Archive for August, 2008

The Taglines

“The next best thing to being clever is being able to quote someone who is.”

Yes, definitely. So, since I finally figured out how to change the taglines, I’ll update them, probably every couple days, with relevant or semi-relevant quotes. And then I’ll store the old ones here, assuming I can edit the post, so I don’t forget which I’ve already used.

“Everyone’s a pacifist between wars. It’s like being a vegetarian between meals.” ~Colman McCarthy

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” ~John F. Kennedy

“My maternal grandfather was the toughest guy I ever knew. World War Two veteran. Killed twenty men then spent the rest of the war in an Allied prison camp.” ~Dwight K. Schrute

“In War There Are No Unwounded Soldiers.” ~Jose Narosky

“As Abraham Lincoln once said… If you are a racist I will attack you with the North.” ~Michael Scott

“‘Sherman’s March’ brought to you in part by Lincoln.” ~car commercial on the history channel

“Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.” ~Carl Sandburg

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.  ~James Morrow

“Having seen all things red/ Their eyes are rid/ Of the hurt of the color of blood forever.” ~Wilfred Owen

“One of the most brutal things in the world is your average ninteen-year-old American boy.” ~Anon.

“Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it.” – George Patton

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.” ~Richard M. Nixon

“In revealing the workings of government that led to the Vietnam War, the newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do.” ~Hugo L. Black

Published in:Uncategorized |on August 31st, 2008 |2 Comments »

Private Yankee Doodle

Here goes nothing with the first relevant post. I don’t know how much of this should be a scholarly analysis, how much a reaction, how formal or informal I should be… and since I’m the first one to post about the readings (yeah, I looked at your blogs hoping for guidance) I’m just going to wing it.

The first thing that struck me and, possibly, drew my attention the most, was Joseph Plumb Martin’s age when he enlisted in the army. Now, I’d have to do much more reasearch than I’ve done already (to be specific, none at all) to determine how common it was for soldiers in the Revolutionary War to have been in their teens, but when I study the Civil War that’s the group I’m studying- underage soldiers, boys who fought in the war. So naturally, one of my serious interests cropping up within the first hundred words made me close my facebook and pay a little more attention. The next thing I noticed was the notation that Joseph Plum Martin’s writing is often exaggerated and should not be taken at face value. That’s another thing I’ve come across in my research- the boy who fights in a war at 16 is somewhat different from the man who writes the book about himself at 60. There exists in many cases a definite tendancy to make it the awesome story that he remembers it as… whether or not it really was an awesome story. So, he plays up the glory and the hardships and he plays down the parts that he doesn’t think are glorious, or which put him in a bad light. What all that has to do with the reading is that I then wondered about the credibility of the author as I was reading along. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that we were assigned these sections because they are considered truthful, but it also occurred to me that this is the book they keep telling us is the best, most complete, longest account of army life during the Revolutionary War. And if it’s not to be entirely trusted, how much history must we be missing?

Published in:Uncategorized |on August 31st, 2008 |3 Comments »

Insert Witty Introduction Here

Having just finished an introduction speech for my Public Speaking class, I figured I’d go ahead and say it all again… more or less, since nobody told me to make this two minutes long. Okay- introduce myself, tell you all why I’m at UMW and relate the family miltary history. Can do.

So I’m a freshman, just like everyone else in this class, and at the moment I’m planning on double majoring in German and Historic Presentation. I’ve been a history nut pretty much forever- I went to my first Civil War reenactment long before I was a year old and I can’t really remember a time that I wasn’t into history. On a slightly less academic topic (though only slightly, I suppose) I spent last year in Latvia  (This country, here- where I was an exchange student. Should you ever get the chance to study abroad, I highly recommend it. Despite the fact that I didn’t get on so well with my first host family, I had an absolutely amazing time- I was the first exchange student to be placed in my tiny little town, Ozolnieki, and I have to admit that it got a little weird sometimes. Like the time my host parents found out third hand that I didn’t own a scarf. Or the time my friend Vēsma asked whether we have rain in the US. I said no (What would you have said?) and they all believed it. They offered to take me outside to feel the rain. Good times, to be sure. I left with the ability to speak Latvian and an almost fangirlish fondness for the group Cosmos, who I got to see in concert in Rīga. It was possibly the best day of exchange.

Anyway, having told you just the barest bit about myself I’ll move on to something academic- this class and this college. I’m in this class because I’m so into Military History. That there’s actually a whole semester long class devoted to this topic just seemed like too good a chace to pass up- I spent High School waiting for the chance to take classes on stuff that actually interested me, so here I am. The cool thing is, this isn’t a part of the military experience that I’ve read much about, and I’m looking forward to getting a new perspective on the people I research and what their experience might have been like post-war.

A little more broadly, I’m at Mary Washington for a handfull of reasons. One is the campus, which is gorgeous, and another is the Historic Preservation program. Despite never having been that into architecture before, I’m really excited about my Historic Pres class this semester. I love that Mary Washington is such a small school. It’s easy to find my way around and I don’t feel like I’m getting lost in the crowd in classes. So far, so good as far as my expectations are concerned. And as somebody pointed out in my Public Speaking class this morning, everyone just seems so darned nice!

Last prompt- According to Mom and Dad, we have several veterans in the family. The ones I know the most about fought in the Civil War, during which I had family on both sides of the conflict. In fact, my several-greats grandfather, Benjamin Austin, is buried just down the street in the cemetary at Fredericksburg Battlefield.

Published in:Uncategorized |on August 27th, 2008 |4 Comments »