1950s Persona

April 16th, 2012

1950s Bio.

My name is Anne Kilmartin. I am the oldest of five children. I come from a primarily Irish, Roman Catholic family. My mother pushed me to go to MaryWashingtonCollege, because she had been unable to attend a school herself. I am currently a junior history major and hope to get a teaching job after I graduate. I’ve spent the majority of my life around kids and so feel it would be a good fit. I’m a bit of a romantic and look forward to becoming engaged and establishing a house of my own. I decided against joining any clubs or organizations this year in order to focus on my studies.

1950s recreation

March 29th, 2012

I believe we should recreate a history class, particularly something that would have been  relevant to the 1950s. However, would that be a current events class then? I think it is extremely important for all of us to dress the part and to utilize any props that we can come up with. I think we should move the recreation to a different classroom, or possibly sit outside. It would be interesting to see all of the class together if we do manage to dress everyone in appropriate attire.

We would not be able to bring items that were not available such as lap tops, book bags, water bottles, etc…

My Fourth Research Post

February 21st, 2012

At this point in my research, I have finished going through the articles in TheBullet from the years 1950 to 1957, and will soon be done with the remainder. I have printed a number of articles that relate to changes in courses offered to students, changes in departments, and additions or losses of professors.

TheBullet of the 1950s follows many of the same things our Bullet would cover, such as theatre or musical performances, club meetings, and other campus going ones. There are also articles that are particular to the 1950s Bullets, such as an article entitled “Dear Diary” and sections that focus on engaged and soon to be married students.

The ads that are mixed in with the articles showcase the 1950s as well. There are a number of ads showcasing cigarettes, and ads showcasing the women’s dress of the time. I have greatly enjoyed looking at these ads, once I got over my shock of seeing a half-page ad selling lucky brand cigarettes. I have enjoyed too, looking at the comics hand drawn by UMW students. These comics reflect the thoughts and feelings of students during the 1950s by showing the experiences and thoughts of the students.

            I have learned a great deal from working with The Bullet. This was my first time working with Microfilm. Which has been an experience in itself, the printer in particular tended to give me problems. I had to focus on articles that I felt would be relevant to our research, so this assignment required me to wade through The Bullets and not become bogged down by every interesting article that I came across.

My Third Research Post

February 13th, 2012

For my research this week I looked at the microfilm of the Bullet from 1951 to 1955. After the meeting with my group on Thursday, I really tried to focus on finding articles pertaining to the experiences of a MWC student in the classroom. So far this has proved to be very difficult.

            The articles that I have found tend to focus on the addition of new courses or degree programs. Such as, the addition of a Medical Technology degree program in September of 1951[1], or a Physical Therapy degree program in October of 1951.[2] A “Get Acquainted” course was established for freshmen in September of 1951, the classes offered during this course introduced new students to a number of college related topics such as choosing the right club, developing proper studying habits, or learning about the history of MWC.[3]

            An article that stood out to me, focused on the construction of a new sophomore dorm. What struck me were the things the author focused on the most. She was excited to learn about the addition of showers rather than “tubes”, as well as the addition of numerous mirrors throughout. She mentioned the buzzer system that would be installed. This buzzer system would be used to alert a student, if she had a phone call waiting. The dorm would also have a waiting room and wash room for male callers, as well as a formal parlor. [4]

[1]“Degree Program Announced in Medical Technology,” The Bullet, September 25, 1951.

[2] “Degree Program Announced in Physical Therapy,” The Bullet, October 8, 1951.

[3] “”Get Acquainted” Course To Be Given Freshman,” The Bullet, September 24, 1951.

[4] Sigrid Weeks, “New Sophomore Dorm Offers Many More Conveniences,” The Bullet, March 23, 1954.



Group Meeting

February 13th, 2012

During our group meeting in class on Thursday, we started by mentioning trends or interesting pieces of information that we had learned from our own individual research. The majority of our meeting was spent discussing the appearance and content of our website. We looked at a number of the different available themes (both on the UMWblog site and the word press website). As a group we decided that we want to focus on images and so we want to find a theme that primarily uses images. We tossed around a few ideas on how to set up our introduction page.

For the content of our website, we decided to divide the site based on a number of topics, such as majors with the focus then being on how the majors that were available in the 1950s relate to the majors available now, the types of classes students would have taken (such as labs, technology driven, home economics…), also the different departments, and possible social/campus information. We also brought up the idea of a page focusing entirely on the interviews that were conducted, specifically wanting to create pages that provide information in a “Then and Now” fashion.

