Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

April 8, 2013

This past week I reached out to the people I would like to interview. I have yet to hear back from them, so I decided to focus on the rest of my project. Since I have been gathering my information in a google doc, I decided to start gathering pictures and everything as well. This weekend unfortunately I am going home to visit my friend who is sick, so I decided to collect pictures this week and be able to apply them to what I have so far this weekend.

I was also able to help Kalynn out this week during one of her interviews to index. It was a really great experience because now when it’s my turn to interview I feel like I won’t be as nervous– I got the jitters out.

Hopefully this week I will be able to set up interviews and maybe even get one or two in!



Journal 3/25-4/1


3/25-3/27- I had multiple email conversations with Mrs. Garland about our interview on Monday April 1st. I also researched a bit more into the history of CDR on their website in order to prepare for the interview.

3/28-3/30- nothing…my parents were in town for my last home gymnastics meet ever! On Friday, I did go to Professor Glosson’s office to pick up the recording tools for my interview I will conduct on Monday.

3/31- I prepared questions for my interview for Monday with Corinne Garland. I prepared about 13 questions dealing with the evolution of CDR as well as Mrs. Garland’s life and impact in the Williamsburg community. I also printed out the oral history consent forms for Mrs. Garland to sign.

4/1- Today I interviewed Corinne Garland at the Starbucks near Kingsmill. I brought along Kalynn from class to index. This was my first official oral history for my project and it was extremely exciting. Corinne was extremely kind and knowledgeable. She discussed her role as director of CDR beginning in 1972. She discussed how the organization developed over the years. She also helped me understand the history of early childhood special education in Williamsburg and nationally. Corinne mentioned a few names that I will hopefully be able to contact and get more information from soon.

Work Journal 3/24

Choir Tour ate my life from last Friday to Wednesday (and for most of the semester before that). I have been trying to catch up on all my work, including my map diary, and have not have a chance to get research done. (I did get to bond with Tom Marshall on tour, though!)

By now, I have skimmed most of my secondary sources. I have also reached out to Professor Marshall about an oral history. [Professor Glosson, could I please get the contact information for Lance Pedigo and for those in the ensemble?]

My goal for this week is to thoroughly go through my sources, and organize any pertinent information from them. I hope that Professor Marshall will agree to an interview, and that I can schedule him in the next week and a half. I will also email Professor Griffioen about meeting to discuss any additional background on early music ensembles.

I will get back on track with this project!

Bibliography- rough draft

Gibbs, Patricia Ann. Matthew Whaley, schools named for him, and birthdays. N.p.: n.p., 1941.


This is the story of Matthew Whaley, a biography of his life and the school that was named after him.


Matthew Whaley School. “The royal battledore : Matthew Whaley High School year book for …” Matthew Whaley High School Yearbook, 1946.


This is a yearbook from Matthew Whaley when it was a high school. Not sure what information this will hold but hopefully some background information, or maybe I can find people in Williamsburg to interview through this.


Metz, John, Jennifer Jones, Dwayne W. Pickett, David Muraca, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and Dietz Press. “Upon the palisado” and other stories of place from Bruton Heights. Williamsburg, VA: Dietz Press, 1998.


This source has more stories specifically of what happened during the time period that Bruton Heights school was open.


Moncure, Grace Beale. I remember : school days in Williamsburg. Williamsburg, VA: n.p., 1971.


This source is about the Matthew Whaley School. Since it was published in the 1970’s, hopefully it will have some information about when the school was changed from a high school to elementary school.


Rowe, Linda. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library research report series. Compiled by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. N.p.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1997.


This is a short history of the Bruton Heights school. Although the school is closed now, hopefully this source will have not only basic information about the school but maybe students listed that still live in the Williamsburg area that I may speak to.


WDP Research Proposal

I am editing my research proposal as Professor Glosson and I have discussed a new potential topic for my Williamsburg Documentary Project.

