Jenn's Digital Blog

August 2, 2010

Last Day…

Filed under: Navy Internship — b4ssm4st3r @ 09:04

This morning begins my official last day here at the Navy Museum, and the end of my internship. While the day has hardly begun, I want to write about everything that I have done and learned here at the Navy Museum. It seems like it has been ages since my first day here at the Museum. In some ways I still have the same thrills commuting to DC, the metro still fascinates me and I still finds myself reading the signs on “transportation walk” out side the Department of Transportation. There is always something I didn’t notice before.

For this internship I was assigned 2 big projects. The first was organizing the field trips for other interns and the second was the War of 1812 ship panels. Both projects required an extensive amount of research, however different kinds of research. For the field trips, I mostly looked through tour books and reading reviews of the places we went to. Whereas with the ship panels I approached the research more like I would for a paper.

The field trips was also different from the ship panels, because in the case of the field trips I had to find a way to get the word out on what dates the field trips happened and where they were taking place. Where as for the ship panels, I just emailed it when I was done. Then I continued editing when I got a proof read copy back.

The ship panels are finally done! In case you were wondering… And I think they have moved on to the next stage, to prepare for its debut for the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. I am kind of excited to see how it will be incorporated into that event.

In conclusion, I do think I learned a lot from being a part of this internship, even if I only was here part time. I still learned more about contacting outside help for research, not just limiting myself to books and the Internet. I also learned that it helps to widen your area of research, because sometimes something comes up that is related but in a different way.

That happened when I was trying to find a way to connect New York City with the war of 1812. At first I only focused on the Naval perspective and found nothing. But then I was given a suggestion to research merchant ships, since New York City was a merchant port. I then found the story of General Armstrong and the Battle of Fayal, which worked. Basically this merchant ship, which came out of the New York City port is credited with stalling the British plans to invade New Orleans.

I plan on using what I have learned here in the future, for not just future class assignments (though I have learned a lot to help me with 485) but also in the job field. Which is slowly looming upon me….

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July 19, 2010

It is difficult to find the obscure….

Filed under: Navy Internship — b4ssm4st3r @ 14:32

Today I am in the middle of a research mission. That mission is to find out more about the use of Gunades. Sounds simple enough, however it isn’t, because Gunades never really became popular within the Navy. They were designed to replace the bulkier Carronades and for a short while they caught on. Because the Gunades were lighter they were easier to move, and because they had a longer gun barrel they proved to be more efficient than the Carronades. However with new technology they were replaced very quickly.

I have been assigned the task of finding out more about these elusive Gunades and look for any illustration of the gun and it’s carriage. Spencer Tucker’s, Arming the Fleet: U.S. Navy Ordnance in the Muzzle-Loading Era (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989) has helped in that it provided me with an illustration and a description of the Gunade. (128-129) However the illustration that is provided does not contain much detail and I haven’t been able to come across another that I can trust. So if anyone knows anything about these Gunades (or Trunnioned Carronade) please post a comment.

Thank you!

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July 7, 2010

DC for Free!

Filed under: Navy Internship — b4ssm4st3r @ 08:56

So lately there has been a lot happening at the internship. While I am still working on the ship panels, fine tuning and editing, there have also been many field trips.

The great thing about DC is that you can tour almost the entire city for free, and lately I have been taking advantage of that through the intern field trips. Our first field trip was to visit the Capitol, and while it is free I still had to book tickets about a month in advance. It was actually really interesting to see the building where many laws are passed which shaped our nations history. Even learning about the building’s own history and how events have influenced its structure. For example, in the War of 1812 when the British burned DC they also burned the Capitol.

Last week on Monday, we then went to the folklife festivaloutside the Smithsonian. (Also Free!) It was really fun to learn more about other cultures, this year it was Mexico and the Pacific Islands. Then after the folk life festival we went to the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial and the infamous Vietnam Memorial. That sounds like a lot but they are all centralized in one area so it was easy to stop by them all. What really amazed me was the symmetry of the place (another example of DC being mapped out?) the Washington Monument was literally aligned right in between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. So if you were standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (which I was!) you could look over and see all of Capitol Hill. Pretty cool. And the planes flying overhead kind of added to the patriotic ambiance of the area.

Then on Wednesday we went to a couple of the Smithsonian museums. First we stopped by the National Museum of American History, which was really amazing. I especially liked their transportation exhibit! They even had a section immortalizing the American commute, to which I could definitely relate. I also finally saw the infamous Ruby Slippers! After that we stopped by the Natural History Museum, unfortunately we could spend much time in there and I really want to go back and see the rest of the museum because it is really interesting. I especially liked the area they had which traced our lineage back to the earliest cell. Did you know we share 60% of the same DNA as a banana? Or something like that, it was a really ridiculous statistic.