Thoughts on the Reading

February 9th, 2012

I really enjoyed reading about Elizabeth Cochrane in “Girl Reporter Derring-Do”. Her story is incredibly interesting for a number of reasons. First, (of course) is her gender, I was very surprised to read that she was as a woman allowed to travel the world period, as well as without a chaperone. Her age surprised me as well, 25 is very young. Her approach to journalism was fascinating, she would conceal her identity as a way of working on detective journalism. Her journey around the world in 72 days via commercial transportation was an inspiring feat. When reading the short section from her chronicle I was struck by her tenacity. She told her editor that she would be more than willing to compete against a man.

My Second Research Post

February 6th, 2012

 At this point in my research I am continuing to look at articles in the Bullet that fall under the category headings that I feel are most relevant to this research assignment. Under the category for Curriculum there are numerous citations referring to the addition of new courses in majors such as History, French, and English. As well as changes made to different programs.

            For this research post I believe we were asked to focus on one piece of information. Because of this, I decided to mention the article “Average (Impossible?) Day” for a second time. One of the most important aspects of this research assignment is learning what made the experience of a student at Mary Washington College in the 1950s different from the experience of a student at the University of Mary Washington in 2010. This article is a great find in that the similarities do exist, but at the same time there are definite distinctions. The author is awoken by the sound of the latest news and weather report from her suite-mate’s radio. She makes sure to stop and check her mailbox for letters and money from home. After class, she thinks to herself, “Gee, I got all of the notes, did all the experiments without blowing up the lab, and I’m certain I passed the test with flying colors.”  Her options for lunch in the dining hall include cold cuts, cheese, olives, pickles, bottled drinks, and chocolate pie. She reads her letters from home while smoking a cigarette. She reads items posted on the bulletin board on campus and ponders where she will go during the weekend, perhaps, Club Hubba?[1]      

            I also looked at a humorous article that is an exaggeration of the average college girl. According the article, the average college girl “wears a sweater, a skirt, saddle shoes, and anklets. She is shy and hates to meet people. She loves to tell you how tired she is and she falls asleep in class. She loves to tell you that she has eight themes and two thousand words due by Monday, and if you think she has done any of it you’re wrong.”[2]


[1]Doris Stiller, “Average (Impossible?) Day,” The Bullet, December 6, 1955.
[2]MesaCollege Collection, “A College Girl,” The Bullet, December 6, 1955.

My first research post

January 30th, 2012

In my research group, I am responsible for the issues of the Bullet written during the 1950s. I began by looking at the citations available in Special Collections. I looked for articles labeled by sections that I felt would be relevant to my research. The categories I looked at included, Curriculum, Departments, specifically the History Department, Class Attendance, Exams, and the Class of 1950. I jotted down the titles of articles that I believed would be useful.

In the main section of the library, I enlisted the help of the gentleman at the resource desk because I had never worked with microfilm before. I decided to start with the issues written between 1951 and 1957. The microfilm viewer wasn’t as complicated as I imagined it would be, once I got a handle on how far to turn the knob in relation to how fast I wanted to change the page. There were a few things that stood out to me in my initial perusal of the Bullet issues, the biggest thing was the number of ads I saw, specifically the giant ads for cigarettes that were everywhere.

One of the articles that I read and printed out for further use was entitled “Average (Impossible?) Day”. It was written by a student named Doris Stiller.[i] The article details her idea of an average day at Mary Washington College in December of 1955. What she describes is very similar to something I would expect to read if this article was written now. She complains about 8am classes, she mentions going to Seacobeck for breakfast, checking her mailbox, and getting through the day’s classes. There were a few differences however, such as her mention of going to the Pennant Room for a smoke, her frantic dash to the phone in order to speak to her favorite “beau”, and the end of her day when her roommate put on a new record.


[i] Doris Stiller, “Average (Impossible?) Day,” The Bullet, December 6, 1955.


January 23rd, 2012

Greetings, my name is Kathleen Mead. I am senior history major, however I’ m planning on graduating in the fall. I am also in the Elementary Education program. I am a commuter who lives at home with my family here in Fredericksburg, about 20-30 minutes away from the University depending on traffic. I am 21 years old and the oldest of five children. I have four pets, three cats and a dog.

I have always enjoyed learning about history. I am looking forward to this project as well as the class itself.

I had a hard time deciding on what image to use and finally decided to just post a picture of my cat, Roo,  from when he was a kitten.