Submitting my thesis was probably the worst thing I could have done for my mental health, lol. It kept me grounded and busy working on something, but now since a lot of the work I’m finishing up is smaller papers I just dont feel as accomplished or motivated enough to keep going.
The biggest challenge for me now is planning our trip to moving to San Fran, which is a big freaking jump but we, suprisingly, found places we could afford out there. Im also taking a test in two days in hopes that I can get into the SFPD. The academy is 34 weeks long but hey thats paid time I could use.
In the mean time, Im going to try to stay sane with these smaller assignments and doing some deliveries via bike. Turns out its not a bad way of making some money.
Since I will be finishing my last final next week, and I will be quarantined in the house for I don’t even know how long, I’ve decided to look into the free online classes posted by the Ivy Leagues. I found some interesting classes.
UPenn posted a class in English-Journalism, focusing on writing journalistically. I’ve been thinking about how learning to write journalistically could tie into my research-heavy history degree. Maybe if I have more journalism experience, I can try to do freelance work at a newspaper as a fact-checker or learn how to write a blog.
What really caught my eye was the online classes hosted by the MoMA. They have classes on museum studies, museum education, and art history classes that I feel can really help me as I transition into working with Museums. I’m really excited about those classes, and they are self-placed so I can start them whenever I want.
Additionally, I know photoshop and lightroom pretty well, but I still want to learn all of the other Adobe applications to become more well rounded, I think this would really help me as I transition into the world of design.
A lot of the assignment’s I have left for this semester pertain to my two photography classes. In one of my classes, American Photography focuses on looking at American photographers from different decades and references the photograph in terms of what’s going on in history.
An interesting topic we covered in American Photographer was “proof” photography. We discussed “proof” photography we viewed war-time photographs. This subject was graphic to see as most of the photographs portrayed death and violence. What was interesting about this proof photographer, however, was how these photographs were still dramatized and manipulated by the photographers, thereby altering history.
One of the most captivating examples of “proof” photography was a photograph taken of Lee Miller in Hitler’s Bathtub. After Hitler committed suicide Miller went into Hitler’s apartment in Berlin to photograph the scene. In the bathtub photograph, Miller got her revenge on Hitler, as she is of German descent. Miller staged the scene of her casually taking a bath next to a picture of Hitler, dirtying his white bath linens with military boots.
A less specific example of the manipulation of “proof” photography is the photography of Alexander Gardner. Gardner photographed scenes from the Civil war and manipulated the positioning of dead soldier in order to create a more dramatic narrative.
I submitted my Capstone last week and it feels odd having more free time. I have had more time to reflect on my last semester as the academic year winds down. I think that, for the resources I had, I did a great job at completing my capstone, and I’m really proud of how on top of my work I was in this Capstone Seminar. This semester taught me a lot about how quickly circumstances can change and the importance of communication and balance. Surprisingly, I was less stressed about school work this semester than I have ever been, even while doing classes through zoom. I was able to effectively communicate what I had going on and thankfully my professors were lenient when it came to deadlines.
I wonder what else I will learn from living during this pandemic. Since I will probably be losing my job at the archive, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make money once school ends. I have been practicing portraiture and will be posting my art on an Instagram page. Hopefully, an art Instagram account will help me find some type of income, I’m also trying to sell some of my photography prints. I have been looking at grants for creative writing, art, or research scholarships. I will update you on how that is going. I am not sure what I should be writing about in these missing blogs, so I will be writing my current or future academic endeavors.
Hey all back with another make-up blog post. For this post I was going to use the information I gathered during my research of the Antiwar movements roots. As we all know the antiwar movement is stereotyped as a bunch of “hippy” teenagers, who basically are wasting their time with protesting the Vietnam War. These were just stereotypes, however, as we know that the antiwar movement made a significant impact on the course of the Vietnam War. Its roots can be found among the early Civil Rights Era protests that started before the outbreak of the war and continued throughout the decade.
The antiwar movement would not have come into fruition if it were not for the Civil Rights Era movement. One instance in particular occurred on February 1, 1960, in Greensboro, Ohio where four African American students sat down at a “whites only” lunch counter and refused to get up. This simple act of defiance was seen as nothing short of egregious during the Jim Crow era. However, this would act would be known as the first “sit-in” and would inspire countless activists to take a stand. “Sit-ins” became popularized around the country as the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. The Civil Rights movement gained a lot of attention as much as it gained plenty of young college aged participants. The idea of activism spread across College Campuses and student led organizations became the most popular and successful avenue for young activists. By the time the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred and the country was being plunged into war with Vietnam, college activism was already widespread. As time went on, the same activists that were fighting to end segregation, switched their sights on ending the Vietnam War. Thus organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society were only able to mobilize and become one of the forerunners of student activism, only through the help of Civil Rights organizations.
Hello all, I’m sure everyone else is feeling the same way as the world is practically melting in front of us, but should not stop me from completing my blog posts. So here is the first of many that are long overdue, but hey better late than never at all. Since I never truly was able to finish my paper the way I wanted to, a lot of my research is scattered. Each blog post will be bits and pieces of information and points of interest that I wanted to include but, either never did or only vaguely touched upon.
