PA Volunteers re-enactors pose for a photograph
Professor Charles Dumas as Frederick Douglass
Grand Review Flag Ceremony
A second difference between the summer version and the SEP version of this program is the degree of audience participation. Ranger Troy Harman began the program by asking the students why an individual would join the Sanitary Commission/Ambulance Corps/Medical Corps/Nurse Corps. This type of question allows the students to recall information, while simultaneously encouraging them to reflect on the intangible reasons for joining such organizations. After this discussion was over, the students then actively took both the Hippocratic Oath and Army Oath, declaring their promise to save lives and defend their country. In the summer version of the program, rangers might explain these oaths, but they do not invite audience participation in reciting them. After the students took the oaths, Ranger Harman described the experience of sick soldiers when they were in camp. To further illustrate the stark reality of the debilitating diseases and wounds that soldiers risked, five students volunteered to read aloud descriptions of symptoms of common diseases that many soldiers endured. After each reading Ranger Harman asked the remaining students to guess the disease. One of the student volunteers read a description of self-inflicted symptoms to demonstrate that soldiers would occasionally "fake" a sickness in order to avoid camp work or marching. Ranger Harman then asked the group if any of them had ever faked being sick, thereby encouraging students to make connections between their personal experiences and the experiences of soldiers, particularly in these tactics of resisting authority.
After this portion of the program ended, the students were broken into three squads. The first squad was ordered to set up the medical tent; the second squad was put in charge of transporting the wounded; the third squad was ordered to set up a surgical table under the medical tent. These orders allowed the students to become actively involved in the program and gave them some insight into the division of labor and duties in the Civil War armies and medical corps. These activities required the squads to work together to accomplish a large task. Participation in this kind of program is essential when the audience is comprised mostly of children, for it encourages active engagement and learning. In other words, the program became both an informative and team-building exercise.Following the establishment of the medical services, the group was then instructed on the concept of "triage" - the method used by Civil War doctors to determine which patients needed to be attended to immediately (those in danger of dying), and those who were not in dire need of treatment. Volunteers again read descriptions of their wounds and the group had to decide what level of care was necessary for that particular case. Students then performed the roles of wounded soldiers and surgeons. Wounded soldiers who needed to be treated immediately were quickly taken to the surgeon's tent to be prepared for surgery.
Ranger Harman acted as the head surgeon, while four students acted as assistant surgeons. He then proceeded to explain and "demonstrate" the amputation process. This, of course, was the highlight of the program for the students, for they had the opportunity to inspect the surgical tools up close, particularly the saw that would cut through the bones of soldiers. Viewing the tools allow the children to imagine the gruesome and painful realities of Civil War surgery. The surgical kit is sometimes used in the summer version of this program, but it usually is up to the ranger's discretion and thus is not a standard part of the event.
Overall, the same interpretive principles are used in both versions of the "Care of the Wounded" program; however, the main differences lay in how the principles are implemented. The student version is much more interactive and challenges the students to compare their lives and experiences to those of actual Civil War soldiers. The summer program is simply informative, appealing to a typically larger and more heterogeneous group, ranging from children to senior citizens. The SEP program is not only informative for the children, but it also temporarily transforms the battlefield into a living history site that intimately connects the students to the past. Both versions of the program are extremely informative and perform a valuable educative service, and I encourage anyone interested in Civil War medicine to attend the program in the summer months.
Years later, when all these men were released from prison, Nelson Mandela brought this document out with him. It was the new constitution of South Africa. Moss, the man who carried the document back and forth between the prisoners, became the deputy secretary of finance.
Imagine a country where the ruling document was written over the course of several years by prisoners and transported between them in a paint can. In the new South Africa, imprisonment became a badge of honor on one's political resume. It is difficult to imagine that these events took place less than 20 years ago. Given the long history of violent apartheid, it is also amazing to think that when the African National Congress, the current black-majority ruling party, came to power there was no bloodshed, no violent retribution. Instead, they created a Peace and Reconciliation Committee to examine the country's painful past. Imagine the patience and strength that that took.Just something to think about.
Last night a large crowd poured into 110 Business Building to listen to Dr. James O. Horton. As part of the 2011 Stephen and Janice Brose Lecture Series, special guest James Horton explored the contradiction between early America's practice of slavery and its professed beliefs about freedom and liberty. Horton touched on a broad range of subjects, from Thomas Jefferson's own hypocrisy to modern day rational divides. His observations about the presence of black soldiers in the Revolutionary War I found particularly interesting. Free black soldiers fought in the same regiments as white soldiers, including alongside George Washington himself. Interestingly, it would not be until the mid 20th century when that would happen again! Horton pointed out the presence of one of these soldiers in Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. Can you see him by Washington's knee?
Dr. Horton will be speaking again at 7 pm tonight on the 1850s and how it may have been America's most critical decade: the point at which the country's unique promise as a land of liberty either would be preserved or destroyed. The last lecture in the Brose series will take place on Saturday at 4 pm and focus on America's Memory of Slavery and the Civil War. All lectures will take place in 110 Business Building and are open to all students and the public. Come by if you missed out last night!
