Current Student: Ashley
Ashley Thompson is a junior psychology major who takes history classes for the love of the subject. She plans to minor in history or to pursue a double major, although her ultimate goal is graduate school in psychology. Ashley took HSTY 428, Life in Medieval England, in the fall of 2010 and did her research project on the life of a medieval weaver. Students in this class choose a medieval person at the beginning of the semester and write a fictionalized autobiography of their person based on the required reading and on further research in both primary and secondary sources. The class agreed that Ashley’s story of the trials and tribulations of a fourteenth-century weaver was one of the best. At the end she provides an annotated bibliography explaining how she used her sources to inform her story. We hope you will enjoy her story and her scholarship.
The city has grown eerily quiet as of late with only the occasional cough and moan from people in neighboring houses. The black birds are circling the city and calling out as if they are mocking our misery. As I sit down to write this account of my life, I fear that it may be the last thing that I do, for the signs of death are upon me and there is naught to do.
My life began in the town of Lincoln in the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Five. It has always been relatively easy for my parents and me to remember the year of my birth for it was only a few years before Edward I died and his son Edward II ascended the English throne. I was the first son given to Henry Edison and Madeline, and I would often hear the words "miracle child" when my parents would describe me to others. I would learn later that this was because I was the first child that the Lord delivered to my mother alive. My Christian name was proclaimed Tristan by the local church, St. Andrew's, and my last name was deemed Thomson after my father.
My father was in the business of wool as a clothier, and was, therefore, one of the wealthier citizens of the town. As a clothier, my father would purchase large quantities of wool and pay other people to spin and card, dye, weave, full, and shear it. He would then take the finished piece of cloth and sell it for a higher price than he had paid to manufacture it. However, it wasn't until I was much older that I actually understood all of the details of his job and why it made as much money as it did because as a child one tends not to think of such things, and I was no different in that respect.
As a child, I can recall having mock battles with other boys in the town using wooden swords. My opponent and I would face each other and then the battle would commence. Our wooden swords would clash into each other's, blow after blow, until one of us was knocked to the ground, dropped our sword, or was poked in the belly by our opponent. I wasn't as good as some of the other boys so I would often times lose in this game, and come home from playing with fragments of wood still slightly lodged in the palms of my hands. Even so, this did not discourage me for sword fighting was probably my favorite pastime. Thinking back on my childhood makes my eyes wet with water because such activities are things that my children will never get to enjoy and partake in. There was yet another activity that my gang of friends (Bartholomew Baker, Marcus Shoemaker, and Joseph Jackson) and I would do to pass the time. We would go on bird hunts. Armed with stones and a sling, we would scour the town looking for any unsuspecting bird that could fall victim to our childish play. At first, it was agreed upon by all of us to practice on the outskirts of the town so that we would be less likely to harm anyone. I distinctly remember the first time one of my stones made contact with one of these harmless creatures. God forgive me. The stone went whipping through the air from my sling and hit the pigeon with a thud that knocked it back. Curiosity got the better of me, and I had to go over and inspect the bird before we left. Its grey and white feathers were strained with blood and those lifeless brown eyes seemed to stare straight through me and into my soul. A great chill ran over my body and into my bones, and it is my belief that I lost my innocence of childhood in this very moment. Now I must admit that this was a rather cruel game that we played, but it provided a way to pass the time, and I even started to grow quite fond of it after awhile. My parents raised me to be polite and a gentleman, but not even their good teaching could prevent me from indulging in rowdy play. I knew that I would be severely beaten if my parents ever found out about me throwing stones at birds, but it wasn't until the age of eight that I stopped this practice due to a tragic event.
