I'm starting out with mixed feelings about the American Passages book. On the one hand I'm thrilled by the book's comparative lack of detail to The American Pageant which accompanied my last experience with U.S. history. This book doesn't make me feel like it's necessary to cram every last minute piece of information regarding the Tilden/Hayes election of 1876 (for example) into my brain in order to understand the impact that it had on social conditions of the time. On the other hand, I feel almost shortchanged reading over the subject of labor unions and the Haymarket Affair (for example) without a more thorough exposition. Ultimately, I expect that it will be a positive change. This way I won't immediately forget the concepts after each test in an effort to make room for the next ones. Though I would like to ask anyone who knows what exactly happened during the Credit Mobilier scandal because the book's description didn't entirely clarify the mechanics of whatever sort of money laundering was going on there.
The project on firefighters strikes me as very intimidating. I'm not used to original research, especially when its conducted on another person, a non-student no less. I'm sure it will be good for me to pick up those skills and I'm willing to do the necessary work. I do still need a partner, however, and so if anyone is still solo at this point and has managed to make it through what seems to be an abnormally long blog post...let me know. I have to be fair and say that I have pretty abominable leadership skills but I am set on getting a good grade so you wont be doing all the work, and hopefully neither will I.