Today, we started on our project for the week. First, we walked to the second floor of the museum to see the case where our project will be displayed. This was helpful because we saw how much space we had, which gave us an idea of what we could create. After this, we returned to the library to brainstorm ideas about the project. During our brainstorming session, we created a diagram detailing our ideas for the display. We chose excerpts from two of his poems, “Description of a Beggar” and the boat scene from “The Prelude.” For each manuscript, we chose different aspects of the manuscript to feature.
In “Description of a Beggar,” we asked our audience if they ever thought about the making of a poem to get them to think about different elements that go into the creation of a poem. We displayed the color of the ink written on the manuscript because this can tell a person when the manuscript was written. We learned newly written ink is usually black or blue, while older ink fades to brown. The size and color of the paper itself can also determine a manuscript’s age, as paper yellows and shrinks with age. We also established that revisions are important because they strengthen one’s understanding of Wordsworth’s additional thoughts that shaped his poem.
In “The Prelude,” we displayed members of Wordsworth’s family that contributed to his work, especially his sister Dorothy, wife Mary, and daughter Dora, who all copied his work on different occasions. Our main question would be “Have you ever thought about who writes a poem?” so that people would understand how multiple people come together to create one work.
After we created our diagram, we presented our ideas to Jeff. I greatly enjoyed this activity because my peers and me collaborated to better understand each other’s points of view. This allowed me to see these manuscripts in a way I had never seen before, which helped me understand them even more clearly. I’m looking forward to creating this project tomorrow and learning more of my classmate’s ideas on these manuscripts to help me better understand Wordsworth’s poems.
Today, we started on our project for the week. First, we walked to the second floor of the museum to see the case where our project will be displayed. This was helpful because we saw how much space we had, which gave us an idea of what we could create. After this, we returned to […]MORE
An Encounter with William Wordsworth
We walked the footpath that followed
The silhouettes of the grassy hills
Tripping over stones on the way home
The sun beating down, burning
Burning my much too pale skin
Like the first fair weather day
Following a two week spell of rain
Evaporating every damp thought
And I thought
“This was him”
Counting the many, many footsteps
On the way to Hawkshead Grammar School
I have never found myself so eager
To get to class on time
William knew nothing other than the commute
The one that I am privileged to take
The one that he probably dreaded to make
But boy – oh boy – can I relate
And I thought
“This was him”
We watched the sheep that would stare
Enticing you to get closer
With a mischievous glare
Only to run away when you got near
Bah-ing, catch me if you dare
And the cows that scream loud
Instead of moo, letting you know
That they want nothing to do with you
And I thought
“This was him”
I drank his water
Unaware that I had an instinctive thirst
For the sparkling lakes of
Grasmere, Windermere, Rydal
A fraction of the ninety-three inches of rain
That falls each passing year
Or the sweat that left my body
Nourishing the roots planted before me
And I thought
“This was him
On day three of this Maymester experience in Grasmere, Maggie Burke ’19 captured the student group’s experience through poetry. An Encounter with William Wordsworth We walked the footpath that followed The silhouettes of the grassy hills Tripping over stones on the way home The sun beating down, burning Burning my much too pale skin Like […]MORE
“Eleven? No, we don’t have space. Sorry about that.”
“Not right now, maybe if you come back in about 45 minutes we’ll have more room.”
After facing this response two more times, our chances of finding a place to have lunch were looking bleak, and the growling of our stomachs was growing steadily louder by the minute. That’s what we got for going out to eat on a Bank Holiday in England. Every restaurant and sit-down café along the main road was teeming with families enjoying their long weekends and couples spending their day off of work treating themselves to a lunch date.
As we rounded a corner toward an intersection, we were losing hope of ever finding somewhere that would fit our whole group and were beginning to consider the option of eating separately when we were stopped by our trusty guide Jeff. At long last we had found it: an English Valhalla, an oasis in the middle of our less than dry Grasmere desert, the final salvation at the end of our Dantean journey for sustenance. Before us, hiding beneath the cover of a wide green awning stamped with the word “Lucia’s,” lay a quaint café that seemed relatively empty. The counter was located just within the doorway and two employees were rearranging the rows of sandwiches and pastries that lined the shelves in the café window. Mission accomplished!
