Whats Up with the Health Center?

My presentation on the changes and developments with the Health Center and the Wellness Center on campus is an interesting topic because there are many sides to the story of its progression. I have found a number of primary sources, in the Presidential minutes, from letters to the various Dickinson College Presidents, to inter-office memorandums about changes to be made. I thought it was especially interesting that the counseling services was so separated from the medical services. Not only was the medicine aspect separated, but they were also physically far apart from one another. Today, if a student needs counseling and medical services, they go to the same building just separate floors, and the doctors and nurses share patient information. Earlier, the student would have to walk across quads to get both services.

I realize that I have gaps in time in the story of the Health Center because I have come across information that I do not understand. For example, as I noted in my presentation the AEGC was some type of organization, that seemingly has no records of existence. It is strange that neither Jim nor Malinda knew what this acronym stood for. One problem I continue to run into as my research progresses is a lack of secondary sources. My very informal interviews with Alecia Sundsmo and Mary Polson are  both primary sources, among all my archival materials. The suggestion made in class to look at the differences and trends among other colleges and universities and the changes in their health centers may good a place to start this. As of now, this is my reflection on the presentation and my information with the Health Center.

Witch Hunt and the Great Cat Massacre

The first article, Throough the Prism of Witchcraft: Gender and Social Change in Seventeenth Centry Muscovy takes the witch hunts and compares them to the witch hunts that happen in the Western world and throughout Europe. Valerie A. Kivelson writes about gender in the witch hunts, and how in Russian society, only thirty two percent of the accused were women. In Western Europe and America, this statistic increased to be eightly percent. A thought is made that ‘are women more likely to be accused because they have marginal positions in society?’. Along with this goes the story of creation, that women are much more easily tempted by the devil becase of their desire for lust. Another idea that is brought up is of the healers throughout the towns. It seemed that an overwhelming number of those accused were some type of spiritutal healer or related to one; as though whoever was doing the accusing, was specifically targeting the healers in the community. 

The Cat Massacre article is related to the first article because of the idea of witch hunting. Torturing cats by ripping off their fur, burning them in bags by the dozen, or chasing a flaming cat down the street seems really intese. It was a common tradition of amusement to torture animals, specifically cats. One example given discusses how one cat was shaved to the skin and then dressed to look like a priest. The cat was then hung in public. In society today, there is a legend that goes along with seeing a black cat — black cats are viewed as unlucky– with superstion all around them. It is stated in the article that ” First and foremosttt, cats suggested witchcraft. To cross one at night in virtually any corner of France was to risk running into the devil or one of his agents or a witch aborad on an evil errand” (92). This idea was accompanied with the idea of Carnival, where the youth were allowed to test boundries and be wild. Many acted out by torturing cats, as described above. The idea of witch craft throughout the world, was spreading quickly. Many thought the only way to get rid of witchcraft was through the extermination of anyone thought to be a wizard or a witch.

Paper Proposal

For my final paper, I will be writing about the Dickinson Health Center, how it began, and how it has evolved into what it is today. It began in 1944 as the “Fink House”, which was purchased as a residence and turned into an infirmary.The Health center was unofficially named the Fink House after the long time director Oneta Fink. A few years later, the house was split into two sections, one for faculty residences, and the other as the infirmary. It was then moved into Drayer Hall, which at the time was an all women’s dormitory. It was stocked and able to respond to any students need, to include flu outbreaks which had broken out. As time progressed and the college continued to develop, I was very curious as to how the birth control and contraception were viewed, used, and distributed by the college to their students. Officially, in 1987 condoms were given out free of charge to both male and female students. In 2009, an article was published in the school paper, The Dickinsonian, which discussed the other types of contraceptives that would be available for students in the Health Center. In my opinion, this topic is very important and interesting to discuss because the Health Center is a place where students can go and discuss anything pertinent without their parents ever having knowledge if the student chooses. Students are actually required to sign a form to allow the Health Center to share information with parents.  To see the progression and the development of the Health Center and the easy accessibility for students to get medicines, among other types of care,  can make life much easier for college students.

Alpha Omega Work Disciple

In Holquist’s article, he discusses the different needs and uses of surveillance during the Cold War and the entrance of World War 1. The uses of surveillance under the Imperial regime and the Soviet Regime was very different. It was noted that every month, officials would have to turn in reports that would show how the citizens were feeling in terms of thier moods. A statement was made “the crucial factor was not the ‘popularity’ of the system”…”These systems were concerned isntead with sculpting and “gardening” a better society while simultaneously molding societies human material into a more emancipated, conscious and superior individual– the “new man”” (Holquist. pg 417) This statement goes to show that throughout the wars, the use of surveillance was to change the people.

Thompson’s article about time and work-discipline is much different because it does not compare two different groups of people separated in time, but rather an abstract idea. He describes time as relative to the group of the people being discussed. An example is given “nature demands  that the grain be harvested before the thunderstorms set in…sheep must be attended at lambing time” (Thompson pg 60). This use of nature and farming vernacular is relative to the people it describes.  The development of the clock, from grandfather clocks to pocket watches are described as a slow process in which time, which was once different and relatvie to each group, to become one central time that everyone abides by, regardless of your occupation. As it stands today, clocks are linked to satellites so that everyone in your time zone has the same standard time. It seems that in order to study an abstract idea like time,  one must have an understanding of where the idea came from, how it was used many years ago, to understand its progression and its future. This article was very interesting to me because coming from a family of farmers, is it is very true that time is relavant to the group it describes.

