2014: A Year in Review

Seeing as 2014 was a big plot-development year in my life (and this blog’s first full year of activity,) I wanted to spend this last Sunday summarizing exactly what I did this year.

  1. My sister and I obsessed over John Adams for basically a whole year. We watched the HBO miniseries last Christmas break, and my timing was perfect – she was studying the Founding Fathers in APUSH. Our love of the 2nd POTUS made for some exciting moments for the year: watching the movie and a performance of 1776, trading the McCullough biography back and forth, and an adventure to the great man’s homestead in Quincy.
  2. My Twitter became public in order to share my adventures in research, and it led to be retweeted by some awesome people and places – including the Smithsonian Institution Archives! I love Twitter for its accessibility for interactions with historians, academics and alt-ac communities, and overall cool people. Follow me there for more immediate & personal updates.
  3. I started & completed several internships, learning a lot about where history/public history is going. My hope to specialize my interests might have failed, but I am grateful for the people who have offered me the opportunity to participate in amazing projects. Not only have I learned about the complicated process of research, but I’ve learned a lot of tricks to do it myself. Read for the specifics here and here.
  4. I watched a lot of YouTube this year, including: Vlogbrothers, Emma Approved, Carmilla, Brain Scoop, New Adventures of Peter & Wendy, Frankenstein MD, The Art Assignment and PBS Idea Channel. I love this new(ish) trend of transmedia adaptations of novels, as well as the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes in the museum world. I’m sure my fascination with vloggers will continue – can’t wait to see what’s next from the YouTube community!
  5. I played a game with Will Shortz at NPLCon. This is totally irrelevant to my blog, but it was so much fun that I had to include it.
  6. I went to two conferences: THATCampNE and UMass GHA. I felt these two were a great way to dive into conference-going: I learned a lot from the presenters and from the overall experience. This time I was just a visitor – maybe next year I’ll be presenting at one?
  7. I obsessed over a beautiful whaling vessel. Many an afternoon was spent researching the Charles W. Morgan, the oldest whaling ship in the world, and its 38th voyage around New England. It’s still very close to my heart (as noted by my Mac’s desktop background.)  
  8. I discovered and declared a second major: Digital Humanities. (If you don’t know what DH is, try this website for a good definition.) I’m really excited about this new academic path to add onto my love of history, and so far it’s taken me to exciting places. Keep an eye out for what I’m doing in that realm next year – should be some exciting stuff.
  9. I went to a lot of museums and historic sites (mostly in MA and RI) – I only wish I had the time/money to go exploring more often! One notable visit included that to RISD Museum, where I performed in the Great Gallery. 
  10. I spent some quality time at UMass Amherst (as is expected when you attend said school) and within the Five College Consortium. As usual, my classes expanded my perspective and taught me countless pieces of knowledge to carry on. I also met some great mentors and had fascinating conversation with a number of professors about classwork and ideas moving forward.

 Here’s to celebrating the year that was 2014, and I hope all my readers will continue to follow me in 2015. 

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