Schools make up a lot of a towns history. Every child attends school, generations of people in the same family could attend the same school for decades, and schools employ many of a town’s residents as well. What Professor Glosson pointed out is that there is not a complete history of the different schools in Williamsburg. It is my goal, through historical documents as well as oral histories I will collect to start to create a catalog of the histories of the different schools in the Williamsburg area.

A lot has occurred in the Williamsburg school system in the past hundred years or so. There, of course, was integration after the Civil Rights movement, but there was also the addition of the James City County schools to the Williamsburg school system. With the oral histories I will collect, I can not only get the factual information about the Williamsburg schools but first hand accounts of students’ and teacher’s lives.

I will look at the information available on the school system at the Williamsburg Public Library, as well at the detailed information from Swem’s special collections (especially on the Matthew Whaley school).


Map Diary

My first thought when I began tracking my movements on March 12, 2012 was how similar it would appear to my everyday travels about Williamsburg. The beginning of my twenty-four hour day began at my friend Clint’s apartment at 1535 South Mount Vernon Ave (I specify a 24 hour day because this was at midnight).  I left at approximately 12:25 am and arrived at my apartment by 12:30 am. I then slept through the night and left my apartment for Walgreens around 9:30 am. My trip to Walgreens was brief (I only needed a pack of cigarettes) and from there I headed to Swem Library where I remained until my first class at 1:00 pm. My 1:00 pm class is in Morton; it ended at 1:50 pm and then I had a class in the College Apartments until 3:20 pm. Having finished classes for the day, I headed to Jefferson to meet a friend and together we walked to Wawa and then to 207 Matoaka Ct. I have friends who live there and I played board games with them until about 4:45 pm when I left to get food from the Caf. I remained there until 5:45 pm when I made a second trip to Jefferson and Swem. I remained at Swem until 8:00 pm and then made a brief stop at Hunt Hall before heading back to 207 Matoaka; I did not arrive there until 8:50 pm. I then made a brief trip to Food Lion and returned to 207 Matoaka at 9:15 pm; I remained there until midnight. This schedule is generally representative of my typical Mondays; though instead of visiting friends at Jefferson and Matoaka, I often visit Dupont or Lake Matoaka instead.

Since I live off campus, I expected my day to consist of only a few activities on campus. I had pictured my day on campus consisting entirely of class time. I had forgotten (as stupid as this may seem) that Swem and the Caf were buildings associated with The College of William and Mary; I always simply used them as if they were staples of my community: a public library and a cheap restaurant. Because I associate these buildings with my community and not simply the College, I have proven that while I am a resident of Williamsburg, I am foremost a resident of the College. I had never truly realized how detached I am from the City until this epiphany. Normally I would have merely shrugged off the idea and moved on but while the day was still fresh in my mind I thought over my interactions with the people in each environment. At first I found nothing odd but slowly realized a subtle change when dealing with people not associated with the college; I became quite guarded. On campus I try to be as friendly as possible but off campus I am reserved. I don’t think I can do the phenomena justice simply by describing it; luckily, I have an example.

When I was entering the checkout line at Food Lion, a man entered the store with a cigarette in his mouth, sunglasses on, and tattoos on his face. I was immediately suspicious of him. The sunglasses and the cigarette were unnecessary and the tattoos reminded me of prison tattoos I had seen on television. Perhaps it is my previous experience with crime in Williamsburg but I expected something bad to happen. Some would argue this is a situation where I should have reservations but if I were to describe some of my friends on campus I think only the tattoos wouldn’t be included. The campus has become a pillar of security in my mind, a place where I feel comfortable even when I perhaps shouldn’t.

The map I created to represent my day proves my connection to campus as well; I managed to cover most of the campus in a single day but was only off campus to sleep, visit friends who are students, or to do brief shopping trips. None of these activities really submerse me in the culture of Williamsburg (the closest I come is when shopping and even then I am in chain stores).  The paths I take throughout the day also show my relationship to the different parts of campus. Since I do not have a car, I am consistently trying to find the shortest footpath; this leads me to constantly see every part of campus.  The campus is an integral part of my day-to-day existence, even though I live off campus. It is so important, that I see every building even on days when I am only required to enter two of them.

