Archive for March, 2010

Work Journal 3/29

3.23.10: Attended the Williamsburg Civil War Roundtable.  The Roundtable was hosting Gerald H. Johnson, a professor of Geology at William and Mary, who was discussing how the landscape of the Williamsburg area impacted the fighting.  His talk was very interesting and provided an interesting angle from which to look at the fighting.  While there, I talked with one of the people in charge and got some names to contact, Teri Toepke, an employee of the College who works with a number of historical groups focused on the Civil War era, and Drew Gruber, a graduate student at VCU and resident of Williamsburg who has been active in efforts to preserve the battlefield, I have emailed both.  In looking for information on these two, I also found some articles on the Daily Press’ website, one of which written by the VCU student, which provide additional insight into the fight to preserve the battlefield.

3.24.10: Continued contact with Mrs. Toepke and Mr. Gruber.  Scheduled an interview with Mrs. Toepke for 4.2.10 and found out that she is involved in Civil War reenactments around the state as part of the 44th Virginia Volunteer Infantry reenactment group and has developed a first person character which she uses for civic groups and schools.  Mrs. Toepke will provide a very interesting and informative interview.

3.27.10: In addition to assisting Lindsey with her interview of Mrs. Hutcheson, I visited Redoubt Park and Fort Magruder Inn, now a Crowne Royal Hotel.  I was somewhat surprised at my visit to Redoubt Park, the redoubt was preserved very well and a number of plaques gave an excellent description of not only what happened there, but how it fit into the overall battle.  I was disappointed, however, that it was so sparsely visited.  I have no frame of reference to say if this was normal, but I was the only person there despite the wonderful weather, evidenced by the large number of people walking around CW as well as the golfers at Quarterpath Park across the street.  It’s not difficult to figure out why Redoubt Park doesn’t attract many people, it’s not well publicized, it’s not staffed at all, it’s out of the way, and it’s very small, I felt I had an extremely thorough visit and I only stayed for about half an hour.  The lack of staff probably contributes to the lack of publicity, but for a town whose economy is based on historical tourism, it would seem like there would be more attention paid to this park.  My visit to Fort Magruder Inn was extremely encouraging.  While it is most prominently labeled as a Crowne Plaza, the hotel does have a large sign in front reading “Fort Magruder Hotel & Conference Center,” proudly displaying the history this hotel is built around.  In the lobby, the hotel has a display consisting of an artistic map detailing the battle, a uniform, and other artifacts from the Civil War, presumably recovered from the area, but they aren’t labeled as such.  The hotel is built around the remains of Fort Magruder, the central redoubt in the Williamsburg line, but, unfortunately, there was a wedding in the courtyard so I couldn’t really wander around, which means I will need to go back at some point next week in order to complete this experience.

Week 2 Work Journal

Starting last Tuesday I did some light follow-up work/preliminary work for the Cortney Langley/Adam Kinsman interview. First, I reviewed Cortney’s articles “Foreign Workers Struggle to Live” and “Foreign Students Often Exploited” to glean for potential leads, which included InterExchange, a New York based non-profit which sponsors international workers, and more interestingly distributes informational pamphlets describing and giving guidelines for the general J-1 experience (which I want to attempt to locate), Lake George Connections, a worker center also in New York which might be valuable to get in touch with over e-mail, Elena Gulyeva, who is Williamsburg resident and former J1 participant, but now is married and has her citizenship and is already quoted in one of Cortney’s articles (this may also be the same Elena that Beth had mentioned to me as a great potential source, so I definitely need to look into her),  Peter Walentisch, the director of Human Services, Williamsburg who seems quite vocal on this subject, and Ron Thompson, a good Samaritan who has assisted kids coming into the J-1 program for years. I then e-mailed Cortney Langley and Adam Kinsman, sent them introductory letters & Deeds of Gift, gave a brief explanation of my project, and confirmed the interview and negotiated the time and place: This Thursday, April 1st, at 5 PM at the Wasabi Buffet on Richmond Rd. I am especially excited about the place because that restaurant is enormous and usually dead, so it will provide a quiet atmosphere that is also fairly casual and perhaps will be more conducive to a conversational style of interview, which would be more appropriate and insightful for people in positions of authority in the community.

The next two days I spent on doing more solid, textual research as I had already set up two interviews. One day I spent specifically on State Department Records, which were quite slim and bare, even though I did pretty focused and targeted research. Again, it seems the State Department just hasn’t reported on their program, which is kind of unsurprising considering how deregulated it has seemed thus far, but they did have a website with several interesting forms available to download. So, I now have a copy of the DS 2019, which is the necessary form to get a J-1 visa, as well as a really intriguing Cooperator Request form, which is basically how companies and non-profits get involved with the J-1 program. In spite of the dearth of information published by the State Department, fortunately the Government Accountability Office has published several lengthy reports, often quite critical, of the visas. I found one that specifically relates to tourism—however, at an intimidating eighty pages of governmental jargon I am still sifting my way through it. One unexpected facet of the J-1 program which I gleaned from the several reports available on-line was that many foreign physicians are using this particular visa to practice medicine overseas. Although I clearly will not be following this lead until exhaustion, I think it will be interesting to contrast the experience of doctors using these visas and middle-class college students. It should highlight the disparity created by these seemingly (at this point in research) shady sponsor organizations, which time and time again don’t really seem to be the most credible.

