Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Pope is Giving Up What for Lent? And ABD to PhD: Week 5

Why does headline grabbing news like to happen on my grading day? Last week, the body found under a parking garage in Leicester was confirmed to be Richard III and this week? Oh, you know, just a papal resignation - which hasn't happened for almost 600 years. No big. Whatevs.


To learn more about the precedent for papal abdications, give a listen to our special edition podcast.

*Spoiler alert* I write about church councils. Unfortunately not papal conclaves, but if anyone wants to send Q, Z, and me to observe, I can have us packed in 20 minutes. The diaper bag is always ready.  H would rather go to the internment of Richard III (for the ale).

In even more exciting news, well, exciting personal news, an out of the blue technicality has now provided me with a producer credit. One of our potential podcasters - and a good friend of mine - is a member of SAG-Aftra.  Due to "new media" issues, she can podcast only if we are registered with them.  It is a really simple process, but they told her to have FH's producer fill that out and, apparently, that is me. Yes, your's truly is now the producer of Footnoting History for all intents and purposes.

Week 5

Goal: Continue to input information on 25 sessions a day into database.

Outcome: Did not happen. I think I inputted two days total, instead of the 6, which would have had the basic table completed and allowed me a guideline for my more in-depth perusal of the records (I am inputting from the calendar first and then checking the actual sources). I never recovered the will to work after my flu-cation. Then, on Friday, I thought I had mastitis, but, really, I just had a plugged duct and felt cruddy. However, my (involuntary) adjunct-cation (did I tell you all that I wasn't assigned a class for this term?) begins tomorrow and lasts a month (before I have training for another school, which just hired me), so I am going to finish a draft of this chapter. I'm going to step up my game. I'm going to make it happen.

Goal for Week 6: 50 entries a day. Complete tax table, so writing can begin next week. Make it so.

You may have noticed that my blogging has also dropped. Blame it on the flu-cation, but I might only do weekly updates for a bit as I really need to get the chapter drafted.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Richard III & My (belated) State of the Dissertation: January 2013

Oh my gosh, guys, they found Richard III. In Leicester. And they are going to give him a state funeral! And this is all very exciting and I'm *squeeing* because how can you not? And I asked H if I manage to finish my dissertation before 2014 - the estimated guess for the funeral is early 2014 - if we can go.

And, no, I'm not a Ricardian, although I do belong to the society and they have been very good to me. I don't know if Richard or Henry Tudor or a great number of many other people killed the Little Princes in the Tower. And, yes, I think someone killed both of them and, no, I don't think Lambert Simnel or Perkin Warbeck were really heirs to the throne. (Didn't you listen to my podcast?) And, as I've always - since 2002 - argued, none of it matters. All that matters is that Richard lost his crown and head and that Henry VII held onto both and what that says about (medieval) power and kingship. (If you are really interested, I can send you my senior thesis from college, which is completely about this.)

He's found! And there's your history for the moment. But let's move on to less pressing matters. At least in my mind. My dissertation.

First, I'm sorry there was no update last week. I have the 'flu. (The apostrophe is intentional.) But here is the state of my dissertation as of January 31, 2013 as well as an update for Week 4:

Weeks 3-4

Goal: My goal for this week was to finish writing up the section and to also write up a list of questions that I feel I need to address to complete the chapter.

Outcome: I have finished a draft of Chapter 3, which means the only chapters remaining to have the research written up are chapters 4 and 9. I have begun fixing up the tables for chapter 4 and was attempting to input information on 25 sessions a day, but ... 'flu.  However, my 'flu-cation is almost over, which means that I will re-start this process and my goal for the upcoming

Goal for Week 5: Continue to input information on 25 sessions a day into database.

Can I take a moment? I'm a historian. The only computer training I received was your basic gradeschool "turtletracks" thing and then typing in high school. Everything else has been learned "on the job" or by myself - via google and youtube or books. But I have taught myself how to create databases in Access and Filemaker Pro. I can create tables in word and convert to Excel. I can use Excel. Let's not think that the Liberal Arts can't include skills, which can be translated into the working world. It's life and we are all adapting to our ever-changing world, but this doesn't mean we need to focus only on STEM.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

1st Footnoting History Podcast is up!

