Archive for February, 2013

Cate-Pizarro Updated Proposal

My update for my project proposal is minimal, and I know I have a lot of footwork to do. I need to meet with people in Williamsburg to get a sense of exactly where my project is going. I’ve been looking more into folklore and how it operates in society. I was really grateful that our guest Laurie Brown mentioned her ghost story today. After class I asked her if she would talk with me more about the dynamic between scholarship and superstition, especially in reference to Colonial Williamsburg. Next week will be a big week for me (I hope), because I hope to meet with a local paranormal activity enthusiast in the area. Right now I don’t really have too much more to add, hopefully there is more to come after next week.

Updated Project Proposal

For my project, as discussed before, I will be doing a sort of chronology of the Williamsburg schools. I have been given ideas for resources as well as thought up some my own. I believe I want to start looking into what Special Collections has to offer, obviously it had plenty of information on the Matthew Whaley School, and maybe has information on the other schools as well. In addition to that, I also was told to get my hands on old yearbooks from the schools, which I need to look into how to acquire such materials. After our class practice interview with Lance Pedigo, he told me it would be a good idea to get in contact with his mother, a teacher in the Williamsburg school system for the past 40 something years. After spring break I am definitely going to try to reach her. Also, I have reached out to people I know from William and Mary that I know have grown up here in Williamsburg, to give me a more contemporary history of the schools. There is a lot to do after spring break, I’m excited!

Project Proposal Update

My project on the Governor’s Musick ensemble in Colonial Williamsburg hinges a great deal on first hand research, through collecting oral histories with members of the ensemble. I have contacted Professor Tom Marshall, former long-time member, who has agreed to speak with me about my research. I am hoping to interview at least two of the current members of the ensemble. I am most interested in how the group has evolved over the last (nearly) 75 years of its existence. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has worked to present a very professional image of its programming, and is one of the few organizations left that still employs a truly resident ensemble. How has the changing attitude toward historical performance affected this ensemble? Where do they see its future? Lance Pedigo has also agreed to provide information on historical musicianship and the role of music in Colonial Williamsburg.

The biggest challenge facing my project is that there is very little scholarship already on historically accurate early music ensembles, or resident ensembles in general. I am planning to speak with Professors Ruth Griffioen and Anne Rasmussen on these ideas to hopefully have some more background. I have also started exploring the Early Music America magazine online, which has information on early music’s presence in a modern world.

I have found a few other examples of resident music ensembles. The Folger Consort is a resident ensemble at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. This ensemble has a similarly long (though not quite as impressive) tenure at its institution, playing for over 30 years. The group plays music from the twelfth through eighteenth centuries, but seems to be made up of a “core” of only two musicians, joined often by guest artists. The Newberry Consort is affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies in Chicago, serves as an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, but also travels across the country.

My plan to move ahead involves spending some quality time at the Rockefeller Library in Colonial Williamsburg, studying the institutional history of music here. I have set aside a day of spring “break” to research how Colonial Williamsburg has presented this ensemble through audio, film, and text over the years. As soon as I have contact information, I will start reaching out to more potential interviewees, with the hope of collecting oral histories around the end of March. I think that the information I receive from these might further direct my research in secondary sources.

Updated Project Proposal

While I have not made tremendous strides in my research for my project thus far, I have made important contacts with people who can help, focused my research questions a little more, and created a rough schedule of reading my bibliographic sources.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with Sister Rose Morris, one of the Theology teachers at Walsingham Academy. She has helped me learn a little more about the history of the school, and is willing to conduct an oral history. She also suggested I get in contact with the vice principal of Walsingham, who attended the school as a child. She could give me a good perspective on the state of the school when she attended it. Lastly, I have the contact information for Sister Agnes Loretta, who was one of the founding sisters of the school. I’m really excited to talk about her- an oral history from her could be incredibly useful for my project

Over Spring Break, I plan to finally catch up on the reading I should be doing for this project. Looking at the secondary sources about Catholic schools in the United States I can hopefully better define how Catholic schools interact with the communities they are in, which will help me frame how Walsingham interacts with Williamsburg. I also want to finally start leafing through the microfilms of the Virginia Gazette in Swem to find whatever articles I can about Walsingham. I also want to go the Williamsburg Library to see if I can find anything there. Lastly, I want to visit Walsingham soon. They are putting on a musical soon, which could be fun to go watch. I would just like to get a picture of how the school runs now.

