11 August 2008

Sheri Went to Samford - Part 4

I promised to let you know what lesson I had learned from the unfortunate incident in the previous post - The lesson is to get a better hair cut so there is no possibility of ever having a rat’s nest on top of my head. Moving on….

WEDNESDAY JUNE 11TH

Here is where I had planned to skillfully weave yesterday’s ending and today’s beginning. It was my intention to bedazzle you with my brilliance so that I would not have to tell you that I overslept and was 2 hours late to class. But I don’t know how to do that, so I won’t.

When I finally made it to class, Birdie was again asking for volunteers to consider giving a little presentation about their research on Friday. I felt so bad about being late (and was still groggy) I walked right up to her and volunteered. Don’t forget this part; you will need it later.

Guest Speaker #4 was Mark Lowe. Mr. Lowe was not on the scary list. Last year I had downloaded a recording of a lecture he gave at a FGS conference.His voice in person sounded just like the recording; therefore, he was not scary. Mark’s presentation was great. Although this was not a hands-on exercise, it was a case study. “In the Parlor or Dining Room: Marriage on the State Line” was about one man, one house, three counties and two states. For those who haven’t heard this lecture, I don’t want to give away too much. Mr. Lowe is a very experienced researcher. When a student asked him how long it took to go through all the deeds for the case, he revealed that he had some connections that allowed him special privileges in the county courthouse. (Being sworn to secrecy I cannot explain any further, but if you have the chance you could casually ask Mr. Lowe about a few special keys on his keyring. You did not hear this from me.)

Lloyd Bockstruck was Guest Speaker #5 and he was on the scary list. First, he is a librarian and second, he is a librarian. I don't know about anyone else, but our local librarian was someone you did not want to mess with while you were in her territory. One little giggle or whisper was all it took for her to give you that look (you know the look - peering over the rim of her glasses, her mouth looking like she sucked a big old lemon). This of course was in the olden days when libraries could afford to have librarians. Mr. Bockstruck is not scary, he is extremely intelligent and a gentleman in every sense of the word. His lecture covered different methods of discovering a married woman's maiden name using guess what? Land records!


The last speaker for the day was Karen Mauer Green. Ms Green gave us a wonderful presentation on a case she recently finished. It involved researching 6 taverns in New York to find find the original owners. She used what she called an "Interdisciplinary Approach" to tackle this large project. There was a slide show of the taverns that accompanied her talk. I really enjoyed this unique presentation.

I had a very busy evening after dinner. I went to the library on campus to do a little research in their Special Collections. Samford has a great library. The Special Collections house an extensive Irish Collection. On the same floor is the computer lab which is in an enclosed room and then an area with about 25-30computers with internet connection. I used these computers to type up a few reports.

Katherine Hopkins (who took me shopping Sunday evening) saw me at the computers and nonchalantly whispered to me that she received an email which gave her some privileged information - Macy's was having a midnight madness sale! Did I perhaps want to join her, she asked? I arranged to meet her back at the dorm.

When I came out of the library I noticed immediately that something was different. There was a breeze and it was almost chilly. There were also some of the largest and blackest clouds in the sky that I had ever seen in my life. I got as far as the cafeteria before I started with the "Hail Mary's". A bolt of lightening that Zeus himself must have thrown filled the sky. I hurried a little faster to my room. The deafening crrraaccckk of thunder that shortly followed made me scream for my mommy. I made it up that hill to the dorms from the cafeteria in less than 5 minutes. I have seen and heard storms before, but nothing that would have prepared me for this. Going to Macy's did not sound like such a great idea.

The evening was not lost, however. Fortunately I remembered about a little soiree' that I had been invited to. It was held on the prestigious 2nd floor of Chi Omega. Those rooms have new flooring, a towel rack in the bathroom, and no cobwebs in the corners. I am really glad I went. Margo and Ann and Stacey I already knew from class, and Katherine joined us as well. I met some new faces: Amy, Beth and Mary. I didn't get their last names. I had come very close to a complete meltdown earlier what with the storm, and I was doing good to remember my own name. The refreshments they served were quite varied: Cheetoes, Pork Rinds and something called a soy chip that reminded me of the movie "Soylent Green."


Later in my room, exhausted from the day, I didn't even look at the clock to see the time, but when I closed my eyes, I had a smile on my face.

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