One day, Bartholomew, Marcus, Joseph, and I were roaming the city when we spied a black bird sitting on the roof of one of the stone houses. Since it was larger and different than any of the other birds which we had killed before, an argument broke out over whom was going to be the one to cast the stone. In the end, I got to be the first one to throw my rock because I was a year older than the rest of the gang. I looked around to ensure that no one was watching, and then aimed at the bird and let the rock fly from my hand; however, it fell short of the bird and the roof, and went flying into the house's cloth covered window. I turned to look at the rest of them with a pale face and wide eyes, and we all ran home. The next day, I learned that my stone had hit Margaret, who was the wife of John Carpenter. She had been killed, and no one ever found out who did it. This is a secret that has been weighing heavily on my soul for a long time, and may God forgive me for it. Perhaps it is this event that caused the suffering I have experienced since then; God punishing me for my wrong doings as a child.
Soon after this event, my father paid for me to be enrolled in school which took place in St. Andrew's Monastery. This was an environment in which I thrived because it got my mind off of the event with Margaret. It was also gratifying for me because I also enjoyed learning how to decipher the written word and write things down. I also became very knowledgeable in calculating numbers, a skill which became useful as I matured. In that same year, God blessed my family with a baby girl. I, along with my parents, was not allowed to attend the baptism service at the church. Instead, we stayed at home and my mother prepared the celebratory dinner that would follow the ceremony. When my sister returned home with her godparents (Sally Fisher, Joan Baker, and Bernard Weaver), she had been christened Emma. I would later name my precious daughter after her. Oh poor angelic Emma, how I wish I could have saved you.
It was the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Fifteen, when the Great Rains began to fall upon not only Lincoln, but all of England. Crops started to fail, and there was a steady increase in the price of corn and other food items, but this was not the worst of it. The following year, the rains increased to the point that people began to evacuate the town because of the floods which were consuming the town; my family was among those who left. I was ten years of age and my sister was two at the time. My parents and I packed all of our belongings into a wooden wagon, hitched our horse to it, and set our course south from Lincoln. I remember asking my father where we were going, and he simply said that he did not know.
The rains continued to fall unceasingly, which caused traveling to be slow and tedious since the roads were thick with mud. My mother, who was afraid of the worst, resigned to rationing out our food, and only allowed everyone a single meal a day. All of our bread was gone after two weeks, and we ran out of other food items as well, so my father decided to stop on the next city. It took us several more days to reach the city of Spalding, and by this time we were all exhausted and hungry. We found sanctuary in the monastery that night. They provided us with weak beer, stew, and a place to shelter ourselves from the never-ending rain. Our horse was put up in the stable, and we were taken to our humble accommodations. It was a cold and damp room with rushes on the floor, and several other families appeared to be sitting and lying down on the floor. It was hard to pick out any more details than that since the only light was coming from the monk's candle. After he left and shut the door behind him, the thing which enabled me to see anything was the light from the moon streaming through the window. While trying to sleep, I heard some strange noises coming from close by. When I turned to investigate I noticed two forms under a blanket moving, moaning, and grunting. It would be several more years later, during my apprenticeship, when I would finally understand what went on beneath that blanket.
The sun arose the next morning announcing that it was time for us to get up and move on. Autumn was approaching and we all knew that we needed to find a new place to stay for the oncoming winter. There was no time to waste. Mother went with Emma to the market to purchase some food for the journey. Prices had risen a little since the last time we had been to the market, but we were still able to afford to buy food without selling anything. Father and I readied the horse and cart, and we went down the road out of Spalding as soon as mother and Emma returned. Months went by and we were still traveling down the road. Father had managed to sell the rest of his cloth after we had left Spalding so we had some more money now.
After traveling six months, we arrived in Hitchin, and it was not a moment too soon, for the snows started falling during the last couple of weeks of our travel. My father said that it would be a good place to stop permanently since it was apparently prospering; there were several stone houses, a church being rebuilt (which I would later learn was St. Mary's Church), and the town had a river running through. In the process of finding a place to stay, we stumbled across a man who seemed to be a troubled soul worn down with age; his name was Arthur Carpenter. We learned that he lived alone, for his second wife had recently died in childbirth, and neither of his wives had bore him any children. Arthur was a kind man, and after speaking with my father for awhile he looked over at me and my two year old sister, and I could see his eyes swell with pity for the children he would never have, and the wife he had lost. He turned to my father and said that we could come and live with him until he died.