I also was able to get in touch for the second time with Cindy Hahamovitch of the History Department for more J-1 specific inquiries. She knew off the cuff that the J-1 program dates back to 1961, but also noted that not much research has been done on the topic. So, she pointed me in the direction of Alan Zoellner at reference, who is apparently the government documents expert. I am certainly going to swing by his office and hopefully get some sort of bearings for where to start digging on more J-1 related information. She also sent me an article from Working Life which described the exploitation created by the program—not just for the foreign exchange students but also for American laborers. The article is useful because it adds an entirely different dimension and a new voice to the conversation: the perspective of labor unions on the phenomenon of cultural exchange.

More recently, over the weekend I tried to revisit Special Collections with my new knowledge base and focus for my project, but every search term I tried (“J-1”, “cultural exchange”, “student workers”, even “visas”) all turned up empty. Since the program is so recent and its appearance in Williamsburg practically new, I doubt archives will be the most valuable resource for direct documentation. I also received another e-mail from Cortney with a lengthy list of contacts over the weekend that should fill up my week, at least. They include:

In the used services for selecting youtube views http://www.bulkyoutube.com/ The very best world-wide-web sites to shop for Youtube members

“Bridging Boundaries International. Carol Negus. [phone number removed]

InterExchange. Larry Rothchild. [phone and e-mail removed]. (Larry has been a great information source for me in the past.)

Janus International [phone number removed].

Also, the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance hosted a forum in, um, 2009 maybe (?) for employers. Bob Hershberger is a good source there. Try 229-6511 or Hersh@williamsburgcc.com

Also, in one of my stories I noted a Sam and Nancy Fletcher from Kingsmill. Just look them up in a phone book or online phone book.”

In addition, she sent a lengthy communication to Ron Thompson, who was the aforementioned Good Samaritan who has been working with J-1 students for years. He seemed not only very willing to help, but also a huge sweetheart and just a really nice and caring person. I am very excited to get into contact with him, either for a direct interview if possible, but also because he said he can refer students to my project. I should either do this today or tomorrow.

To close out the week, I searched a little more through newspaper archives and found an old report from the Daily Press which was not that informative. I also sent initial contact to Moon Light Entertainment and Jorge who runs it this weekend. I do not have a response yet, but we are now friends on Facebook, so hopefully that means he’ll be willing to at least respond to my e-mail.

For next week, I want to contact Alan in the government records department, keep contacting Jorge and ML Entertainment if I do not get a response, get back to Ron as soon as possible, preferable today or tomorrow, and send initial inquiries to Elena, and at least half of Cortney’s contacts. I also think it is about time to get in contact with Busch Gardens which is something I keep forgetting to do. Oh, and one thing I really dropped the ball on was not getting over to Alizé this week. Beth wasn’t working on Tuesday or Thursday, and on Wednesday I got wrapped up in schoolwork and forgot that it was the day I should visit. Thus, this Wednesday I am getting there early and making sure to spend plenty of time attempting to make contacts, or at the very least observing.

Work Journals, week 2

TUESDAY:  Found a cool video here… http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org.proxy.wm.edu/WebZ/FSFETCH?fetchtype=fullrecord:sessionid=fsapp2-52112-g7ddc6hz-dx5sok:entitypagenum=23:0:recno=15:resultset=4:format=FI:next=html/record.html:bad=error/badfetch.html:entitytoprecno=15:entitycurrecno=15:numrecs=1
…it’s all about how my generation is a product of online social media outlets like myspace, twitter, and the like.  Though music is not a central theme to the film, it is definitely informing my understanding of how and why modern American adolescents and twenty-somethings are so obsessed with forming and cultivating relationships through digital means.  I streamed most of the video online today, but I’ll be sure to pick up a copy at Swem this week (according to their online catalog, good ol Earl Gregg should have a copy available right now).  Also, I’ve been brainstorming about who I could potentially interview (I would like to speak with Brad Squires, so I think I will keep him at the top of the list).

WEDNESDAY:  I’ve been thinking a lot about whom I should be interviewing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, as important and fruitful as it will surely be to conduct an interview with a wiser, more sagacious, older musician (or other member of the music community) living in Williamsburg, I also strongly believe that my project is unique in that it is focused on my social peers.  As such, I need to talk with some younger people who are at the forefront of the digital revolution.  Today, I called my friend Danny M. and left a message inquiring about whether he could help me in some respect.

THURSDAY:  First off, Danny M., my WCWM contact, returned my call, and I’m very excited to be talking with him.  We’ve decided that the end of next week would probably work for both of us, but that we might have to wait until next weekend (first week of April?).  I’ll be sure to e-mail the class when we’ve firmed up a time.  Danny and I have spoken at length before on the topic of music and I know that he will have some great stuff to say about how he views his relationship, as a college DJ, to the student body, and to the rest of the Williamsburg community.