Before actually thinking about my daily geographic movements, I would have probably said I was well acquainted with the City of Williamsburg. After tracking my movements however, I have begun to understand how removed I am from the Williamsburg community. As a student of the College, my life revolves around the campus. While I would like to think I am a part of the town, I will always be a part of the gown community, unless until I graduate.

Bibliography Assignment 2

As of this week I have no formal update to my bibliography, as I haven’t really spent more time in the library reading. Now that we’ve practiced interviewing and we’re getting ready to start real interviews and labs next week, I’m reaching out to my initial contacts for in-person interviews. The first person I think I want to interview is the husband of my friend Gini, who used to be the campus minister at the church I attend here in Williamsburg. Her husband retired from the DC area and moved here while his kids were still in school. The other couple I met through Girl Scouts. I am not sure if I want to interview the husband, wife, or both of them, but I know that they retired to a nice house in Williamsburg from the New York area. I want to explore the questions I mentioned in my previous post concerning why they came to Williamsburg. I also want to ask how Williamsburg is living up to the expectations they had when choosing where to retire. Any regrets?

Updated Project Proposal

Since I posted my initial idea I have done some research and gotten a better idea of my interviewing prospects in the area, and this has changed my research question a little.  I initially wanted to research why individuals without a connection to the area such as work, education, or family would choose to retire in the area.  With a little more perspective I’ve realized that this ‘displaced’ group of individuals is probably smaller than I thought, and focusing on retirees with no attachment to the area could limit my view of the people who retire to Williamsburg.  I am instead going to explore why people  retire in Williamsburg despite being from elsewhere, with a focus on those with no family in the area if possible.  In my research on and relationships with retired persons I’ve found that there’s a certain checklist of things people consider when choosing a place to retire.  These things include climate, property values and tax policy, availability of medical facilities, proximity to family, things to do, type of community, and others.  In my interviews I would like to determine how people chose Williamsburg and if any of these factors is a certain ‘tipping point,’ or if reasons vary widely among individuals.  Furthermore, I would like to research how important institutions in Williamsburg, such as Colonial Williamsburg, the College of William and Mary, and Busch Gardens, contribute to the definition of community or bring people to the area.  Do any one of these stand out more than the others?  I will explore these questions through oral history interviews with retirees in the area.  Finally I would like to use my ‘library research’ to explore how Williamsburg fits into the national context of retirement.  Is Williamsburg different or unique relative to other areas of the country, region, or state?  Why or why not?

Brief transcript review

I have to say that, unlike Will, I am not a fan of transcribing. Moreover, I discovered that it’s important to conduct the process in a private, secluded space; attempting to transcribe on the first floor of Swem or any public place where you might see someone you know (which is almost everywhere in Williamsburg) is a bad idea.  I can’t tell you how many times I was interrupted, which is a reason why it took me a bit longer than most to complete the assignment. Regardless of the interruptions, I found the recording to be of good quality with most of the words and ideas discernible and clear. I didn’t familiarize myself with the technology to help with the transcription for this interview since it was fairly short (approximately 11 minutes), but I definitely intend on using it for the upcoming peer interview and for the project.  I imagine the software would have made the process less time-consuming as I had to continually start and restart segments where the narrator spoke too quickly, or when I was debating on whether or not to include a comma or ellipsis. There was a time in the interview where I didn’t feel it necessary to include parts, like at the end of the interview when the narrator gave a full back and forth dialogue that almost said the same thing over and over again. Still, I included the full dialogue.  The only time that I was unable to transcribe the words was at the end of the interview when a phone call cut off the narrator’s dialogue and the voice of the interviewee was masked by the sound of the ringing phone.

Journal 2

Still no interviews set up on the second week of field work, a lot of work for other classes occupied me this week, more research than anything else.

« Previous PageNext Page »


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.

Add Users

If you want to add yourself to this blog, please log in.