"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings ;/ Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair! /

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of the colossal Wreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away." From "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

With in-person classes cancelled due to the nasty bug going around, I present to you an (academic) but hopefully still interesting blog post about commemoration and the display of the dead.

I'm not 100% sure why I thought of Ozymandias during the 90 or so pages of readings I had. I think it was a mix of the references to the presentation of Egyptian mummies, but also the theme of death and the impermanence of, well, everything. It's grim, but to me, something incredibly thought provoking; especially when considering the topic of commemoration.

Commemorating war can be easy. I mean, look at Gettysburg. The different regiments and brigades of soldiers raised money and smacked down a monument with "89th Pennsylvania" carved on it and some laurels or other symbols of the might and succes…

"As long as I live…

… I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can." John Muir

This week in my public history class, we discussed the topic of environmental history, a topic that I find fascinating, but I usually reserve as a casual interest of mine. If you caught my podcast episode, you’ll remember it was on milkweed and how it’s presence in the town of Petoskey, Michigan caused it to be one of the best materials for life vests in WWII and I may have mentioned the tragic Johnstown Flood in one of my posts as well.
I’ll be honest, our readings this week were absolutely FULL of mentions of Pennsylvania (by normal standards) including one written by my undergraduate advisor. I think I counted around 5 or 6 mentions of my home state (one of them mentioned Amish farmland so I’m just going to count that as a win).
It’s no surprise, there’s a lot of, well, environment i…

"It's hard to be a diamond...

in a rhinestone world." Dolly Parton

From memes to bizarre social media captions, museums, like the most basic of us, are well known to jump on the band wagon and guiltlessly go for the likes. But can you really blame them? If you're able to get a massive response and put your name out there for even just a day, you would probably take it, right?

While the US National Parks Service has an absolutely amazing PR team who can draw an instagram crowd with a terrible dad joke, most museums decide on different methods.

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Alligators can grow up to 15 feet...but most grow four. 🐊⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Hey, don’t look at us like that. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America. They live in freshwater wetlands in the southeastern United States. Alligators continue to grow throughout their lifetimes. Male American alligators average 8 to 10 feet long, while females tend to be slightly smaller. Very old males can get quite large, …

"I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin' for...

Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie" - There's No Place Like Home

So this blog was initially created on my own terms to recount my adventures in grad school, then it was turned into a graded blog that made up part of my grade in my digital lass, now, we're back to recounting my adventures while simultaneously talking about classes because something tells me this semester is going to be one wacky ride!

But for starters, I went home!

Yes, I, Jessica Chernich, returned home to the lovely state of Pennsylvania for the holidays for a much needed break from staring at a mid-19th century house and singing Civil War era songs. 

Instead, I stared at 18th century houses and still sang Civil War Songs Christmas Carols. 

It's a funny thing how you can simultaneously realize that you might not want to get nose deep in preservation but still scream out of a moving vehicle: "THAT IS A LOVELY GEORGIAN FARMHOUSE!" 

At this point, I don't know if I would ever want to spe…

The Historian Reanimated!


At least that's what I was thinking to myself as I put the final touches on my digital history project and even more recently, my heritage designation project.

These are the reasons I haven't been able to exactly keep up with my blog. That, and the creative writing block I've been having. Honestly, I just haven't had any witty revelations or news to share until now. Now, you get to hear about my projects!

Project I:

Heritage Designation reports are due tomorrow and I have to say, it was an interesting project. I have never been particularly interested in architecture and it may be because where I'm from, I'm just so use to seeing one room school-houses turned into single family homes and old Georgian farmhouses that still maintain their rustic beauty. That's just the nature of the Pennsylvania countryside!

When you're in a city though, especially one undergoing a good deal of development like London, ON, it certainly op…