First thing I wanted to discuss that I never got into in my final paper was about the heavy usage of Surveillance during the Vietnam War. During one of few trips to the Special Collections Archive at Temple, I came across many documents thoroughly analyzing the extent to which the United States government spied on its citizens during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Among these documents, was a pamphlet from the State Department which discussed these programs known as COINTELPRO. According to the pamphlet, the whole point of this secret organization was to gather intelligence on domestic based groups who were described as “disruptive”. This included members of the “New Left” and members of Students for a Democratic Society. The pamphlet also discusses the extent to which the surveillance was conducted as COINTELPRO was in effect as early as 1962. The pamphlet also confirms that as as the Vietnam War heightened and so did the antiwar movement, surveillance on these individuals who were seen as “communist threats” also increased. I think the main point to take away from this research is that it was obvious from the time that the antiwar movement had a profound effect on the governments policy, they just did not outright say that it did. This extended surveillance on individuals who most likely were simply trying to protest the war, seems at the very least frivolous. At its worst, it is downright malicious and proof that the United States government were threatened by the antiwar movement.
I think this is my last blog. The relief that all the work from this semester is coming to an end is honestly the best feeling ever. So, I handed in my final paper. My hope is that it is good. I wanted to take this blog to talk about my thanks and the regrets I have with my paper. Firstly, I wanted to thank Professor Lowe. I cannot imagine reading 20 peoples 30 plus page papers, and as she said in the last Zoom meeting she treats herself to our presentations. Thank you for being patient and a good support for our trying time especially during a pandemic. I also wanted to thank the peer editors that have looked at my garbage paper and helped me a ton.
The things I wish I focused on in my paper are specifically Nancy Reagan. I wish I looked mostly at her contributions to the War on Drugs or I wish I looked at the parameters of the Just Say No Campaign more. There were over 400 commercials created during the Reagan administration and the best part of my research was dissecting them and analyzing their message. I also wanted to find out the cost of each commercial, who was supporting them, how celebrities were picked, and so many other things. Televised propaganda is super interesting and packed full of information, especially in a sociological field. In the 1980s, the Reagans used so many different avenues from getting Michael Jackson to sing in an animated music video to Clint Eastwood making a majorly intense commercial for theaters about the dangers of crack cocaine. But, I handed in my paper and tried my best, at this point that is what matters the most currently. I hope you all have a great summer and good future. Thank you.
Well, it appears this is going to be the last of the work I do at Temple. Of course, thanks to the virus, I have three more final papers to write that I’ve been pushing off in an effort to better the one for this class. Honestly, I’m very proud of what I’ve written, especially given the circumstances. I’m going to take advantage of the books I have on loan and maybe try and explore some creative outlets using history and the video production experience I have. When I reflect on this semester, my work, and this class, I can’t help but be happy with the time I spent on it. I’m proud of the research I did. I’m happy with the new experiences I gained and I’m happy that I’m able to use my previous work and research and incorporate it into bigger and better projects. Thanks to everyone who proofread my papers, I wouldn’t wish that on my worse enemy. While our time in class was incredibly short, I am happy that I was able to share that with all of you. I find it interesting to think about what we’ll do with these papers. I don’t know how many I’ve written in college but I can tell you that I don’t care about the vast majority of them. This one is different. While its not something I’ll gild and print with expensive parchment bound in leather, its definitely not something I’ll be throwing away. I think we should all be proud of our work and be proud of our achievements. I am.
Finally done my fist full draft I was able to focus on my powerpoint and gathering more information for my revised draft. My presentation was helpful in me rethinking and reorganizing my paper. In many ways, the presentation is like a fully fledged and annotated outline. I actually enjoyed doing the presentation although, if I’m being honest, I’d rather have done it live via zoom. I thought that’d be a nice way for us to kind of conclude our class. Nonetheless, I’m happy with my presentation and hope you all get a kick out of it. Before I submit my last draft, I want to add some more sources and perspectives into my paper. I think its a little weak in the beginning and have found some sources to strengthen it. Furthermore, I’d like to incorporate more primary sources into it than I have. Overall, I’m excited to see this in the final stages and it’ll be bitter sweet when its done.
It is odd being in the final week of college in these circumstances. I never imagined my graduation would be cancelled and I’d be finishing up classes online from a house in rural Pennsylvania. I am somewhat relieved that I do not have to go to the actual graduation ceremony however as large events like that give me anxiety. My parents were disappointed but understanding of the cancellation. I am uncertain what to do next as the job market is so volatile at the moment. I believe the skills I have developed as a history major will make me a valuable employee in the future.
As I finish up the last of my work in college, I have been able to reflect on these last four years. I feel like this capstone paper is a culmination of all of my skills gained in college. My research and writing skills have grown exponentially in these past few years, including a great amount this semester. I hope to apply these skills in the future. I feel very happy with my final paper as I feel that I was able to articulate a subject I had been very interested in for a while. It still feels surreal to me that I will be graduating so soon.