Writing History

In chapter 3 of Marius’ book, he writes about certain skills every writer should have. He discusses the importance of reading over the question giving when writing an essay, or on the syllabus, because in that prompt or description of the paper is what the professor or teacher is truly looking to find. Finding a concrete, specific topic is discussed, as many students today get caught up in topics which are too broad for a paper. Marius also discusses how students, when writing, need to exercise extreme caution with a source because a lot of the sources used, are not necessarily well checked sources. The example given is Wikipedia, which as most students know can be edited, or added onto by anyone at all. Therefore, although it is a good place because it has information on everything, do not rely on it as a source of evidence in a paper. Finally, Marius discusses the use of primary and secondary sources and the importance of making a pathway of all sources used, so that when the bibliography is made, one can trace their steps back to the beginning where they got the information and create a working bibliography or works cited page.

In  Natalie Zemon Davis, “The Rites of Violence: Religious Riot in Sixteenth-Century France”, the violence between the Catholics and the Protestans is discussed. It is stated that “Our sources will be contemporary Catholic and Protestant accounts of religious disturbance , from which we will do our best to sort out utter fabrication from likely fact.” (Davis pg. 55) The statement made above is very important for writers of history because as we have discussed in class, history cannot be written without bias, although every writer must do their best to eliminate their bias and write from an objective point of view. This is essentially what Davis is trying to do; to present the facts about the violence took place in the sixteenth century between the Protestants and the Catholics, without having emotions.


The Daughter of Time


The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey, is a novel that describes Tey’s definition of history. Throughout the novel, the murder of Richard II’s nephews. This horrendous event is speculated about through the main character, Detective Grant. He is eager to find out the truth, but he comes to learn that what he thinks is the truth is hearsay. Hearsay and the stories about what happened are all questions and rumors. Grant reads Sir Thomas More’s account of Richard II, only to realize later that that story was just another version of the same story he had been hearing. Grant discusses his struggles with the other characters about finding out the truth. This is significant to us, the readers, because as we learn to write about history, it is important to find the whole truth, not simply the parts we hear most often. We had one example of this in the archives when we were debating John Dickinson’s birthday, and that although maybe 70% of sources said his birthday was November 8, the truth was that it was on November 2.

Discussing ones ideas with others around them is a good way to get new information that one may not have received already, or to confirm information one might have. Exchanging ideas is what happens with Detective Grant and Brent Carradine, they use each others ideas and knowledge of what they have researched and heard to uncover the truth about the murders of Richard II’s nephews. At one point of the novel, there is a conversation between Grant and Carradine about the point that Grant really wants to find a “contemporary account of events…not what someone heard-tell about the events that happened”. (Tey pg. 93) This statement is directly related to ‘how to do history’ because it tells the reader, and/or informs the scholar that primary sources are the best way to find accurate information on the topic at hand. Tey’s point in writing this novel was not only to tell a story of a detective and his assistant looking for details of an old crime, but rather the process they go through to find the information. Grant starts out just listening to old stories from people in the town, to getting a research assistant to help him separate folk-lore tales from possible accurate depictions. Next, the share the details they find with one another to see what matches up, and to show that asking questions and sharing information is the best way to go about conducting research. Finally, they use what information they have collected to build their case, however now Grant and Carradine are not sure if it was Richard II or his hired hand who killed Richards two nephews.

History as manipulation?

Carl Becker describes the average man as “Mr. Everyman” who is a historian in his own right. He is not a historian who has studied the course of history and the significant events that have taken place, rather a historian of his own life. Becker states that “History is the memory of things said and done” which includes everything in life. Mr. Everyman is a historian of things that occur in his life daily, using memory as his key source. Memory is described as the main function of history, that without it, one would be lost in life and have no significance in the present or in his “tomorrows”. Becker’s argument using Mr. Everyman to describe the average person and his analysis of his every day life to show what is coming in the future is a very interesting perspective to have.

Edward Carr’s article and analysis on history provokes the idea that history is all about manipulation. He describes how historians will find the facts they want to find, and that everything is open to being manipulated, scrutinized, or used in  such a way that it becomes easy to manipulate history. He discusses how history can be defined as just a set of facts, or as our own position in time, in society. Carr’s approach to interpretation is interesting in that he uses the metaphor of fishing to describe how authors, historians, and anyone who is looking for facts usually finds just the ones they want, not necessarily the collective answer. I agree with his analysis that history is open to interpretation, and I do believe it is usually manipulated to get an expected response from the reader.

In my opinion, history is a set of facts, that usually repeats itself.Facts are always subject to interpretation and manipulation.  I believe that history is usually manipulated in the media, only to show pieces to the public.These two articles have opened my eyes to the fact that someones desire to present an idea one way is plausible without presenting all the facts to be truthful. History, in my opinion, does not have to be something significant, but a memory that you have, or a tradition started within a family in hopes of it recurring. History is the story, and the background of any person, place, or thing. Every thing on earth has a history of some kind, whether its where a product came from, who made something happen, or the story of how something came to be, it just all depends on how you look at the facts.