FRIDAY:  didn’t do as much as I would have liked.  searched through some magazines at barnes n noble over a coffee for pertinent stuff; found little.

SATURDAY:  Focused on sources today…found a book called Society Online:  Internet in Context that has a pretty pertinent section entitled The disembodied muse : music  in the Internet age (written by Wendy Griswold and Nathan Wright).  The book was published in 2004, so while it’s not as up-to-the-minute as it could be, I have been having dome trouble finding legit sources that are also recent.  Note:  I need to check bibliographies for more sources.  Another book good for some more background reading…The digital songstream : mastering the world of digital music (Brad Hill, 2003).

SUNDAY:  worked on map for Tuesday’s class (interesting and telling project), read some Amato.  I remembered that I had the Virginia Gazette article that Professor Knight found.  Naturally, I looked this over.  The article is about the recent closing of the Plan 9 Music Store on Monticello Ave.  This only affirms my desire to do an interview with Brad Squires, as he has some interesting quotes in the article.  It would also be enlightening to speak with the former owner of Plan 9, just to bounce some ideas around…

MONDAY:  finished the Amato reading for this week; excited about how much this will complement some of the theoretical aspects of my project.

Work Journal #2, 3/29/2010

Wednesday 3/24/10
Emailed Susannah Livingston to get the contact information for her sister, who worked in a tavern on Colonial Williamsburg; hopefully will hear back from her sometime soon this week.
Finished my “skim” reading on The Diary of a Williamsburg Hostess
Thursday 3/25/10
Susannah Livingston responded to my email, but here sister lives in Bethesda Maryland. I am not sure if I will pursue this contact because with my timeline I am not sure we will likely be able to set up a time to interview. I will try a possible phone interview with her. I assume there will be other employees that may be willing to interview with me if I just go down to some of the taverns and ask.
Spent some time reading an article about the new coffee house in the online version of the CW Journal: Winter 10. Just skimmed through past issues of the journal looking for interesting articles in regards to the Taverns or restoration; found article on Tavern Music in winter 03-04—interesting sound clipping along with it. Found a great article entitled: “Sampling 18th Century Fare at Shields Taverns” by Mary Miley Theobald in the winter 1992-93 edition.
Friday 3/26/10
Nothing
Saturday 3/27/10
Gathered information from the Rockefeller Library digital research center online.
Lots and lots of information on this site: it was a little overwhelming and difficult to sort out what I wanted to spend time on and what I needed to just breeze through. There seems like there is so much on my topic that I am having a hard time narrowing and focusing my hypothesis and ideas.
There was this digital map (called the eWillimasburg Project) tool that had information on all of the buildings (including the taverns). It broke it down into categories of research documents listed as: “Historical”, “Archaeological”, and “Architectural”. There was A LOT of information for each, and so I only got through Shield’s Tavern. I hope to explore this site much more in depth over the following weeks for each tavern. I feel like it’s this gold mine for information about my topic!
Sunday 3/28/10
Nothing
Plans:
1. Need to get a folder/box to organize all of my research
2. Need to look at Frank Clark’s interview on Dspace from last year (see if there is anything I want to continue with a possible follow up interview)
3. Need to actually visit the taverns and see if any employees are interested in interviewing with me
4. Need to contact Sarah Livingston via phone to set up possible phone interview
5. Either stop by Chef’s Kitchen to introduce myself to John Gonzales and/or get his contact information from Professor Knight.

Work Journal for Week of March 29

Monday, March 22

1. Corresponded with Sallie Hutcheson regarding interview this weekend.  She has been very willing and eager to share and gather information for both the wider context of my project and the American Eagle corps itself.  She has even offered to write up a corps chronology, scan some of her photos, and provide me with names for other interviews.

Tuesday, March 23

1. prepared letter to send to Sallie Hutcheson for this weekend’s interview

2. started looking at links suggested by Professor Knight regarding gender integration

3. sent request to class for an indexer for my interview on Saturday

Wedesday, March 24

1. corresponded with Sallie Hutcheson regarding pinning down meeting details

Thursday, March 25

1. told Brian I would index for his interview next Friday and asked if he could assist me with mine on Saturday

2. corresponded with Carol White regarding potential interview

Saturday, March 27

1. conducted interview with Sallie Hutcheson

Work Journal

Monday 3/22/2010:

Looked through Internet archives of Grateful Dead to find when they played at William and Mary hall (9/11/1973-9/12/1973).

I found the complete set lists, for both of their sets, both nights of their show. To avoid extra clutter, I will not post these on the blog, but I have them in my notes.

I then looked into back issues of the Flat Hat, and the issue from 9/21/1973 had a full page spread on coverage of the concert. After reading the article, I found out some useful information, such as the fact that the second night was unplanned (to students and other audience members, the band knew they were staying two nights). This provided a completely different atmosphere, the article states, there was no need to “pack it all in.”

