Research Log 2: Classes, Grades, and a View

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)

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