Upon our return to the Wordsworth Trust, we were met with an enlarged manuscript on the wall that was covered in markings and edits. Even the title had been changed: “Prelude” had been crossed out and “Recluse” placed in the space below. Jeff, switching with ease from guide to curator, started the discussion with a question: “How many people marked this document?” What started as a seemingly simple question became an extensive discussion about ink heaviness, letter styles, and the history of the text. Our estimates steadily grew from two writers to three then to six until we were finally satisfied that we distinguished every individual who had written on the manuscript. The final six individuals were: the original author Dorothy Wordsworth, alterations by William Wordsworth, titling by John Carter, “1” in the upper right corner by Mary Wordsworth, changing of title to “Recluse” by Gordon Wordsworth, and “7” in the upper right corner by a curator several years later. From there, we made a list of what we can learn from the edits of manuscripts and how they can be analyzed as a window into the history and development of literature. Whether the notes were by William in his textual alterations or by Gordon in his title adjustments, each set of edits gave an insight on how what the writers prioritized and focused their critiques on.
From valiant quests for food to archeological digs through script, it’s safe to say that Grasmere has kept us plenty busy thus far. And, so we forge on once more into the fray.
How many people? Eleven? No, sorry, I don’t think we have enough room” “Eleven? No, we don’t have space. Sorry about that.” “Not right now, maybe if you come back in about 45 minutes we’ll have more room.” After facing this response two more times, our chances of finding a place to have lunch were […]MORE
Maymester in England
A group of English majors recently spent the week abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, William Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. Below is the first of five daily posts that recap the group’s time in the U.K.
Our first day started with a tour of the area that Wordsworth lived in during his time at Grasmere. Upon our arrival at the Wordsworth Trust, we enjoyed tea time with our instructors and snacked on homemade gingerbread, which is somewhat of a delicacy to locals and others who find out about it. We briefly relaxed as we were informed of the tasks that lie ahead of us throughout the week.
After we finished our tea and snacks, we were given a personal tour of Dove Cottage, the home where Wordsworth composed a large number of his most influential poems. We got to see the very bedroom that he slept in, the kitchen that he ate in, and the garden where he looked out upon the mountain range of Grasmere. This opportunity allowed us to see a more human side of Wordsworth that is often forgotten when one finds himself lost in the genius of Wordsworth’s words. The tour also gave us the opportunity to stand in the very footsteps of a successful poet while looking out onto the nature that inspired him most.
Seeing the beauty of the scenery that surrounds his home from a first-hand perspective makes me understand why he appears so awestruck in his poems. Together we stood at the highest point in Wordsworth’s garden while overlooking the hillside. After we finished in Dove Cottage, we chatted with our instructor, Jeff Cowton, about how to improve the current status of the museum in order to gain a larger crowd of clientele.
Maymester in England A group of English majors recently spent the week abroad in England as part of the Maymester course, Wordsworth in the Lake District. After a week of study at PC, the students traveled to Grasmere, William Wordsworth’s home in the picturesque English Lake District. Below is the first of five daily posts that recap the group’s time […]MORE
We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab.
Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as a kindergarten teaching assistant and is excited to work in the lab this summer doing a study with kindergarteners!
Emily is a rising senior psychology major with a history minor. She is from Massachusetts and hopes to one day become a speech and language pathologist. She worked this past semester as an intern at the Groden Center, which is a school for children with autism. She looks forward to this summer in the lab and starting her own research project in the fall.
Caitlin is a rising senior psychology major with a French minor in the Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is from New York and loves working with children – having spent time as a nanny and summer camp counselor. She enjoyed taking “Experimental Developmental Psychology” with Dr. Van Reet this past spring and is delighted to work in the lab for the summer doing research.
This summer we look forward to continuing the Caplan study that we have been working on this year. This study is a joint research project with Dr. Van Reet of the psychology department and Dr. Zhang of the education department. The study focuses on investigating the effectiveness of play and guidance in early science learning. We are looking forward to finding new fun ways to recruit participants for our study and can’t wait to have more kindergarteners come in and participate!
We are so excited for the summer in the Kid Think Lab!
-The Kid Think Team
Hello! We are just beginning week third of our summer research. This summer we have three research assistants working in the lab. Danielle, a Rhode Island native, is a rising senior psychology major and also earning a business studies certificate. She hopes to become a school psychologist. Last summer, she worked at a daycare as […]MORE