It was quite an unusual arrangement, but my father and mother did their fair share of duties for Arthur and around the house. It was in the spring of the following year when Arthur died. I don't know how he died, but I awoke one morning and saw his lifeless body on the floor staring up at the ceiling with his once warm hazelnut eyes; I was reminded of the pigeon. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Arthur had made out a will several months before his departure to God that left all of his property to my father.
The only unusual thing about Arthur's funeral was that he had made his own coffin in anticipation of his death. A couple of monks came by the house and washed his body, anointed him with perfume, placed a shroud around him, and placed the body in the coffin. The coffin was then taken to the church with father, mother, Emma, and me following behind it. This is the first time I ever had someone close to me die, but it certainly would not be the last. Once we arrived at the chancel the procession stopped and the priest said a few words in Latin, sprinkled the body with holy water, and then we joined in the saying of The Lord's Prayer before the Absolutions were given for Arthur's sins. We then proceeded to the cemetery, monks leading the way with crosses and candles, where the priest made a cross over the burial spot, sprinkled the ground with more holy water, and dug a shallow ditch in the shape of a cross. He then said some psalms while the grave was being dug, and then the coffin was lowered down.
As the year continued on, things got worse not only for my family, but also for the rest of England. The prices of everything in the market doubled, and it was nearly impossible to get meat. People killed their livestock, if it wasn't destroyed by disease, in order to have food, and there was talk of cannibalism as the famine drug on. Father wasn't able to make enough money to support the family during this time because no one was able to buy cloth. It was easy enough to buy the wool and prepare it because people needed the money and would work, but not enough were buying the finished product for him to make a profit. Therefore, mother had to ration out our food even more than she had before. She prepared more soups than she had in the past, and bread was nonexistent. Father also had to kill our horse because there was no way for us to feed him and ourselves; we needed the meat. The worst part of the famine came in late winter in the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Sixteen.
The smell of the town worsened as more people died and remained unburied. People were starving and I would see their fragile emaciated bodies anytime I ventured outside, and thieves were everywhere. Three decided that they would attack and raid our house, and in a way they succeeded. We were all present when they came barging into the house with their stones and knives. Mother grabbed three year old Emma and ran to the corner of the room hugging her. My father pulled out his knife from under his tunic and rushed towards one of the men and stabbed him once in the belly and again in the chest. He had caught the thief by surprise. Another lanky and dirty figure charged towards my father with his knife. I reached and pulled my own knife out, rushed forward, and stabbed the man in his leg. He turned his head to the roof and let out a gruesome howl of pain which gave my father enough time to stab him in the chest. The third man was nowhere to be seen and neither was my sister. Mother was unconscious in the corner with a bloody gash on her head from a rock. I never saw Emma again. May God bless her soul, for I fear the worst became of her, and that she was eaten by that vile man. Father, mother, and I had meat that night.
Another year went by before the rains ceased to fall and the famine receded. The prices of food decreased and the masons continued to work on the church. Father's business once again picked up, and we had money and food to eat. However, things within the family did not return to normal after the loss of Emma. We were all worried about her salvation since she had not been found and buried in consecrated grounds. My father thought that I needed more schooling, so I was once again enrolled in school, so that I might one day become a craftsman or merchant. It wasn't until the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Twenty-One, that I started my apprenticeship at the age of sixteen.
Since my father was in the wool business, he knew the master weaver of Hitchin quite well, and convinced him to take me on as an apprentice since he didn't have one. The man's name was Jonathon Weaver. I distinctly remember being quite upset at my father for forcing this apprenticeship upon me because I wanted to be a master carpenter, not a weaver. However, I did not voice my disappointment and frustration, for it would have been useless and would probably have ended in a beating for disrespecting and disobeying my father. Before I could start learning the art of weaving, I was required to do a series of things.
