“The Hardest Paragraph You Will Ever Write”

March 29th, 2013 by edewolfe
Katherine Misaiko  Medical Biology – Class of 2013
Now that we have returned from spring break and finished our research, we can begin constructing the exhibit. This begins with introduction theme panels. Each main theme is comprised of several small subthemes that are all different. We must relate and summarize each of these subthemes into a main introduction theme panel. As Professor DeWolfe told us, “this will be the hardest paragraph you will ever write.” Each of our subthemes comes from separate research topics, and we must find a way to put them all together into a cohesive paragraph that can incorporate all of the topics without being overwhelming or disorganized.  
The second challenge the class is working on is selecting a Haley quote to represent our main themes. From over a 300 page diary we must select one quote that can seamlessly bring together all our sections. This will be no easy task. With these two assignments looming over us we have a lot to work to do before we can get our hands on any wood, glue, or paint. Writing these panels and finding a Haley quote includes a lot of group work so that each of the students’ research and opinions can be expressed in the exhibit.
After completion of these tasks, we will get to start planning which artifacts we would like included in our part of the exhibit. There is a private collector who is coming up from the south who has graciously allowed us to borrow his Civil War artifacts for the exhibit. I hope that we will soon be able to get our hands on these rare pieces of history. 

Untold Stories of History

March 29th, 2013 by edewolfe

Katie Labbe, Political Science/Women and Gender Studies, 2014

Throughout the past week, the class has been presenting summaries of the information gathered for the Haley Exhibit.  I had no doubts that each group would be able to find unique information, and present it well.  Not only did my classmates meet these high expectations, they surpassed them.  Each presentation displayed thorough research on their subject matter.  Even obscure information that is difficult to attain was found.  During the presentations, it was clear that my classmates have a strong understanding of their sections.

Much like my classmates, I feel as though I am becoming a history investigator.  Although I am not a history major, nor minor, I understand the importance history has on our present and future.  Due to this belief, I find interest and enjoyment in discovering the ramifications of major historical events.  This characteristic prompted me to join theme four, Remembering the War.  I am focusing primarily on what happened to John Haley’s 17th Maine, Company I comrades after the end of the war.  Although an intimidating undertaking, I have found myself captivated by the work.  It is amazing to realize that through this exhibit, the men who so bravely served in the 17th Maine, Company I, will still be remembered 150 years later.  Understandably, it is unrealistic to expect history to give individual recognition to every man that served during the Civil War.  Over time, the names that are remembered and published in history books are those of prominent lieutenants or sergeants.  Through this exhibit however, the previously unearthed stories of the equally brave, yet relatively forgotten veterans can finally be told.

Visions of Panels

March 29th, 2013 by edewolfe

Madeleine Cox, Aquaculture and Aquarium Science, 2015

Reality of what is around the corner is setting in, and we couldn’t be more excited! After spring break, plans for the final steps in the process will start rolling. Research papers on each group’s specific topics are turned in, artifact lists are being finalized, and final research is pushing us through the first finish line. This week in class we are hearing our peers present on their topics. It’s interesting to see how other groups have laid out their themes, and the amount of information on each is immense.

Each presentation is almost like a mini exhibit that we are being taken through, seeing in textual form, and some visual form, what will be displayed in the Saco Museum in May. It’s interesting to know that each one of us is now specialized in a certain topic from the Civil War. This almost puts the whole exhibit into perspective to me. In other words, it’s finally coming together.

As we now have all the information and research we need, we are able to piece together in our minds what will become of all this information. Visions of panels are creeping into our heads, and we have finally created an image in each our minds of what is to come.

Floor Plans and Artifacts and Papers, Oh My!

March 29th, 2013 by edewolfe
Katherine Misaiko, Medical Biology, Class of 2013
It seems like the semester is flying by! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was opening John Haley’s diary for the first time and now we are developing the floor plan of the exhibit as well as the content in each of the different sections.
This week as a class we finalized the floor plan and now have been sharing our plans for our individual sections with our fellow classmates. I love how the class is structured as an open discussion as opposed to just lecturing. Each student has a chance for their ideas to be heard and get feedback from fellow classmates which makes for a great work environment.
We have also been working on our artifact list. What artifacts would we like to see in the exhibit? Where can we find them? How do they pertain to our section? Why are they important for viewers to see? We find answers to most of these questions by writing our research papers. Every new topic that I research I find myself adding more artifacts on to my list. The further I get with my paper the more excited I am becoming to finally start the design process of putting my Civil War medicine section together. I am so passionate about the medical field and I hope that when visitors come to view my section they share that excitement.

Writing the Labels

March 9th, 2013 by edewolfe

Heather Duquette, Medical Biology major/ History minor, 2013

This week in Museums & Public History we started to write the precursor to the labels for our Civil War exhibit. At the beginning of the semester we were informed that 3-5 page research papers would have to be trimmed down, to about a paragraph in length. As our teachers keep repeating “This is the hardest paragraph you will ever write.” As I sat writing my paper, on the relatively narrow subject of remembering the war, I began to wonder how others would succeed in writing theirs. Some of the topics for this exhibit are extremely broad, focusing on medicine, transportation, triggers, or economy leading up to, or during the war. Then I began to worry, is it possible to fully explain the Civil War using John Haley’s voice? Haley’s diary is an edited book filling up roughly three hundred pages, edited first by Haley himself, and then by Ruth Silliker. From these three hundred pages we chose topics pertaining to the Civil War, and scoured the text looking for Haley’s voice on the subject. These paragraphs must not only completely encompass the research from the Civil War, but must also catch and keep the visitors attention. I truly see now, why the exhibit labels for John Haley’s Civil War will be the hardest paragraphs anyone in our group will ever write.