From the description: By 1864, Grant's armies were demanding and using so many supplies that the gold standard was in line to be shattered, causing a severe economic downturn.I found this to be a pretty interesting, multi-layered cartoon. The expense of the war was a major concern to many citizens in the North. By 1864 not only were the armies becoming a dangerous economic burden, the staggering casualty rates and limited or inconclusive victories caused many Northern citizens to agitate for peace in fears that the Union itself might collapse. In Jennifer Weber's recent book Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of the Lincoln's Opponents in the North, she uses the Gold Standard as a means of gauging public confidence in the government. Gold is generally considered a safe investment - when people are feeling uneasy about the future, they will invest in gold, causing its price to rise. In August of 1864, the price of gold reached its highest peak during the war years. Generally, holding to a gold standard helps a country limit inflation and government spending. Since paper money was tied to gold reserves, the government had finite resources. This cartoon however highlights public fears about economic instability. Grant is depicted breaking the gold standard with his "Army" hammer. If the United States were to move away from the gold standard by increasing the money supply to a level higher than its gold reserves, inflation could skyrocket and recession would ensue. In order to finance the war, the government did in fact move away from the gold standard, issuing paper money known as "greenbacks". Instead of gold, its value was tied to consumer confidence in the stability of the national government. During wartime, this was a tricky situation. Inflation rates became closely tied to the Union army's success or failure. After the Civil War, the nation would again return, though temporarily, to a modified form of the gold standard. This cartoon is in support of removing the gold standard policy in order fund the war effort. It proves its point through an interesting biblical reference. Grant is depicted as an iconoclast knocking the head off a golden calf, as businessmen worship below. With his "Army" mallet, he is derailing a false god. The cartoon is actually arguing that the gold standard needs to be shattered in order to preserve the union. The men left praying to its broken throne are clinging to false hopes, as money can no longer be an American credo in the North.
Tonight was really cool. There was a massive storm all around our boat, and for the couple mins that the crew let us stand outside before they made us go in, it was really intense to watch. The lightning was striking all around. It was awesome.
So yeah, the rest of South Africa. My safari was perhaps the coolest thing I have done so far. We went out on two evening game drives, two really early game drives (like I mean at 5 am) and a hike. It was really interesting cause we got to see the big stuff, like lions, elephants, and rhinos as well as the little stuff like dung beetles and scorpions. My favorite part was the elephants because there were so many of them, probably about 15, and they came closest to the truck. There were also some baby elephants that were super cute.
The lions were also a highlight. We got to see and hear a fight between the dominant male and juvenile challenger. The guide said the juvenile is either going to get forced out of the pride, killed by the dominant male, or successfully challenge him and take control of the pride. The whole time, there was a female lion and three cubs there. During the fight, the cubs scampered away but came right back. It was really interesting too, because the dominant male didn't let the female lion anywhere near the challenger. Very possessive, those lions.
I also saw hippos swimming and feeding on land, which was really cool cause they are really big. I learned that more humans are killed by hippos than any other wild game animal. I also learned that the animals featured in the stampede in The Lion King are called Blue Wildabeast. Let's see, what else... We almost got charged by an African Buffalo. Our guide ordered us all to be silent, and we had to basically stare this thing down and stand our ground because our guide seemed sure it was a mock charge. It was still very cool!
Other than that, there were lots of impala, zebras, and giraffes, which was awesome.
Our inaugural entry in the Richards Center Student Blog comes from one our undergraduate History majors, Amanda Fellmeth. Amanda currently is in the Semester at Sea program, taking classes while cruising through the Atlantic and encountering various countries and cultures along the Atlantic rim. This is the first of a two-part entry on Amanda's excursions in South Africa.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
South Africa, Part I
South Africa has so far been wonderful. I am at the safari now, but that will be the content of my next post, cause I can't fit them all in one post.
On my first day in South Africa, I went to Khayelitsha, which is a township by Capetown. It is where the blacks had to live during apartheid and where many still live today. It was an interesting mix of a place. There was certainly a massive amount of poverty. There were also, however, really great projects and innovative NGOs and people that were really making a difference there. We went to Philani Nutritinal Center, which teaches women how to weave and make beaded decor, all while providing their children with food and school. The crafts are then sold to the public and the money pays for the training and the schooling. Talk about a fair trade purchase. It was really cool. The complex we were in was actually really modern and well-kept, and I later learned that Archbishpo Tutu had paid for it to be built.
We then went to craft malls, which is where women who make all kinds of things sell them to people. I talked with some of the women about how they learned this all, and how they are getting by with these skills. We also saw two different B & Bs that are run in the township, that encourage tourists to stay inside the township, in hopes that they will bring revenue to the area. It was all very interesting. Then, we went to a city run park, that was beautiful. There was a free internet cafe, a career services place, a community building, soccer fields, and the best part, a completely well-lit pathway system that runs from the train station to the back of the township, so people don't have to walk in the dark. The city also hires security guards for the area at night.
My friend Rudy and I were there together in the park, and we started talking to these two little boys, who started singing Justin Bieber to us! It was so cute and then we were filming them and singing with them. Then, a woman comes over to us, and the one boy says that its his mom, so Rudy puts the camera away, and we were a little nervous that she would be upset with us for filing her child. Instead, she gives us the biggest, warmest, most genuine hug I could have imagined. She sat with us and talked with us for a while. It was truly heartwarming. I would love to go back and work more closely with some of the groups there.
The next day, I hiked Table Mountain with a couple other girls. It was an experience for sure. We packed a picnic lunch and ate it at the top. It was reallygreat to just eat cheese and crackers and hummus for a bit. A nice change from ship food to be sure. I was really happy at the top and quite proud of myself. Look up this mountain, its high! Plus, I got some great pics!
Alright, I'm gonna leave you hanging for the rest of my trip is South Africa. Hope all is well at home!