First, there needed to be a contract drawn up between Jonathon and myself that dictated the arrangements of my apprenticeship and how my father was to pay him. It was written that I could not gamble with my master's money or spend it on things such as prostitutes and fine clothing. I was also not allowed to get married until after my apprenticeship term of ten years, and fornication was strictly forbidden; especially with any female living in Jonathon's household. With much regret, I must say that I was unable to live up to this part of the contract, and therefore gave in to the temptations of the flesh and hired a prostitute to relieve myself; I did this several times, but guilt eventually got the better of me, and I went to the priest for absolution of my sins.
After the contract had been signed by all parties, I was to go to the guild to be inspected. What it seemed like they were really interested in was making sure that I was the appropriate age and could read and write. My body was also examined for any abnormalities or defects that would cause me to be unable to perform my tasks. The emphasis was on being able to read and write though. I was required to write something down on a clay tablet and then to read something that one of the members wrote down. Perhaps father pushing me to be in school so many years was a good thing because otherwise I probably would not have been able to pass this test with as high of marks as I did.
The last thing required of me was participation in a ceremony and in which I pledged an oath in public to the entire guild. At the ceremony, all of the guild wardens and masters were dressed in beautiful and bright livery that completely astounded me, and I remember thinking to myself that I was going to learn how to make the cloth for clothing such as this. Upon the Lord God, saints, and gospels, I swore to obey my master and the guild and to fulfill my apprenticeship to the end of my term. When all of the formalities were complete, I was then able to begin my apprenticeship with Jonathon Weaver and move into his house.
I was surprised to learn that he was the only male in his house, for his wife, Sally, had bore him only three daughters, Mary, Claire, and Ellen. Mary was the eldest at eighteen years of age, and was the most beautiful of all of her sisters with her long curly brown hair that blew ever so elegantly in the wind. She was also the first person I had met with blue eyes, and oh how beautiful they were when they glistened in the sunlight. I wanted her for my own, but I knew that it was forbidden and that she would probably be married off to another man soon. It is because of Mary that I went to my first prostitute, and I continued to go every so often until she was married and I began to feel guilty for the sins I had committed.
During the next five years of my life, I spent every day learning the art of weaving. Jonathon treated me like the son that he never had, and his companionship helped to fill the void within my soul that had been created upon the disappearance of Emma and the estrangement of my father and mother. At first it seemed impossible to learn how to weave, and I remember feeling so foolish for ever thinking that it was solely a woman's task. The loom was larger and more complicated than I had originally anticipated it being. The frame consisted of two wooden poles that the twisted fabric, generally wool, would be stretched between. The thread was then put through a slot in the heddles, which in turn were between the shafts, and the shafts were moved along by the clever use of pulleys causing the tread to separate. Next there was the weft in the shuttle that went across the threads, and it was amazing to me that with all of these parts and mechanics Jonathon managed to move so gracefully. His feet would move up and down on the peddles at the bottom of the loom which caused the pulleys at the top of the loom to move the shaft and heddles, and his hands would elegantly move up the tread turning it into a piece of cloth. It seemed like magic to me.
At twenty-one years of age, I was finally promoted to journeyman status. Finally, I was able to make things of my own. I must admit that at first my adventures with the loom did not go very well, but I had the best teacher, and he helped me see my mistakes so that I would not make them. He showed me how to unravel the thread if I made a mistake because wool was too valuable to go to waste for one error. Not only did I get to weave on my own now, but I also received other responsibilities as well. I was even allowed to go to a wool fair to sell some of our products. Unfortunately, I was only able to do this once since the king prohibited the sale of wool to foreigners except in certain places later that year. Jonathon allowed me to occasionally go and purchase some wool that had already been spun. It is during this time that I learned about the process that wool goes to before it arrives at the weaver to finish. Generally sheep were sheared in early summer, and their fleeces were then sorted by quality - good or medium or coarse. It was then carded to remove any knots or bugs or debris that might have gotten trapped in the wool. Finally, it was taken to the spinners to be turned into yarn. Sometimes the yarn would then be dyed, but not always. Dyeing of the cloth was something that could essentially be done at any time during the process that the wool went through.