Tuesday 3/23/2010:

Did some research on show at William and Mary Hall for The Police and The Go-Go’s, the Hall’s highest attendance event ever with 13,514 people. Found an article in the Flat Hat about it, where I was provided with an in-depth analysis of the show, beginning with The Go-Go’s before moving on to The Police, who headlined the show. The article did mention how most people in attendance were “decked out in New Wave” apparel. The audience remained orderly, despite its size, but some people were unfortunately injured.

Wednesday 3/24/2010:

Tried to contact Cabot Wade of The Smith-Wade Band for an interview. The Smith-Wade Band has been prominent in the local music scene for the past 30 years and would be able to offer some useful knowledge and insight.

Update: Still waiting to hear back, perhaps I should utilize another avenue of communication, for which I will contact Professor Knight.

I also made another contact, the parents of a friend of mine, Emily McMillen, also a student here at the college. Her parents are alumni, having graduated in the mid 1980’s, and claim to participating in regular nightlife at the college. I would love to hear what they have to say, and I will be in contact with them soon regarding an interview.

Thursday 3/25/2010:

After finding out from a message board on the Billy Joel online forum that he played at William and Mary hall “sometime in 1977,” I’ve begun to browse all back issues of the Flat Hat from 1977. About half way through, I still have not found anything on Billy Joel, but other clippings promoting lesser-known live musical acts of the time. This got me thinking that I should just go through all the issues of the Flat Hat to find anything and everything I can about my topic.

Friday 3/26/2010:

After reading an article that Professor Knight gave me from the Daily Press, I have some deeper insights to the changing music scene in Williamsburg. In the article, Scott Varney, a local musician, discusses the logistics for a musician local to Williamsburg. He states that he doesn’t think one can “make a living playing music locally but [one] can do it regionally.” He also mentions the fact that the musical circle in Williamsburg is extremely small, and everyone knows everyone else and has even played with him or her before. An interesting fact was that he spends more time getting gigs and booking than he actually does performing each week, despite the fact that many new venues are opening, it’s becoming much more competitive to play out and gig.

Saturday 3/27/2010:

Took a break

Sunday 3/28/2010:

After looking through old issues of the Flat Hat (1983 to be specific), I found some cool ads for a place known as the Upstairs Downstairs, which I had not heard of yet. It was located on Jamestown Road across the street from Phi Beta Kappa Hall and featured a restaurant upstairs and a tavern downstairs. They boasted of their happy hour specials and fun live music. I am looking more into this. Also, in looking through old Flat Hat ads, I found that the Hospitality House used to have live music every Sunday from 10-2 for their weekly brunch. They were also hosting a Swing Dance on parents weekend both on Friday and Saturday nights, featuring the music of Dick Crist and his Orchestra. There is a lot that can be obtained through just skimming the paper for ads, which I am now warming up to the idea of, it’s just a lot of work with no guaranteed outcome.

Work Journal #2

Monday, March 22nd: n/a

Tuesday, March 23rd: Talked with Mr. Whitehead, the marketing director at Williamsburg Landing, by e-mail.  While he did not feel he should do a formal interview, I’m assuming because of his position, we arranged to meet on Friday at 2 pm to talk about Williamsburg Landing.  He suggested that I look over the Williamsburg Landing website before coming to meet with him.

Wednesday, March 24th: Stopped by Swem. Located the phone books for retirement community Ads!

Thursday, March 25th: E-mailed Ms. Peggy King, the head of the Victim/Witness program for James City County/Williamsburg. She has lived in Williamsburg, and I wanted to ask her if she knew of anyone worth talking to.  She recommended her next-door neighbor, and we are currently working to set up a meeting time with her neighbor. I re-read some of the articles on retirement communities, specifically those in areas where there are colleges.  I also looked over the Williamsburg Landing website, as Mr. Whitehead suggested.

Friday, March 26th: Finalized questions for Mr. Whitehead.  Went to meet with him at 2 pm at the marketing office at Williamsburg Landing.  I had never seen the retirement community before and totally didn’t realize that it is like a mile from my apartment.  The area that I saw looked very new and upscale.  It was a rainy day, so I did not see any members of the community outside, or drive around much.  At our meeting we discussed how Williamsburg Landing is different from other retirement communities around.  He also gave me a package that the marketing office gives to potential buyers and explained the price options.  He told me about all the areas they have from independent living, assisted living, and a facility to care for individuals with dementia, etc. We talked about the ‘type’ of individual that usually moves into the Landing and about members’ involvement in the Christopher Wren Association. We also talked about marketing techniques he has used in the past 2 or so years he has worked there.  I do not want to go into too much detail because that will be in my final report.

We decided that we would e-mail each other as I develop my project and had further questions or need for clarification.  Because he has a senior level position at the landing, I understand the need to not have interviews on tape, so I will e-mail him for all my research.  He recommended that I potentially interview one of the residents at the Landing who they sometimes bring in to talk to potential buyers.

Saturday, March 27th: n/a

Sunday, March 28th: Read over the materials I received from Mr. Whitehead. Sent an e-mail to the Christopher Wren Association seeing if I could meet with someone to talk about the dynamic between the retirement community and the school.

Materials I Received at Williamsburg Landing:

– Info package given to potential buyers.

