Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Topic

After spending time in the archives and finding a plethora of very interesting information concerning World War II, I decided that I would change my topic to something regarding this war. There were multiple boxes of things which I found, and all was highly interesting. I found different food ration stamps, and letters regarding students who had not handed in the correct number of ration stamps to the cafeteria. One excuse that I read was that a girl said she "didn't eat"! What an interesting excuse for not handing in ration stamps. I also found several letters from a man who had studied at Rollins but was from Germany and had lost everything asking for money from the school, as well as accounts of rushed marriages due to enlistment and many documentations about budget cuts. Another thing that I thought interesting were the instructions on blackouts and that one was not to have any light visible, and that in this situation if one were to smoke a cigarette, the light could be seen for fifteen miles on a clear night! All of these little tidbits were very interesting to me, but I realized that I needed to narrow my focus.

Upon my visit to the Historical Society, as I was speaking with the director I told her of hopes to narrow the study of World War II in order to find my topic, I shared with her that I had questioned whether the role of women in the war would be an interesting topic to research. She was very enthusiastic about this and encouraged me that this would be an interesting topic to do. One story that she had to share was of a women who had lived in Winter Park during the war, and her job was to give presentations in the old movie theater (which is now a Pottery Barn) about the different dangers of mustard gas and how to recognize that you were exposed to this gas. The womens job was to spray something that smelled like this gas so that the community could recognize this and protect themselves. She also assured me that I would be able to hold an interview with a woman who had lived in Winter Park during World War II. I think that it will be very interesting to get a firsthand view and will add a lot to my research as well. I feel a lot better now that I know my topic, and I feel that it is something interesting which I will be able to do a good job with also.

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