Then on the Museum side of things, the War of 1812 continues to be fought. While I have officially completed a first draft, it is just that, a first draft. I just received a couple of peer reviews which I spent the weekend looking over and editing. Now I have to do a little more research and edit grammar (never my friend) and then we might have a second draft ready to by reviewed and revised next week. And if you want to read an interesting story of a British attack in the War of 1812, click here.

Finally, if I haven’t mentioned this before the Navy Museum has opened a new exhibit about Baseball. Yup yup! Baseball in the Navy as an American past time.

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June 21, 2010

Losing my way around… the Library of Congress?

Filed under: Navy Internship — b4ssm4st3r @ 11:08

Well it certainly has been a awhile since I wrote my last post. So long that even the seasons have changed! (Yay for summer!) And a lot has happened, or much of the same really. The War of 1812 ship panels continue to be written and the AC in the museum is as cold as ever. I am wearing a jacket and it is 92 degrees outside!

Well there have been quite a few adventures, one of which happened to be the library of congress.  Lately I have been having trouble finding a way to link the Navy with New York City and the War of 1812, there really is scant information online and even less published. So to look for more information I went on a mini-outing to the Library of Congress. Well they didn’t have much information either, but they ended up having enough for me to write up a ship panel on New York City. I decided to also do more research on other items pertaining to the ship panels, since I was there. And quite frankly, it was a success!

As for the Library of Congress itself, I never realised that it was so big! Or that there are 3 buildings… I did manage to find my way to the registration and then the reading room (which is stunning!), where I did most of my research. However, that was where my luck ran out. After I was finished I attempted to retrace my steps back to the cloakroom, but instead I ended up in a network of tunnels and passageways. In other words I was lost. Underground. Somewhere in DC.

Somehow, through these tunnels I ended up in each of the 3 buildings and in a cafeteria of some sort, only then to almost be run over by a golf cart. After I finally did find the cloakroom, they wouldn’t let me go out the door I came in (it would have been to easy!) and they sent me back down to the tunnels. Well. I got lost again… However this time it wasn’t for such a long time, because I spied a tour group and joined in because I figured that might eventually lead me to an exit. Well it did, and I had resurfaced safe and sound from a different building than the one I had originally went in to.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back!

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May 26, 2010

People watching… definitely history related…

Filed under: Navy Internship — b4ssm4st3r @ 12:50

I think now would be a good time to talk more about the highlights of my commuting to DC, as it being dubbed the 2nd worst commute in the Nation there are bound to be some. First of all, I would like to comment on the people themselves! They are endlessly fascinating to watch. I have seen stereotypical roles being played out, the woman putting on make- up, a guy checking himself out in the rear view mirror (complete with the finger gun! 😀 ) and of course the solemn, serious, and overworked business people. The other day on the way back I witnessed a break up taking place during traffic, it seemed like something straight out of daytime TV. While on the other hand, I was amused this morning by watching a really shaggy dog try to escape the car while we were stuck over the Occoquan. (This dog was about the size of a bear!)

Overall though, I found out a few tricks to make the commute easier. I am learning about new back roads I could take to get to the same place. I also found that it is worth waiting till 6 to get on the HOV because I would still get home an hour earlier than if I had taken the 95 at 5. So if I get to my car around 5:30 ish, I usually sit and read for about 20 min and then start up my car to get onto the HOV.

Then there is the metro. Well that is also quite entertaining, partly because I am rather obsessed with trains and I always feel a sense of excitement when I ride them, but also because of the people. I am usually reading a book on the train, but still its amazing what kind of people live in DC. Usually I see a lot of the business commuters, and it has become quite obvious to me which are the government workers and private workers. Then there are the locals and also some students on field trips. But best of all is this lady who hands out ‘The Express’ (the metro newspaper, I think) at the Franconia station. All I have to say is that she has a personality that can make anyone’s morning better.

As for my internship, things are continuing at a normal pace. There are a lot more interns coming in now, since school has bee out for awhile. So I am meeting lots of new people. On Monday I finalized some plans for the field trips and edited the ship panels some more. I also voiced an idea, where I though it would be interesting to have a bulletin in the front of the museum that outlines dates in Naval History. So say you would come in on June 4, on the bulletin there would be information regarding the Battle of Midway, which was an important Naval Battle in WWII. Well, I was put in charge of making this happen, so that is what I am working on now.

I realised that making a different bulletin for every day would be quite costly and time consuming, so since I am here part time I am creating a weekly bulletin. Where I outline certain event which happened on the date during that week. They want me to eventually create a bulletin for every week, so I guess this is my new summer project. But I am excited because I think it will be interesting and I will learn a lot from it!

Over all though, I am really excited for this summer and I am getting paid this Friday! So I finally won’t be hunting around the house for change to pay for the metro! yay!

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