– Ad used to advertise the Landing in a Northern Virginia newspaper.

– Articles from the weekly newsletter on members who were involved in the Christopher Wren Association.

To Do:

– Buy a pretty box to keep all my research materials in

– Look for an e-mail response from a CWA member

– Make copies of retirement/nursing home Ads in old phone books at Swem

– Start analyzing my data

– Read through print offs from the databases (more statistical/theoretical work)

– I really need to go to Special Collections (looking to do this on Wednesday)

Work Journal; 3-29-10

3-22-10

Read first half of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Great thoughts on sustainability, local farming and eating lifestyles. Stereotypically (inaccurately I mean) hippy-dippy ideas about a back to earth movement. Some sidenote content by her husband, Steven Hopp – facts and figures on organic, GMO, commercial farming and meat industries, as well as the possibilities for this kind of lifestyle if you didn’t already have the ability to pick up and move to a rundown farm in southwest Virginia.

3-23-10

Internet research on SHIP and composing questions for Denise Corbett.

3-24-10

Finished Kingsolver.

Scanned Food, Health and Identity, a collection of essays by anthropologists and sociologists discussing – through English and North European field research – why people eat what they eat. Their analysis is along the lines of identity (or multiple subjectivities I suppose) with an eye towards class, gender, and ethnicity specifically. Reading about how anthropologists think about people eating food is a fun, if not roundabout, way of thinking myself about how people eat. One chapter in particular, “Too Hard to Swallow? The palatability of healthy eating advice” by Anne Keane was especially useful. Her discussion of the ways in which active health promotion has come to supersede simple illness prevention/treatment was provoking. Her analysis that this has led to more empowerment and community-based strategies for healthful citizens falls right in line with the SHIP program, and might be something interesting to discuss with Ms. Corbett. Health-promotion models have, however, received their fair share of criticism. It’s argued that this pays no heed to the material limitations of choice (i.e. money) and casts as unproblematic the relationship between the knowledge and the actual decision (or ability) to do healthy things… another idea to pursue in future interviews.

Scanned Working and Poor, put out by the National Poverty Center. A group of studies executed by a collection of economics and public policy scholars, the book’s overall focus is how economic and policy changes have affected low-wage workers on a national level from 1979 to 2004. It also works to show how major policy changes in this quarter-century period (most notably the welfare reforms of the mid-1990s) interacted with economic, demographic, and behavioral changes in this specific population. One incredibly simple, but useful, tidbit from this big dense text is their agreed upon measure of ‘low-income’ which they define as below 200 percent of the official poverty line. Though not specific to Williamsburg healthy food options, I can’t ever get enough contextualization, in this case poverty at the national level and over the last 25 years.

Continued to work on Corbett interview. By now I’ve put a lot of time into this preparation. The supplementary class materials we read that talk about prep hours vs. actual interview time are bearing true… Thinking about the macro level, SHIP is BIG. There are so many ideas present about the role of public education in students and students’ families’ lives, the wide range of community partners the program has, as well as the impact local, regional, and national organizations and philanthropies can have on an both individual and community level. Not to mention the micro level of Corbett’s relationship to the program and community herself.

3-25-10

Worked up interview questions for Lauren Chapman. Don’t know much about HACE, so a lot of the interview will be follow-up. Thinking of the other side of the interview – oral history questions – was a lot of fun. It’s an excellent opportunity to think about anything I personally care to think about – food and ideas of home are big ones – and then have a captive audience to ask how they feel about them; a captive audience in a formalized setting that encourages thoughtfulness.

Trolled D-Space. Discovered just how awesome a resource D-Space is – super easy to use and tons of material to muck through. I thought I might look at interviews conducted from related past WDP projects to get an idea of their focus and style of interview attack, as well as gleaning any useful interviewee’s perspectives on local foods. Reading peer interview transcripts was tons of fun, especially of people I vaguely know. I almost felt invasive, as if I was sitting next to the interviewer and interviewee and eavesdropping. The best part of every transcript was when an interviewer would finally hit a question at just the right moment in the interview with just the right open-endedness and focus that the interviewee could sink their teeth into. Page-long, and more, answers speaking about whatever the interviewee is passionate enough to go on about are real good reading.

Attended on-campus lecture: “Fair Trade: Niche Markets or Norm Change?” presented by Dr. April Linton (UCSD). The thesis of her talk was to evaluate Fair Trade’s potential for transforming market relationships in mainstream as well as ‘alternative’ value chains. Dr. Linton discussed her field research on the ways in which Fair Trade is benefiting producers and their communities. She also talked about how the system could be improved. Most interesting for me (and this project), she spent a good amount of time talking about what motivates Fair Trade consumers – a mix of knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and behavior… all ultimately though tied in to the premium at which FT goods are bought. The moral of the story was how – if it is possible – to get from Fair Trade (the social movement) to fair trade (a global norm).

