rock. Oddly I don't have pictures of us from today though. We had an awesome adventure but I was an idiot and forgot to bring my spare camera battery so the pictures of us are on another camera. But I'll start at the beginning...

Till now I have been working at Wormsloe on Fridays. I leave Statesboro after my only class ends at 10am and I'm usually there by 11:30. That gives me a good five and a half hours to work before the park closes at 5. Then I usually hang out in Savannah for a few hours, shopping or doing homework, before heading home. The only problem with only working Friday's is I generally always work with the same people and these people are not Paula. She and I have worked together a few times including at the Faire and we've been chatting a lot on Facebook. She's awesome and we decided this week that I'd switch my day to Saturday so we could work together (John doesn't really care, I'm just an extra body anyway so I can come, or not, whenever I want). This weekend we also had another reason. We decided to go find the site of the colonial settlement of Ebenezer on the Savannah River.

So we worked together on Saturday and then I went and stayed at her place over night so we could go on our adventure on Sunday. It was fun to just hang out an chat. We made dinner and drank wine and watched the history channel while talking. Sunday we picked up Jeri, another Wormsloe employee who I've hardly spent any time with, and the three of us headed up to Rincon/Ebenezer. The museum at Ebenezer doesn't open until 3 so we weren't really in a hurry. Because of that we stopped at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge for awhile. Paula and Jeri are both photographers so they had a blast with the birds and swamp lands. Like I said my camera battery was low and it was COLD out (somewhere around 40oF) so I stayed in the car but I still enjoyed the peacefulness of the place.

Then we headed northeast. Well...more north than east. I don't know what happened (and I had the maps) but we overshot our destination but about ten miles and then had to backtrack. It was really odd but I blame it on the not well labelled roads in the middle of nowhere. (it certainly wasn't MY fault, although they did blame the Canadian ;)) We arrived just as the museum people were opening the church for viewing. The congregation at this church has been meeting continuously since the Salzbergers arrived in 1734, the year after the first group of colonists arrived and settled the Colony of Georgia. The church was finished in 1769.
During the Revolution the church was used as a horse stable and the weather vane was actually shot by a British gun. The current weather vane is a reproduction but they shot it to make it look authentic!

We toured all around the site which still includes some of the original cabins, even though they haven't been occupied for almost a hundred years and took our time going through the museum. The two volunteers that were working were so excited that three younger girls, and history nerds from another site, were there that they ended up staying open an extra half hour because we kept asking questions.
 This cabinet is FULL of German language family bibles that have been donated to the site. There was lots of interesting artifacts and displays. I combed through them to find things that apply to the midterm I will be writing on Tuesday for Georgia History. That way it counts as studying right? ;)

Mostly it was just fun to spend the day with people who are as excited about history and exploring as I am. I hope we get to have some more adventures before I finish here!!!