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.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Papers, papers, papers

It's coming down to the end of the term -- just a little less than a month to go, and it all goes too fast at this point.

So I have three papers to do.  I've got the research done on two of them, and almost done on the third.  That third one is for my Geologic History of Florida class.  It's been fascinating learning how Florida formed out of the ancient bits of this and that tectonic plate.  The paper I'm doing is on the formation and composition of the soils around St. Augustine, Florida, which relates it to my overall research project on St. Augustine during the Second Spanish Period (1784-1821). One of the aspects I'm interested in is what the people in and around St. Augustine had available to eat, which was, of course, influenced by the condition and capability of the soil.

Another paper is for Early Florida history class, which deals mainly with the First Spanish Period (1513-1763).  However, my paper is the oddball in the class, because our professor, who is on the federal commission for the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, scheduled for 2015, wanted a paper done on the 400th anniversary, which took place in 1965, and which ran smack dab into the civil rights movement in St. Augustine.  It's been a fascinating study.

The third paper is for my Florida Politics Since World War II class.  I'm ambivalent about politics.  I've come to feel like the waggish tagline says:  Poly = many; tics = bloodsucking insects.  But this paper topic I've picked is very interesting in that nobody has written about it in any of the usual academic venues -- books and peer-reviewed journals.  There is a paragraph about it in a book on LeRoy Collins; there is another paragraph in a book on the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.  There is nothing about it in the Florida Historical Quarterly.  So I'm breaking new academic ground here, and that is exciting.  Hey, so I'm a nerd!

Anyway, I've mentioned here in this blog what I'm writing about for this class:  Governor LeRoy Collins's suspension of Sheriff Al Cahill of Duval County in 1958.  I've interviewed a couple retired Jacksonville cops for this, and gotten good information from them.  That's fun!  These guys are great!

I've had to do a bunch of traveling for these papers, because of course now that I'm going to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, I'm doing papers on events and conditions in North Florida, and have to keep going back up there (where my permanent home is) to do research!

And that's what I've been doing for the past several weeks.
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