In the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and Thirty-Three at the age of twenty-eight, Jonathon decided that he had taught me all that he could, and that I was ready to be granted the title of a Master Weaver. My apprenticeship had ended up being longer than the contract originally stated, but I didn't mind it since I was learning and perfecting my craft. I also enjoyed living with Jonathon and his family, but I was ready to start a life of my own. What I looked forward to most after my apprenticeship was marriage, but before I could find a woman my mother died, and my father followed soon after. I inherited his house, money, and belongings; therefore, I was now a fairly wealth man. It wasn't until the following year that I met my wife, and just thinking about her and that moment brings tears to my eyes.
Perhaps it was because Elizabeth reminded me so much of Mary that I was attracted to her. Elizabeth turned out to be the daughter of a clothier that I had met a few times when he would pay me to weave his thread. Therefore, I went to his house and began to discuss marrying his daughter, and in the end he agreed to the decision, and we were married in the spring of the next year. A contract was drawn up between us that specified what her dowry would be, and it stated that she would bring cash and some farmland into the marriage. Then, we were able to proceed to the wedding ceremony to be betrothed.
Elizabeth's first pregnancy resulted with the infant dying, but her second pregnancy gave me Emma. A couple of years later, my wife's farmland was sold to enable us to have more money when our second child was born, in the year of our Lord, Thirteen Hundred and forty. Samuel was born three years after the Great War between France and England broke out, and the king raised the tax on wool. I also began to notice that there were more foreigners coming into England for the woolen industry, mainly people from Flanders. It probably had something to do with the king because he issued a declaration that once again said that England was not allowed to import cloth or export wool, and he offered protection to any foreign cloth workers that might want to come to England. Oh precious Emma and Samuel. Just a year ago I remember seeing them play outside on the grass. What I wouldn't give to have those days back.
Eight years later I sit here writing this alone. My darling wife and precious children were all lost to this Great Pestilence that is sweeping the country. First it affected Samuel. He began to develop something similar to tumors under his armpits that started to swell until they were about the size of an egg, and then black spots began to spread from only on his arm to all over his body. Poor Samuel began to vomit and cough up blood; he was dead within a few days, and then the Pestilence came for Emma and Elizabeth. Emma went quickly and in her sleep, but Elizabeth was made to suffer. She developed tumors in her groin area and began to smell extremely fowl. Her face was scorching hot to the touch; she could not sleep, and she was constantly crying from the pain in her chest. I sat by her bed and held her hand all night long as I watched her slow decay and eventually die.
The tumors have no appeared on my body as well, and I know not how much time remains. There seems to be no one that can withstand this dreadful plague that is sweeping across the land, for it must be the will of God that England suffer so for all her wrong doings. Then again, maybe it is I that is being punished, for I am no saint, nor am I good man. I am merely a man that has lived his life in the way that the Lord handed it to me. There are many things that I could have done to better myself, but I have asked the priest for Absolution, and he has given it to me. Soon I will be with the Lord God, and all will be well.
Ashley, W.J. "The Early History of the English Woollen Industry." American Economic Association 2, no. 4 (1887): 13 - 85.
This article gave me a lot of information about how the industry works. It talks in great depth about how the king of England wanted to try and get more foreign works from Flanders to come to England to train the craftsmen. England had the best wool, but Flanders had some of the best producers, and they were the major consumers of English wool. I also used information about the organization of the wool industry.
Blair, John and Nigel Ramsay. English Medieval Industries. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001.
This was probably one of my most useful sources about weaving that I found. This included the types of looms that were used in the various time periods, and it also included which areas in England had the best quality of wool. It also went in depth about process that the wool has to go through from the shearing of the sheep to the selling of the finished product. It also contained information about how much money wool would cost in certain areas which was useful for determining how much my person was going to have to pay for his wool, and his overall wealth.
Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1977.