Friends, Romans, Countrymen: Lend me your ears! I come not to bury -- wait, that's not it! Oh, yeah! Pretenders! First podcast is up! 

Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck: Pretenders to the Throne? (Yes, Yes, They Were) 

Tell your friends :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Activity #8: Teaching Q the Hail Mary

As far as I can remember, my parents did not teach me to pray nor did they teach me any bedtime prayers. I know. Scandalous. If sitcoms have taught me anything, parents tuck their children in every night and recite prayers with them. Adorbs. I don't know if they did this with my older brothers, but they certainly didn't do it with us younger ones. They did, however, send us to 13+ years of Catholic school and bring us to weekly Mass, so they definitely presented us with the basics.

[Complete aside because now I am thinking about bedtime:  Every night around bedtime, my parents would say, "It's bedtime," and we would trot off to our respective rooms to do whatever we did until our parents told us to turn off our light or we did it ourselves. I wanted to be tucked in. Once, we went on a vacation and my parents went to dinner and hired the hotel baby-sitter to watch us (only the 3 youngest were there). Having a sitter was a rare treat as this job was usually left to our older brothers. (Want to know how deprived we were? My parents also didn't check to see if we did homework. I don't think they ever asked what was due and we never had an assigned homework time. I'm sure this is no way contributed to my lack of doing homework in high school. My brother were were left in charge when my parents went on vacation and they made us sit at the kitchen table and do our homework. I have no idea where they picked this up from. Probably television. It was really weird for those few days.) Where was I? Hotel baby-sitter. It was lovely. She was a grandmother and she would tuck us in, kiss us on the head and tell us good night. I allowed myself to be put to bed with my little sister and enjoyed the whole tucking in so much that I hopped out of bed 2-3 more times to have it repeated over the course of the evening. I am sure you are now crying for us. Yes, life was just so hard. Am I being sarcastic enough to indicate that while this story is true, I know we were not deprived?]

I decided to teach Q to pray, even if we have no idea what religion we are practicing. I thought long and hard about what prayer to teach Q and settled on: the Hail Mary.

Why the Hail Mary? Well, it stems from a very formative time in my life: 4th grade. In 4th grade, I wanted to be a nun, until I went to some Easter week vigils with my mom and my legs kept falling asleep. A life of contemplative praryer was not for me. This was also the year I became both an atheist and returned to Catholicism. Both epiphanies were on the bus. I have no idea where they came from, just that each made sense (though I now find the label agnostic to also be comforting). 4th grade was also the year of Sr. Marie, an extremely small, tough, and old nun who thought my name was Eleanore (it isn't).  According to Sr. Marie, when it is unseasonably warm, you should still wear your sweater on the playground because you could catch a chill and, if you are going to say only one prayer, it should be the Hail Mary, because God will not ignore his mother (explanation of Catholic prayers: I'm not praying to Mary as if she will answer my prayers, I'm praying to Mary and asking her to ask Jesus/God the Father/Holy Spirit to answer my prayers). Sound advice. I also force Q to wear a sweater and/or hat when it is unseasonably warm.

At some point (probably in 4th grade when I decided I was a Catholic), I began to say prayers at night. I believe I started with the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, but, with Sr. Marie's suggestion, moved on to the Hail Mary. I then added an Act of Contrition (asking God to forgive all your sins). Before you knew it, 15 some odd years had passed and I had added Hail Marys and Our Fathers and Glory Bes and Act of Contritions for tons of people (the dearly departed in most cases) and night time prayers were taking forever to get through. If I skipped one I had to start all over again. If I forgot to say them, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic and immediately did so. I realized that I was sticking more to the letter of the law then the spirit and decided just to embrace or re-embrace the simple Hail Mary. Because God won't ignore his mother. And that's why I am teaching Q this prayer for her bedtime.