Back to School

August 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

Now that you have stared at the previous post long enough (I was trying to give Matt as much advertising as I could, really) I thought I would ramble on again…

On Saturday, I shoved myself out the door to drive an hour to visit Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Why? To attend an interview, an essential part of the application process to join the living history troupe there. My interview was short and sweet, and the park ranger/volunteer coordinator promptly handed me a pile of clothes to change into for my first day on the job. The outfit – high style in 1812 – included a long shift, a long skirt, and a red tie-front shirt. Amongst the lovely accessories were a close-fitting cotton cap and a pair of leather ballet flats. Needless to say, I had to switch off my sense of fashion for the day. At first, I couldn’t even figure out how to put everything on, and could only guess!

Saturday was “laundry day” at the Fort: in 1812, the federal government hired the female citizenry of Baltimore to come to the Fort and wash all the soldiers’ clothing. The laundresses, historians believe, were paid about $4-5 per month. Thus my first day included lighting two open fires with flint and tinder (with which I wrestled for about a half an hour), hauling pails of water back and forth from the pump using a yoke, shaving lye soap into the water, and stirring clothes around in two huge cast-iron cauldrons over the fires. At the end of five hours, there were seventeen cotton shirts hanging to dry on the fence. I was incredibly proud of myself.

Completely exhausted, I crashed at home on the couch. It was one of those experiences where one wonders why one did not get involved before. It was ever so much fun! I can’t wait to go back.

In other news, my brother and I started school this morning. It is his first day here as a freshman, and my first day as a part-time student. In fact, I don’t have any classes until later this week…

§ 2 Responses to Back to School

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