This was my primary source. The only thing that I really used it for was to get first hand accounts of what the plague looked like, and the symptoms that people were experiencing. I also used it to see what people's initial reactions to the plague were. For example, what they thought the cause was, and how they viewed it. The people of the time saw it more as punishment from God and not caring who it killed.
Gasquet, Francis Aidan. The Great Pestilence. London: Simpkin Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & CO, 1893.
This source gave me some of the same information as my primary source, except for the fact that this one went more in depth about explaining the symptoms of the plague and how long it would usually take for people afflicted to die. It also talked about how it spread from the mainland to England and the people's reaction.
Gies, Joseph and Frances. Life in a Medieval City. New York: Harper Perenial, 1969.
I used this source to get more information about the funeral and marriage rites. It was also helpful for learning about what a typical housewife of a wealthier man would be required to. I also used information about "big business" to help me understand the rules and how my weaver might have functioned once he finished his apprenticeship. I also used information about how wealthier people generally lived.
Heer, Friedrich. The Medieval World. New York: New American Library, 1961.
I used this book to get a better understanding of everything that was happening during the time period that my person was alive. I didn't want to leave out any major event in the world. This book also gave me information about how the class system would work, and where my master craftsman would fall in this society.
Lucas, Henry S. "The Great European Famine of 1315, 1316, and 1317." Speculum 5, no. 4 (1930): 343 – 377.
I got all of my information about the Great Famine from this source. It talked about how the prices didn't really increase until 1316 because this is when stocks were depleted, and the price of everything was doubled. The lower class was the worst off, and they often times had to resort to such things as: eating leaves, acorns, dogs, cats, dung, and their own children. The source mentions that cannibalism was very common during this time.
Plumb, J.H., Frederic A Youngs Jr, Henry Snyder, E.A. Reitan, and David Fahey. The English Heritage. Missouri: Forum Press, 1978.
This is the book that I got all of my political information from. It goes in depth about the kings of the time and the various policies that they passed, and about the Hundred Years' War. It also talked briefly about the wool trade in England, and mentioned that the king banned wool fairs in 1328 except for in certain locations. He wanted to reduce the amount of wool that was being sold to foreigners.
Power, Eileen. Medieval People. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.
I got the information about a clothier from this book. It talked about how the clothier would be on of the wealthiest people in a town. He would purchase the raw wool himself and then pay other people to spin, dye, full, and weave it. Ultimately, he would sell the final product at a much higher price than he had paid to have it manufactured. Clothiers were generally found in the countryside away from the influence of the guild, but not always. As you can see in my story, I had the father living in a town with a weaver's guild in it.
Zimmern, Dorothy M. "The Wool Trade in War Time." The Economic Journal 28, no. 109 (1918): 7 - 29.
I used this source to understand what happens to the wool industry when England goes to war. A good portion of it was about the twentieth century and could not be used, but there was some stuff at the beginning. It also gave me some more information about the process of producing cloth, which was helpful. The main thing that seems to always happen when war comes is that taxes are increased, and restrictions are sometimes placed on the export and import of wool and cloth.
Current Student: Amber
Amber Covington, senior history major and member of Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor Society in History, will be spending Spring Semester, 2011, in Washington, D.C., participating in an Archives Center Internship at the National Museum of American History. She will be working on a project that involves re-housing materials in the Scurlock Studio Records with archivist Vanessa Broussard Simmons and a team of interns. This collection documents an African American photographic studio in Washington, D.C., from 1911 to 1994. They will be responsible for re-housing, arranging and describing the photographs and negatives in portions of this collection. Amber is also a 2010 recipient of the Minority Awards Program that includes a stipend and collaborative projects with other recipients.
Graduate school plans:
Next fall Amber plans to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, to pursue a graduate degree, Master of Arts in Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management.
Alumni Profile: Damion Miller
I am honored and privileged to have completed my undergraduate degree in History at Pfeiffer University. I feel that I received a well-rounded and balanced scholastic experience studying History. I am now in my final semester as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Library and Information Science program. My experience as a work study student in Pfeiffer’s library and a semester as an intern with Jonathan Hutchinson in the university archives and special collections opened an opportunity that didn’t immediately occur to me. History will always be my first love, and originally I had considered pursuing a Masters degree in Ancient Studies or Museum Studies.
