Adventures of a historian-in-training, comments about history and how it is done, and anything else related to history. This means essentially everything, for everything is history as soon as it slips into the past.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Journal advice

I had lunch with my friend Barbara today.  We met in 1986 at a Star Trek movie.  We were big Trek fans then, and accumulated a circle of friends who were, too.  We had some great times.  We have moved on, yet we fondly remember those days.  Our friends have moved on with us, and we still keep in touch with the hard core.

Barbara is optimistic and a fountain of positive wisdom.  She has encouraged me to keep a daily journal, even if only to write one sentence.  So I'm going to do that.  The journal will be hard copy, and sometimes I will record in there things that I wish to keep private.  But I will also, from time to time, reprint here the entries that pertain to the subject of this blog: the journey of a historian-in-training.

The first entry will probably be tonight.  Tomorrow is the day my husband and I lug a bunch of my stuff -- mostly books! -- to my new digs, in the home of a family friend, four hours south of where we make our home.  I'm looking forward to the living arrangement, which is eminently suitable for both of us.  Our friend has just painted the interior of her house, and is also going to install a new ceiling fan for me in my room.  I saw the color she had in mind for my room, and I like it a lot.

I'm looking forward to the program in which I will be working on my master's degree.  The Florida Studies program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg is an interdisciplinary program, and in addition to history courses concentrating mainly on colonial Spanish Florida, I will take courses in other subjects which are related and which I think will enhance my research. 

For instance, this term, in addition to a seminar in Early Florida and a seminar in Florida Politics Since World War II (which is required of all Florida Studies majors), I will be taking Geologic History of Florida.  I think an understanding of the geology is important to my understanding of the soils of St. Augustine, which in turn is necessary to an understanding of what food crops would grow there!

Related to that will be a course or courses in the environment and environmental history of Florida.  I have already had one course in Florida's environmental history at the University of North Florida.  That course concentrated on the area of the St. Johns River, which includes St. Augustine.  I had not anticipated the course would be so deeply relevant to my inquiries, but it surprised me.

I also anticipate taking a basic economics course, because part of my study of St. Augustine during the Second Spanish Period is to study the economy, possibly to find new material to bring out about that economy, from information I will be digging out of the East Florida Papers and other original documents.

 My car is packed, and tomorrow we put the rest of my stuff -- including a bookcase, a file cabinet, and my office chair -- in my husband's F-150.  This is going to be an adventure.
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