Updated Project Proposal

Since I posted my initial proposal, I have done more research into retirement community advertising geared towards William and Mary Alumni.  I also found the Williamsburg chapter of the Alumni Association has a Facebook page and just looking through the pictures has been informative.  Below I describe some of my findings. Towards the end of the entry, I discuss my plan for the next few weeks. I also describe some of the brainstorming I have done to try to narrow the focus of my project that will hopefully create a more in-depth study of alumni returning to Williamsburg.

Professor Glosson has been kind enough to forward the chapter’s upcoming events emails to me. The two events that have taken place this semester conflicted with prior commitments I made.  However, I plan to contact the chapter over break (I wanted to wait to schedule interviews until both assignment three and the peer interview projects were complete so I was sure I was prepared to use the equipment, etc.) and try to attend an event (if they’ll permit).  Based on the photos from recent events, there seems to be a core group of people who attend the monthly chapter events, though I was surprised by just how many people attend the events.  Most of the pictures I looked at are of alumni who appear to be over 60 years old.  If this is the case, one could guess they are retired and are able to commit more time to the chapter.  For larger events, like the Yule Log celebration, there seemed to be an even larger group of people and there was a big age range.  While most of the attendees appeared to be 60 years old or older, there were quite a few people who appeared to have graduated within the last 10-15 years.  I am pretty sure one of the people is a recent graduate since he looks very familiar.  I hope that by attending an event, or contacting a few of the members, I can have a better understanding of why alumni return to Williamsburg.  Moreover, I think it would be interesting to figure out why people feel such a connection or commitment to the alumni chapter in Williamsburg.  The reason why I ask this is because the interviews with both Clay Riley and Lance Pedigo made it clear that Williamsburg has a small town feel and is a place where one can go anywhere and see someone he or she knows.  Moreover, if people live in retirement communities, they are likely to make a group of friends or at least have social events within their communities.  If that is the case, then why would a William and Mary-specific group (the alumni chapter) be such a draw?  In other words, I want to figure out why an alumni chapter (a William and Mary community) has so much meaning in the lives of some of the alumni living in Williamsburg – Does a void exist? If so, how does the alumni chapter fill it?

I have also begun brainstorming possible interviewees (I do not want to put their information out on this blog since it is public) by going through recent Alumni magazine articles as well as thinking about professors I have gotten to know over the last four years here.  I realize one could say a professor’s decision of where to live is limited since it is dependent on where they find a job opening, but there are quite a few professors who graduated from William and Mary and became professors here (Was it just good timing? What was the process of getting a job here?).  Additionally, I think it would give a very different account than alumni who decided to come back to Williamsburg later in life, or decided to live in Williamsburg (i.e. had more job options available to them in Williamsburg).

The Alumni Magazine has also been a helpful resource.  It not only has articles about alumni (some of whom live in Williamsburg) but it also has many retirement community advertisements specifically targeting alumni.  I plan to continue to look through the magazines to see how the retirement community advertisements for alumni have evolved over time.

I have not changed any of the research questions that I posed in my initial proposal.  At this point, I feel like I need to do a little more research before narrowing my focus.  As I stated before, I plan to do more research over break and be ready to start revising them when we return. However, as you can see in my observations above, I have posed more questions.  I have considered limiting the scope of my project to a specific age group of alumni (recent graduates, middle-aged or retirees) in order to create a more focused project.  I have tried to think of other ways to narrow the focus of my project but have had some trouble.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Updated Project Proposal

