Sorry for the delay. But, here's the blog as promised.
Let me give a day by day synopsis. So here goes:
Sunday - Left home. Flight from Dallas was OK. Arrived in St. Louis. Did the whole stopover thing. My flight to Springfield was delayed. So, I FINALLY get on this plane that resembles a crop duster. Being full figured and fabulous provided a small technical difficulty. Hurrah for genetics and the waist to hip ratio I possess. Anyhow, I finally arrive in Springfield, Illinois close to 10 PM. This airport is a bit smaller than what I am used to. However, I press forward. After calling 4 other cab companies, I finally procure a cab to take me to my new home. No credit cards or debit cards are accepted. Driver asks if my luggage consists of books only. You know that my luggage was just a portion of my wardrobe. My feelings were hurt. So, we had to stop at an ATM to get cash. I finally arrive at my home. The proprietor of the home is very gracious. I finally get my keys and settle in for the night.
Monday - After a few wardrobe changes, I finally decide upon a decent ensemble for my first day of the internship. My home is less than 2 blocks away from the Abraham Lincoln home. Looking diva and fabulous, I finally arrive and meet my boss. He is an absolutely great guy. I take my personal tour of the house. It is far better than what I saw on the National Parks website. I finally saw the hired girl's room. This is my area of concentration. I stood there for a minute and realized that I have a job to do. I have to tell the story of the women who lived in this room and worked in this house. My history professor told me that as a historian, "it is your job to tell the story." So, that's what I plan to do. I hope that the story is as accurate as possible. I met so many people that make a national site work. If you ever go to one, thank them. They do so much to make the site operate so one can learn about a part of this great nation. Started going through papers and books by other people. I found a few names and some information. So, I think I'm off to a good start. I finally head for home. Once I arrive home, I make a grocery store run. I went to a local grocery store. I am used to shopping carts with brakes to make sure that the carts stay on the lot and corrals to keep them in a central location. Today, I was surprised that I had to pay a quarter just to use a shopping cart. That was the funniest thing to me. But, upon returning the cart, the quarter is refunded. So, I got a few essentials to stock my fridge and pantry. I settled in for the night and prepared for the next day.
Tuesday - I arrive at work and start my research. I am taken to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. As a history major, I am overjoyed. I was like a kid in a candy store. I tried to view every exhibit, but was unable to due to time constrictions. The museum has something for everyone. Multimedia exhibits, dioramas, and a children's play area. The children's play area was adorable. There were costumes so the children could play dress up. The characters included Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman. Too bad they didn't have any in my size. There were also puppet masks. In addition, there was a doll house that replicated the Lincoln home. Not to mention, Lincoln Logs galore! I spent a few minutes trying to build a log cabin but gave up. There was also a children's book area. I sat and read a book titled, "Henry's Freedom Box". The story was so impressive. It teaches the children about the Underground Railroad. I have to get this book for some of my little cousins or buy it and read it to them. Sorry, the history nerd in me just came out. There was one display that just made me cry. It was a slave family being separated. The father is taken in one direction, the mother in another direction, and the child is left standing atop a crate with slave shackles near his feet. There were statistics regarding the number of slaves sold. I just stood there and absorbed it all. I was speechless. I went through the other exhibits was truly enlightened. I returned back to my office at the Lincoln house with inspiration to do my job. I finally left and went home. I settled in and prepared myself for the next day.
Wednesday - I went to work as usual. I went to lunch with one of the rangers. We went to a restaurant called Cafe Brio. The food was good. I want to try to experience as much local cuisine and stray away from dependency on restaurant chains. I walked around the downtown area. I realized that there are an abundance of personalized license plates. That befuddled me for a moment. I quickly got over it. I think I might get one when I graduate that says hstrynrd. I wonder if Texas allows 7 characters. I'll look into that later. I finally went into a library. The public library has an abundance of information about the local history. I was able to look into the census records, marriage licenses, and newspaper articles. I made some progress towards my work. The staff is so courteous and knowledgeable. I know that I will be having slumber parties in the library so I can get my work done. I finally went home after a few hours in there. I have to say that I survived my first tornado. As I am at home watching TV, I hear the emergency sirens. I'm used to hearing them when they are being tested, not in actual use. So, there is an announcement that a tornado touched down on the other side of town and to take cover. So, I secure myself in a closet with pillows, blankets, purse, laptop, phone, and shoes. I can't let the shoes perish! After a few hours, the tornado dissipates. but, I think I got a splinter in my elbow. It was just pain, so I'm OK.
Thursday - I go to work and spend time in my alcove. I think I may have to reimburse the government for my use, or abuse, of post it notes. I try to organize my research and thoughts. Preparation for my Capstone seminar when I get back to TSU in the fall. The method to my madness will not be in vain. I went to my first staff meeting and met a majority of the staff associated with the site. The whole group is a great bunch of folks. I spend my time reading, notating, and highlighting. But I love it. I finally go home after a day of research work. I prepared dinner and go to my back door and there is a horse standing there. There is a carriage company nearby. I kind of feel at home, a little. I settled in and prepared for the next day.
Friday - I finally decided on what to wear that was cute and slightly casual. I ended up meeting the staff at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Another group of great folks. I think I may need to buy "thank you" notes in bulk. This library has an extensive holding of documents. I'll be dividing my library slumber party time between this library and the public library. Couldn't get a wireless connection in the library. My spirit was hurt. Went to a lecture on clothing from the 19th century. I learned a few things. I am grateful for my favorite clothing stores. I settled in and prepared for my weekend.