3-26-10

Trolled D-Space some more. One interview in particular, conducted by Allison Corbett of Nelson Mendoza – another WDP classmate – seemed especially relevant in the headnote. The only problem was that when I tried to access the transcript there was none. When I listened to the audio file, I realized why – the interview was done in Spanish! Damn my high school language acquisition apathy…

Interviewed Lauren Chapman, student of the College enrolled in an Intro to Women’s Studies class last year. As part of the class, she and several other classmates created a cookbook/healthy eating guide specifically catering to the Hourly and Classified Employees (organization of W&M). First interview very successful and a great confidence booster for soon-to-come non-WDP member, non-peer interviews.

3-27-10

Took a break.

3-28-10

Read Allison Corbett’s transcribed peer interview from last year – I believe she’s Denise Corbett’s daughter. Final prep for my interview this Wednesday with Denise. Put together WDP pre-interview package and will drop off at her office tomorrow morning.

Scanned VA Gazette for articles. One of interest – as well as a full-page ad on the back of the A section – regarding the temporary closing of the Ukrop’s grocery store location on April 3 for a changeover to Martin’s (coincident with several other Ukrop’s changeovers in the area consequent of the buyout), to be re-opened April 12.

Found Lauren Chapman’s Community Action Project cookbook/ healthy eating and living guide through the school’s Women’s Studies website. The group did an excellent job with this project, obviously putting a lot of thought into their audience and working to make their recipes both time- and cost-conscientious. Lauren mentioned in our interview how their project was inspired by the incredibly rapid rise in Type II (adult-onset) diabetes in the U.S. in the last decade. So this guide worked to address more than just dining options. It also offered facts on fast food, a list of top healthy foods and ingredient substitutions, information about dieting, stretching exercises, and testimonials of those living with diabetes. The guide also contained advice on how to shop on a budget as well as a cost comparison chart and basic info about local grocery stores. I printed a copy of this awesome project for my archive.

Watched first episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This British chef/TV. personality goes to Huntington, WVa to try and revamp the town’s health consciousness through its school lunch program. This ABC high-definition show seems more intent on the visual aspects of the problem and raising people’s awareness to the trouble of their eating lifestyles through gross display of what the kids are eating in school (pizza and chocolate milk for breakfast) and what families eat at home (a table full of brown food only). I wish the focus was more informational, more related to the economic realities, but maybe gross awareness is a prerequisite. The drama of the show is, interestingly enough, based around this outsider’s (English chef) relation to the small, rural town as he brings in apparently foreign ideas. The climax of the show will be whether or not he can bring the community around to his view and show them this lifestyle is possible and enjoyable. The nationally syndicated show, along with Oliver’s website, and assistance from other TV personalities like Oprah speak, once again, to a raising national consciousness about healthy eating.

Work Journal 2

Monday, 3.22

Tasks undertaken: looked at materials Professor Knight gave me relating to my topic and took notes; will need to share information with music group and see what they have found from their sources.

*In a recent article (March 17) in the Gazette, “The Day the Music Died” by Steven Vaughan, the closure of Plan 9 was discussed. Brad Squires was quoted in the article, he once owned Echoes at Williamsburg Shopping Center which sold out to Plan 9, as well as Bruce Hornsby. I would like to talk to Squires about the music market in Williamsburg, which he mentioned isn’t thriving. I know that Steve checked out where Plan 9 used to be last week and Squires is a person of interest for us both.

Tuesday, 3.23

Tasks undertaken: Met with music group before class: distributed more materials and gave project updates, including who we are planning on contacting. My first interviewee contact is Sam Eure.

*Took a look at Lewis McGehee: Professor Knight mentioned Lewis McGehee on a comment to one of my posts because Bruce Hornsby had mentioned him in the Hampton Roads article I looked at, and he is another local renowned musician. Would he be a good contact? More information about McGehee can be found at:

Background Notes:

  • On the second website, from an interview with Lewis McGehee, I found some preliminary information about this artist. He is from Richmond, Virginia and is a William & Mary graduate with a B.A. in Philosophy.
  • He performed the opening act for Bruce Hornsby on a 15-city tour and also toured with artists such as Talking Heads, Robert Palmer, Christine McVie, Christopher Cross, and John Prine.
  • While performing in New York’s Greenwich Village, Lewis was discovered by Terry Cashman and Tommy West (Jim Croce’s producers ). Lewis’ debut album on Lifesong Records was released worldwide.”

Wednesday, 3.24

Tasks undertaken: Looked up Sam Eure, “Sammy Lee”, online again and started to plan my interview topics/questions.

Sites visited:

Notes from “Sammy Lee” Facebook page: About the Artist:

  •  Born in Texas, “raised on Southern tradition”, grew up in a military family and moved around; lived for seven years in Hawaii; learned to strum the ukulele, sister danced the Hula
  • Which instruments does he play? When did he start learning/playing each instrument?
  • Sound described as “part acoustic soul, part rhythm and blues” and has a “rich baritone voice”
  • Sings popular cover songs, currently compiling/recording his first studio album*
  • Also a poet, published poet since age 9, and wrote his first song on the piano at age 11
  • W&M graduate; got a B.A. in Government, was in The Stairwells A Capella group, and Sigma Chi fraternity
  • Since he graduated in ’07, he has been performing in the Williamsburg area and venues across VA and into D.C.; he also teaches guitar lessons locally

Thursday, 3.25

Tasks undertaken: Look for relevant articles in VA Gazette

Notes:

* “Irish Tenor sings solo: weekend concert benefits Heritage Humane Society” By Ann Efimetz, published Wednesday March 24. This article talks about the benefit concert performed by renowned Irish tenor Anthony Kearns, accompanied by pianist Patrick Healy.