With this updated project proposal I hope to elaborate more on the specifics of what I plan researching compared to my original proposal. With the overarching topic–Special Education in Williamsburg as a case study for national Special Education evolution in America–I plan on interviewing knowledgeable subjects in order to understand the personal changes that have occurred as well. I hope to interview current and former Special Education teachers, members of the Williamsburg Special Education Advisory committee, and Professors at the William and Mary School of Education who focus in Special Education. While certainly the scope of my project should focus on the areas that my subjects are most familiar with, I hope to investigate some of the earliest advancements in Special Education in the 1960s to the most recent changes in 2013. Fruitful topics will hopefully illuminate the ways in which national level changes such as congressional bills and Supreme Court verdicts actually impacted classrooms in Williamsburg and teaching styles at William and Mary. So far a rough version of my timeline includes; the creation of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped and Office of Special Education Programs in the mid 1960s, the passage of the Education for All-Handicapped Children Act in 1975 and its various amendments, the passage of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act in 1990 and its various amendments, No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. Important Supreme Court Cases include Hendrick Hudson School v. Rowley (1982), Roncker v. Walter (1983), and Honig v. Doe (1988). I am very interested in discussing the various debates in the field such as Special Education funding, the problems with I.Q. tests, the necessity of toddler and pre-school Special Education, the arguments for full inclusion, and the ways in which race and class intersect with Special Education. I hope my interviewees will be able to discuss the success and difficulties of enacting these legislations and navigating these debates. The teachers and professors will be able to discuss the ways in which particular techniques have been put to use. I certainly think my project will evolve and narrow as I continue my research and conduct interviews. Currently, I am finding plenty of information on Special Education nationally, but I am struggling to find detailed information on the history of Williamsburg education. I think my interviews will provide much of this information and my interviewees will hopefully point me in the right direction with where to find resources. They will certainly also point me in the direction as to where Special Education services could go in the future.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Updated Proposal

I have narrowed the scope of my project since I posted my original proposal.  Rather than looking at both All Together and Big Brothers Big Sisters in Williamsburg, I now hope to focus solely on the latter. I realized that, while All Together is a great organization that works to improve race and cultural relations in Williamsburg, it is more adult-related.  Since the topic of this course is youth, I figured that I should just more deeply investigate the Williamsburg chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters which aims to mentor children and help them “realize their potential and build their futures.”  I still want to look at how this organization addresses the problem of youth marginalized by poverty. I also hope to do some more research on the effects of marginalization and look at how Big Brothers Big Sisters tries to minimize these repercussions.

I have compared Williamsburg and the state of Virginia Census information to get a better idea about where Williamsburg stands as far as socioeconomic disparity and poverty.  There is also a great website called which is “a map of income and rent in every neighborhood in every city in America.”  This fascinating, pictoral representation of statistics has really helped me put isolated poverty into perspective, especially in the Williamsburg area.  On this map, you can zoom in far enough to see specific Census districts, which correlate with certain neighborhoods in the area.  This would be really helpful to use for my research if I find areas where poverty is concentrated and to look at areas where Littles and Bigs may be concentrated.   I hope to use this information as background for my research done with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  I have also gathered a couple articles about poverty in Williamsburg and Big Brothers Big Sisters that I hope to go through over Spring Break.  One article that Professor Glosson showed me has fascinating comments from residents at the bottom.  I have not looked at these extensively, but I hope that they will give me a good idea about how Williamsburg residents perceive the poverty problem.  I will also look for more when I am at home with more time to devote to the research process.

I plan to go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters office on friday to gather any pamphlets or materials that could be helpful to me in preliminary research about the organization.  Its website is full of information and I hope to be able to peruse it more over spring break.  I am working on setting up a meeting with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Williamsburg Program Manager, and I have also asked her if she has any recommendations of other people to contact.  I am very excited to meet and possibly record an interview with the Program Manager so I can learn more about how, if at all, the Williamsburg chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters tailors the program to the specific needs of Williamsburg.  I would also like to find out more specifically which problems the program and Bigs aim to address the most and how they go about doing this. I also wonder if any of the Bigs or Littles happen to be isolated into certain geographic areas.  I would really like to interview a Big and a Little together to look at the dynamics of their relationships and to get a more personal idea about what the program provides for both the Bigs and Littles. I would also love to find someone in the area who was a Little growing up and interview him or her about their experience. I have found that some other resources in my initial bibliography may not be very useful to me, but I hope that the majority of my research will come from interviews and personal interactions anyway.

Updated Proposal

Quite a lot of time has passed since my last proposal and with that time I have been able to mold my research into a better topic. In my original proposal I stated that I wanted to connect the history of recreational sports as well as their impact within the the city of Williamsburg. After talking things over with Prof. Sarah Glosson I realized that that may not be the best route to choose. This research is suppose to be informative so that people years in the future are able to read it. With that in mind I have decided to document personal accounts of athletic events that took place in Williamsburg and solely focus on what happened rather than their siginificance to the community.

