Archive for February, 2012

Research Log 4: Clubs and Curriculums

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The focus of this post is split between the different curriculums and clubs of the 1930’s. What I hope to contribute to the project is a general overview of the social and academic expectations of the women of that time period. By knowing these things I hope my group and I will be able to grasp what the classroom experience is in and share our findings in the final website.

There were eight different curriculum paths women could choose from. The first two were only two-year programs and the rest were four-year. Unlike the curriculums of today, during the thirties students years were specifically planned for them; they couldn’t choose to take a class during their second year when the curriculum states that they must take it during the first year. The four year programs were mainly for principals, specializing teachers (music, home economics, health etc.), and for commercial teachers. I found it interesting that physical education and health teachers needed more education than just an average teacher when these days those teachers are considered to be the least prestigious teacher positions.

There were many clubs on campus as well as a few academic “fraternities”. In 1932 there were: Glee Club, Orchestra, Commercial Club, and Dramatic Club you could also participate in the Bullet and the Battlefield. By the end of the decade the school had added a few more: Cotillion Club, English Club, German Club, International Relations Club, Riding Club, and the Town Girls Club which was a branch of a YWCA and they focused on uniting day students and residential students.

Works Cited

State Teachers College, Student Handbook, 1933-1934 vol.10

State Teachers College, Bulletin, 1930-1931 vol 17(Division of Purchase and Printing)

Carpenter Juanita, Bayonet, Vol 15 1938-39

Mary Washington College, Bulletin, 1938-39, Vol 24 (Division of Purchase and Printing)

Research Log 3: Namesakes and Name-Changes

Monday, February 13th, 2012

As the research progressed it was startling how many faculty members from this decade have buildings named after them. Bushnell Hall(residence) was named for the Dean of Women during the thirties. Combs Hall(academic) was dedicated to the President during that time. Alvey Hall(residence) was named after a professor who taught during this decade. There were two “Dodd”s during the thirties, one male one female both however were professors, my sources were not clear if they were married or related. They were also not clear as to which one of the professors (or perhaps both) the auditorium was named after.

The name of the school changed in 1938 from The State Teachers College to Mary Washington College but what was interesting was the fact that student handbook seemed to be familiarizing students with Mary Washington. Mary Washington, George Washington’s mother, had  pictures of her home and different quotes that she said throughout her life in the student handbooks as early as 1933. It is unclear whether or not the students knew about the coming change or if they were taken off guard when they received a letter from Mary Washington College and not the State Teachers College where they enrolled. I doubt if it was that drastic of a change especially because the students seemed conditioned to at least know who Mary Washington was. Another change that came the same time as the schools’ name change was the name of the student handbooks. before 1938 they were simply called student handbooks, but after 1938 their name changed as well to The Bayonet to match the war theme of the school publications (The Bullet, The Battlefield). I look forward to continuing my research and working with my group to piece together the college experience for women during the 1930’s

Works Cited

State Teachers College, Student Handbook, 1933-1934 vol.10

State Teachers College, Bulletin, 1930-1931 vol 17(Division of Purchase and Printing)

Carpenter Juanita, Bayonet, Vol 15 1938-39

Mary Washington College, Bulletin, 1938-39, Vol 24 (Division of Purchase and Printing)

Reading Response

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

I found the Judy Yung article in Unequal Sisters the most interesting. The subtopic that was most intriguing was the section on foot binding. I never knew that it was done to prevent women from running away from their husbands. I also found out that women’s lack of education slowed the decline of foot-binding. Women lacking education were more likely to have bound feet because they were taught that you needed them to get a husband(which was a top priority for women at the time) and it took a long time to stop that barbaric act. I also had never heard the term “three inch lotus”(pg 262) and can’t imagine having feet that are three inches.

Research Log 2: Classes, Grades, and a View

Monday, February 6th, 2012

In my last post I focused on rules and regulations which mostly came from the hand books (while a few points did come from the bulletins). This time my focus is on more academic aspects as opposed to social, so my focus is more on the bulletins.

One of my focus points while going through my sources was classes that were offered that would seem strange for a college or university to offer now. Professor McClurken mentioned something on the first day of class that there used to be a “Home Economics” major and I found out that such a thing existed in the 30’s at the State Teachers College (the name changed to Mary Washington College in 1938). As I started looking into specific classes I found a few that seemed strange. Here’s a list of a few that caught my eye they are all exactly the names I found in the bulletin I haven’t abbreviated: Penmanship, Shorthand, School Hygiene, Bookkeeping, Games, and Swimming for Town People. Certain questions that came to mind in finding these were: How could you devote and entire semester to penmanship and school hygiene? What’s the difference between swimming for town people and just swimming (which was also offered)? What did the games class consist of? As I continue my research I will try to answer these questions or perhaps my group can help get a better understanding based on their sources.

One thing I found intriguing was the fact that the letter grade “E” was given out. When I was a child I remember classmates questioning why “they skipped ‘E’” and find it interesting that it was actually used. An “’E’ denotes that the work is conditioned. If conditions are not made up in the next quarter of residence the grade automatically becomes an ‘F’.”(Bayonet pg 44) What I took from this was that it was an incomplete, which is rarely given out even these days. As I continue my research I will narrow down my research to specific qualifications for graduating students for different degrees.

The bulletins have a few pictures scattered throughout it of various buildings and sites around campus and then the last ten pages or so are unnumbered and have just pictures each with a small caption discerning what the subject of the picture was. It was from the last ten pages or so of the 1938-39 bulletin from which I got the aerial view of campus shown below. I figured out that Monroe Hall is in the top right corner with Willard also on the left side the brand new dining hall (not yet named) in the bottom right corner and Ball Circle at the top towards the right surrounded by Virginia, Ball, Madison, Custis, and Chandler Halls. These were most of the buildings on campus at that time and it helps to get a visual of the difference in size to help grasp the time period.existed in the 30’s at the State Teachers College (the name changed to Mary Washington College in 1938).

Works Cited

Carpenter Juanita, Bayonet, Vol 15 1938-39

Mary Washington College, Bulletin, 1938-39, Vol 24 (Division of Purchase and Printing)