It is a “tradition,” it seems, that week three of the pre-collegiate program leaves little time time for reflection, and this year was no exception. If you have been reading our intermitent posts, you’ll note that we have yet to publish anything on the last week of the program. To close out session one, I will post a large collection of pictures from a variety of week-three sites, and you’ll also find the final formal post on our visit to Richmond’s antebellum industrial zone. We’ve enjoyed every minute and wish our students the best in their future endeavors. We hope to see you again.
During the second week of NIAHD, the Colonial and Civil War students experienced duels, gothic ruins, fireworks, and multi-seated necessaries.
Students Center on Slavery at Historic Houses
NIAHD 2013 began with a whirlwind two days of icebreakers and IDs, computers classes and campus tours, seminars and those infamous sign-out sheets. And just when our Pre-Collegiate students thought we would never stop holding their hands, they were set free upon the vast ocean of time…or, at least, into the humid clime of Tidewater Virginia. On Tuesday and Wednesday, vans loaded and heavy readings in tow, our Pre-Collegiate students headed out to the opposite bookends of the American colonial story.
Contributed by Lena Zlock, Pre-Collegiate Program 2012
It is tempting to think NIAHD is “history camp”: severely antisocial nerds huddle together, squealing over George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. This is something I personally may do, but NIAHD is far from perpetuating the dweeb stereotype. It is a thrilling warp in the fabric of time, where the hands of history stretch out beyond the muted tome. Lifted from stone words, the past is tangible, in plantation ruins; archaeology features; the jaw of a colonial dog; and the brown waters of Jamestown (it cannot be unseen!). Words can only convey so much of the essence of NIAHD: this account is a snippet of the places you will encounter, the people you will see, and the ideas that will challenge you.
It is hard to believe that NIAHD is well into its second decade, and Jim and Carolyn Whittenburg’s concept of an interdisciplinary public history program has grown into its title. We now draw students from all corners of the country (internationally as well), we offer courses and programs from the pre-collegiate level to advanced undergraduate studies, and we have become a recognized institution at William and Mary.
The First Session of the NIAHD Pre-Collegiate program is particularly special because the Fourth of July falls precisely in the middle of the three-week course. Other than Philadelphia, is there any better place to celebrate this uniquely American holiday? The students braved the crowds in Colonial Williamsburg (aka CW) to see the programs offered specially today. They dressed to the nines in reds, whites, and blues, and a few students even wore period garb. A popular program in CW is the reading of the Declaration of Independence by several historical interpreters at the Capitol Building at the far end of the Historic Area.
* This was jointly written by Nichole Lidstrom and Amelia Butler.