*The same author also wrote an article I found on the online Gazette called “Williamsburg Magazine PERSON OF THE MONTH: Mary Eason Fletcher”, published on Monday, March 22nd. Mary Eason Fletcher is a faculty member at the College of William and Mary giving music lectures and voice instruction. The article explains that she gave voice lessons to Rob Henry who is a singer that will be recording for “4Troops”- this is a new music group on the Masterworks label; this CD that supports the troops will be released this month.

Friday, 3.26

Tasks undertaken:  Looked for upcoming performances I would be interested in attending.

*Tuesday, starting at 7PM “Sammy Lee” performs at the Center Street Grill in New Town

*The Smith-Wade Band is playing on Wednesday, April 7 at JM Randall’s

[*No tours are currently scheduled for Bruce Hornsby]

*Schedule of live music at Squires Everyday Gourmet at: http://www.squiresgourmet.com/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=eventlist&Itemid=41

Sunday, March 27

Tasks undertaken: called Sam Eure, “Sammy Lee”, and emailed him- will hopefully schedule an interview with him for next week; also contacted friends of his and set goals for next week.

 *Goals for next Week:

  1. Hear back from Sam and hopefully schedule an interview (time and date), see who is willing to index/co-interview with me.
  2. Try to make it to Center Street Grill at 7PM on Tuesday to hear Sam perform; see if anyone else is interested in coming with me (and has a car…).
  3. Check in with music group, Andy and Steve, and see if they have any interviews lined up; Steve is planning on contacting Brad Squires and I want to help with that interview.
  4. Prepare questions for interview and finish doing background research; (if Sam agrees to interview) email/send him information about the interview and the Deeds.
  5. Plan for my next interview and contact next interviewee.

Work Journal 2

Wed.  Heard back from both students in the Community Studies class.  Both are willing to meet with me.  Kiara requested the weekend to gather relevant materials.

Thurs. The notion of tracking and punitive negotiations of race in the classroom came up in interviews with both Professor Taylor and Professor Charity.   I searched for some studies that might frame these issues and the ways they have played out in Williamsburg.

Found the following sources:

Title:
A Multilevel Study of Predictors of Student Perceptions of School Climate: The Effect of Classroom-Level Factors.
Authors:
Koth, Christine W.1,2 ckoth@jhsph.edu
Bradshaw, Catherine P.1,2
Leaf, Philip J.1,2
Source:
Journal of Educational Psychology; Mar2008, Vol. 100 Issue 1, p96-104, 9p, 2 Charts
Document Type:
Article

Abstract:
A positive school climate is an important component of successful and effective schools and thus is often an aim of schoolwide initiatives. Climate has traditionally been conceptualized as a school-level factor and is often assumed to be related to other school-level factors (e.g., school size). The current study examines variation in perceptions of climate based on individual-, classroom-, and school-level factors to determine the influence of predictors at multiple levels. Data come from 2,468 5th graders from 37 public elementary schools. Two aspects of students’ perception of school climate, order and discipline, and achievement motivation are examined. Multilevel analyses in hierarchical linear modeling indicate that individual-level factors (race and sex) accounted for the largest proportion of variance in perceptions of school climate. School-level factors (e.g., school size and faculty turnover) and several classroom-level factors (e.g., characteristics of the teacher, class size, and the concentration of students with behavior problems) were also significant predictors of perceptions of climate. These findings suggest that characteristics of the classroom environment are important to consider when aiming to improve school climate.  (author abstract)

Title: BLACK-WHITE DIFFERENCES IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION: EFFECT OF STUDENT BELIEFS ABOUT TEACHERS
Authors: Hinojosa, Melanie Sberna
Source: Sociological Spectrum; Mar/Apr 2008, Vol 28 Issue 2, p 17-193, 19 p
Abstract: Research suggests that there are differences in the frequency with which white and African American students are punished in schools, with African American students being 2.3 times more likely to be suspended than white students.  Most of the research on school punishment has focused on documenting race differences and looking for student and school-level factors to help explain disproportionality in out-of-school suspension.  This study aims to fill the gap in the literature by analyzing the role of the teacher in affecting student punishment in a large, urban, primarily minority student district.  Results indicate that positive teacher behavior toward students and positive teacher expectations of students reduces suspension from school  (author abstract)
Title
Engaging contexts: Drawing the link between student and teacher experiences of the hidden cirriculum
Authors
Langhout, Regina D.
Mitchell, Cecily A.
Source Journal of Community and Applied Social Pscyhology, Nov/Dec 2008.  Vol 18 Issue 6, p 593-416,