First, with the help of some research librarians over at Swem, I was able to research and locate different events that took place in regards to Williamsburg. Of the many things I found I decided that I wanted to focus on three in particular with the first being the Cal Ripken World Series which was held in Williamsburg in 2002. This event invited teams from all over the United States to play in a tournament to determine who had the best 12 year old travel baseball team in the country. As one can imagine this was a very large event. It just so happens that one of my teammates on the baseball team here at WM played on one of those teams. I plan to interview him and elaborate on his eyewitness account of the series.

Next, I learned of a soccer camp by the name of Tidewater Soccer Camp. This camp was started in the late 70’s early 80’s by Al Albert, who at the time was the men’s head soccer coach at the College. This camp ranged from youth groups of all types. In a nutshell, the camp was a week long and campers would live in campus housing and enjoy the many thrills that came along with a traditional summer camp, it just so happened that they played soccer throughout the day as well. Although I am not sure how to get in contact with Mr. Albert, his assistant in that camp is fittingly the women’s head soccer coach here at the College now. I plan to get in touch with him for his account of what took place.

Lastly, I have been working with Prof. Sarah Glosson on a third person to interview. I am hoping to find someone that can give me an account of the WISC. I would like to document how it was built, why it was necessary, etc. I think that it would be a very nice addition to the documenting of Williamsburg.

ACA and Williamsburg – Updated Project Proposal

I will explore the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Williamsburg. I am interested in learning about both the perception of federal health care reform in 2009 and the reception of federal health care reform today, in 2013.

I will evaluate the 2009 perception of national health care reform through my investigation of three local media sources: the Daily Press, the Virginia Gazette, and the WY Daily. When I interview individuals for my paper, I will also ask them to think back to 2009 and what they thought about the need for health care reform when President Obama first took office.

I will also look at those three media sources for information about contemporary attitudes towards the ACA. When I interview individuals for this project, I will ask them about their views of the legislation today.

It is possible that, eventually, I will focus on just one of these aspects of Williamsburg’s perspective of health care reform. For now, I want to keep my topic a bid broad so I have more options to work with rather than fewer.

I outlined below my three main sources: the media, politicians, and physicians. For the media aspect of my project, I am working with Martha Higgins at Swem to figure out the best, most efficient way to cull through these newspapers. I will meet with her after spring break to discuss a final plan of action. I received the names of the following political players from Prof. John McGlennon of the Government Department provided me with the names of these individuals. I will contact these individuals the week after spring break and mention him because he is my mutual acquaintance. Finally, for the physicians, Lance Pedigo and Sarah Glosson provided me with Dr. Schultz and Ms. Butler’s information. Clay Riley told me about Dr. Brown. When I call their offices to make appointments to meet with them, I will mention Pedigo, Glosson, and Riley.

I look forward to completing these interviews in March. I hope that together, these three groups – the media, politicians, and doctors – will present a complete and clear picture of Williamsburg’s perception and reception of the Affordable Care Act.

Here are my various primary sources:


Daily Press

Virginia Gazette

WY Daily



Judy Knudson – City Councilwoman; former executive director of Olde Towne Medical Clinic


Jen Tierney – James City County Democrats; wife of Prof. Mike Tierney


Amanda Etter Johnston – James City County Republicans



Dr. Roger Schultz – Urology


Alison Butler – Nurse Practitioner and wife of Dr. Roger Schultz


Dr. Joseph Brown III – Family Practice; long time Williamsburg resident


Assignment 3- Transcript Review

Doing a transcription is a much longer, and much more tedious process than I thought it would be. I figured it was going to be a piece of cake just writing down what someone was talking about, considering I do that in class all the time. However I didn’t realize that when you must write down verbatim what the person is saying, how many times you have to go back and forth on the recording. Another thing I had difficulty with was when there was background noise, or laughter, whether to include it in the transcription or not. In the end I did include it, as well as writing that things were indecipherable when I was unable to tell what was said, no matter how many times I listened to it. When adding in punctuation, I thought about it how when I’m writing a paper. I think out the words, and when natural pauses come I write in the punctuation.

I believe Professor Knight did a great job interviewing. All of the questions he asked during this portion of the interview were answered with stories from Clay Riley, even if the answer to the question was no. Professor Knight was also very engaged with Clay Riley when they were talking. Riley obviously was comfortable speaking to Professor Knight and was even making little jokes. I know when we’re interviewing strangers from around Williamsburg we won’t immediately be able to talk to them like this, but I think it will really help the quality of the oral history if we develop a report with them.

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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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