Yet after some consultation with Dr. Thompson during my senior year, he encouraged me to take the course of a MLIS degree due to its versatility. I can now say that his suggestion was the best advice in a long string of good advice that he ever gave me. I was able to receive a full scholarship largely based on the support of Dr. Kruse and Dr. Thompson. They were very supportive both in and out of the classroom. I can honestly say that they are both two of the most brilliant professors that I have ever had during my academic career. They both hold their History majors to a high standard and give them all of the tools they need to be successful.
In addition, they were always available with an "open door" policy to answer any questions. In particular Dr. Thompson was a great mentor for me personally, and I consider him to now be a good friend. Without his guidance and mentorship I am sure that I would not be enjoying the success today as a scholar.
Current Student: Adrienne
Adrienne Huneycutt, senior history major and member of Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor Society in History, spent the spring semester of 2010 in Washington, D.C., participating in the Capitol Hill Internship Program. Asked to describe her experience, she wrote, “My internship was at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the Geoarcheology department. I worked with Dr. Stanley who has done some really interesting work in Egypt and Italy. My internship description was to participate in the study of submerged Greek and Roman ancient sites in the Mediterranean (Egypt and Calabria, Italy). While my major was not one desired for the internship, I was able to correspond with Dr. Stanley, and he asked for me to join in his research. I had to choose between the Smithsonian and the District Court, and of course I chose the Smithsonian. My main job was to analyze core samples taken from the Nile delta and look for color band variations which could mean that the environment and the delta/river system throughout time had changed course or massive droughts or things of that nature had occurred. While there I was able to sit in on lectures given by visiting experts and attend special events. I went behind the scenes for the opening of the new Human Evolution Hall, and that was really amazing to see scientists installing exhibits and handling artifacts to make something to help educate America. I was given security clearance which got me in and out of many of the Smithsonian buildings without any of the tourist hassle. I really enjoyed the trips planned by the Smithsonian to other museums such as the Holocaust Museum before its doors opened to the public that day, the Capitol building, or to Mt. Vernon. The CHIP program made it possible for me to see things that I would normally never see or think about seeing, to make great friends, and it was actually a huge growing up process.”
Law School Plans: “I'm currently (as I type) applying to law schools all over NC so I'm not sure where I'm going yet, and my specialization will depend on where I decide to go. I'm leaning towards corporate, international, and environmental law. This summer I'm hoping to get another internship with a lawyer nearby to gain some experience, advice, and insight into law.”
Alumni Profile: William and Susan Lee
Both of us retired in 2008; Susan from her teaching career teaching High School world history in Virginia Beach, VA for 13 years and me from a 34 year career as a Financial Manager for Graybar Electric Company, Inc., last assignment being Norfolk, VA. We now live in our retirement home we built in Junaluska Highlands, near Lake Junaluska, in the mountains of western North Carolina.
During our careers we lived in Charlotte, NC, Montgomery, AL, back to Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, and finally in Chesapeake, VA., where we raised two sons (now grown and living in Charlotte, NC and Virginia Beach, VA, respectively).
I look back on my four years at Pfeiffer as a time many faculty and friends helped me grow up and become prepared to face the challenges of the world. I had many professors, such as Dr. William Cotton, Eugene Earnhardt, and Norman Singetary, to name a few, that helped me make that transition into the next phase of my life. Allowing me the opportunity to fail, but giving me the encouragement and the promise to pick myself up and try again with better results and graduating in four years is something I will always remember. I believe the small campus and small class atmosphere, prevented me from getting lost at a larger institution. Our oldest son in Charlotte, NC is now enrolled at Pfeiffer's Charlotte campus and is receiving the same personal attention I received in Misenheimer and is on track to graduate soon.
I trust this has given you a little insight as to what Pfeiffer did for me in my life.
Mac Lee (Class of 1970)