Abstract

This article examines how academic disengagement (being off task, unenthusiastic and uncurious about learning) is facilitated by the hidden curriculum ( the values, norms, and beliefs transmitted via the structure of schooling) and mediated by race, ethnicity, and gender for students in a working class elementary school.  Additionally, we contextualize how a teacher was challenged by hidden curriculum in her attempt to make her classroom environment engaging for all students.  Results indicated that students were required to show their engagement in particular ways that related to control and conformity.  When they did not, they were reprimanded, which led to academic disengagement and the transmission of the hidden curriculum’s message  that school was not a place for them.  This process was especially salient for Black and Latino boys which indicated that the hidden curriculum was institutionalized.  Results also showed that the hidden curriculum was a structural limitation for the teacher, as she was often thwarted in her attempts to create an academically engaging learning environment.  Implications include strategies for school change and reform, including making hidden curriculum more visible. (author abstract)

These sources help frame some of the issues creating the need for alternative education.  While I cannot take these studies as  indicators of specific problems in Williamsburg, they have helped me develop some questions for future interviews in regards to the interrelation of disciplinary practice and the Academy of Life and Learning.

Also, confirmed interview with Jennifer Taylor for Mon. at 2.

Samanthe suggested meeting tomorrow, but given possible time constraints, wasn’t sure if it would be a full interview.

Friday

Grabbed a recording kit in case there was time for a full interview

Interviewed Samanthe  Tiver

I was a little nervous about doing my first independent interview, and fumbled a bit at the beginning.  Luckily, as she is a fellow student, I became comfortable rather quickly.

The interview turned out to be rather interesting one.  Samanthe discussed her involvement with Project ALL, an on campus group that tutors at the Academy. As a Sharpe Scholar who was in professor Charity’s class when the Academy began, she offered some insight into the evolution of the academy from a program meant to provide education to those suspended or expelled from school to a program for those struggling academically or socially.  She also shed some light on the Center for Educational Opportunity, and the transition from this “dumping ground” program to the Academy of Life and Learning.  In recounting her experiences with the Academy, she also spoke of tensions between the Academy and the college, resulting largely from misunderstanding.  She spoke of the efforts of students currently involved in the program to maintain their roles strictly as tutors while developing a rapport with members of the school board.  Additionally, she provided some intriguing perspective on the role of place for the academy, as she spoke of the implications of the location of the program for how the students are perceived in relation to mainstream schools.  She provided a very helpful view into some of the changing curriculum and methods espoused by the Academy as well.  Overall, she did not claim to be an expert on all of the issues discussed, and admitted some of her answers were a bit speculative, but she was extremely helpful in  understanding at least some of the dynamics between students and the college, and provided a lot of leads which I hope to further pursue.  She had a laundry list of contacts, including school board representatives, ALL leadership, and students  which will be extremely helpful.

Saturday

In looking up more about the Center for Educational opportunity, found the an interesting “That Guy” article  in the Flat Hat

http://dspace.swem.wm.edu/bitstream/10288/1381/1/09-21-2007.pdf

It was an interview with now former student, Matt Taylor, who apparently  was involved with the CEO program before it transitioned to the ALL program

Tell me about the CEO program and your involvement with that

Absolutely. CEO stands for Center

Educational Opportunities and it was an

alternative education program for local students

who were expelled or suspended for

large periods of time. The program mainly

worked with 45 to 90 middle school and

high-school-aged students. Last semester,

the superintendent announced that he had

made a decision to cut the program from

its former incarnation (which made it into a

four-hour night program). The students and

community at large rallied and advocated

together on behalf of the students to save

it as a full-time program. After advocating

to the School Board, city council members

and James City supervisors, we were able to

essentially save and reform it into a sevenhour

day program which is now under the

new name of “Academy for Life and Learning.”

It has a new director who is actively

seeking input from the community to make

it into the best program it can be for students.

I am currently a member of a cooperative

independent study with about six to

seven William and Mary students reviewing

alternative education best practices. We

are working with the school board and the

director of the program to see to it that some

of our recommendations are adopted.

How did you initially find out about

these efforts?

I have a large interest in education policy.

I’m a government major, but my focus

is in education. I was enrolled in an interdisciplinary

studies class entitled Impacts

of the Social System on Education last year.

It was a service learning course and about

60 percent of the class involved tutoring

at a school. I had no idea what to expect.

The first day of class we took a field trip

out there. I knew that we would be tutoring,

but I didn’t know that it would be with

population of students that it was. Visiting

this program and discovering what we’d be

working with was daunting to say the least.

Sunday

Intrigued by the transition from CEO to ALL, I did a quick search for Dr. Gary Matthews, current superintendent.  Apparently one of his first moves in office was to eliminate the CEO program and replace it with ALL, a decision which as the article above mentioned, was very heated.  In my search I discovered that Dr. Matthews has been hired by a school district in Georgia, and will be leaving after this year.  Though it is ambitious, now might be a key time to document his involvement with ALL.

Preparing for my interview with Jennifer Taylor tomorrow.

Planning on contacting Anthony Mungin tomorrow during school hours to see if we can arrange a meeting time soon.

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About

The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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