Monday, November 27, 2006


Frauen: German Women Recall the Third Reich has been one of the most influential and inspirational works of scholarship I have ever read. Author Alison Owings, has compiled a selection of interviews with a variety of German women doing exactly what I desire to do as a historian; not pass judgment but provide the women with an opportunity to share their memories.

The more time I spend with these women the more I realize how much they desire to be understood. They have lived with the stereotype of the Nazi loving German for so long that the chance to set the record straight is one they welcome with open arms. I conducted my first oral history interview in October 2005, and since that time I have stayed in touch with my narrator visiting her on several occasions. Each time, though I have never brought it up, she opens up a little more, sharing more memories about her time in Germany. These conversations are not recorded (though how I wish they were) and are the result of both spontaneous reflection or deliberately clarifying information she had previously given. Much of what she shares is confidential, restricting my urge as a historian to include it in my research. I am truly honored I am involved in preserving the memories of women whose stories might otherwise never be told.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Dream Come True!

Monday night represented the fulfillment of a dream I have had for many years. I SAW BARBRA STREISAND LIVE IN CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Six years ago my best friend Christina and I said if Barbra ever toured again we would be there no matter what...and we were!! The concert was absolutely phenomenal. Her set perfectly fit her vocal talent, and the songs were a fabulous mix of standard favorites and lesser known classics.

Favorite moments include: Somewhere, Don't Rain on my Parade, Music of the Night, Funny Girl, My Man, People, What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?...

Barbra succeeded my expectations and gave me a night I will remember...for the rest of my life!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Tribute...

Today we lost a great man. Robert Altman's untimely death has stunned much of the film world, myself included, and we mourn the loss of true and original talent. Upon hearing the news, I felt as if I had lost a friend; someone I could count on, who would be there to make me laugh, smile, and remember to appreciate life. Altman's films truly broadened the spectrum of scope and style, pushing the limits always with his signature techniques. Though he is best known for hits such as MASH or Nashville, it is his slower films that captured my attention. His 2002 great, Gosford Park, is one of my favorites, and A Prairie Home Companion is a masterpiece. His honorary Oscar was given in the nick of time, and I was filled with anticipation at the brilliance yet to come.

Today there is sadness at the work left uncompleted, movies left unmade, and concepts left unthought. Thank you Mr. Altman for leaving behind such a legacy. You are missed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Theme Song

Continuing with my previous post, below are the lyrics to what has become my theme song for the semester. God has used it mightily in my life. (excuse the capitalization -- I copied and pasted from another website)

Came To My Rescue -- Hillsong United

falling on my knees in worship
giving all i am to seek your face
lord all i am is yours
my whole life i place in your hands
god of mercy humble i bow down
in your presence at your throne

i called you answered
and you came to my rescue
and i want to be where you are
my whole life i place in your hands
god of mercy humbled i bow down
in your presence at your throne

i called you answered
and you came to my rescue
and i want to be where you are(repeat)

in my life
be lifted high
in our world
be lifted high
in our love
be lifted high(repeat)

God's Grace IS Sufficient

I have reached the point in the semester where I am physically at the end of my rope. The thought of having to read one more book, write one more paper, or participate in one more discussion is the absolute last thing on the list of things I would like to do. However, when I reach the end of my ability, God is there to take over. Where I am weak He is strong. I am relying on His strength and grace more than ever before because I simply cannot do this without Him. I know God has called me to continue in school ,and though I may not understand why, His plan is perfect. And what has carried me through today is remembering that whatever He calls us to do, He will provide the grace to carry it through.

Years ago I heard this definition of grace: The empowering presence of God to be who He created us to be and do what He has called us to do. These words have stayed with me, and I find myself, once again, looking to them for comfort and encouragement. Grace is the empowering presence of God in my life to fulfill my calling to the best of my ability. So as the last few weeks of school draw to a close, and I feel overwhelmed by the amount of work yet to be done, I will look to God for strength to finish strong. His grace is more than sufficient to meet all of my needs.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Two weeks ago I had the opportunity see Cherry Jones in Doubt. I had been wanting to see this play since I first heard about it when Cherry won the ’05 Tony Award for Best Actress. Two weeks later, I was standing in New York City, across from the Walter Kerr theatre where the show had just moved its run longing to go inside and see the show. One year and five months later I was sitting in the Ahmanson Theatre fulfilling my dream. Cherry absolutely stole the show and dazzled the audience. And, yes, she deserved the Tony. Given that this was my first “Broadway” play (naturally, on it’s off Broadway tour, but it originated there nonetheless) it wet my appetite to experience more in the way of the arts: theatre, ballet, symphonies…

Friday, October 27, 2006

Musings on Oral History

For me, the process of conducting an oral history interview is a humbling experience. As I sit at the table with a list of questions in front of me and a tape recorder quietly whirring between my narrator and myself, I find I am in an awkward quandary. I am both the master and the learner. I am being entrusted with a lifetime of memories, yet I am being entrusted with a lifetime of memories. I am responsible for this story and for ensuring the narrators’ experiences are related in a fair and honest manner. I suddenly feel insignificant as I listen to these women recount their memories. Whether it relates to World War II or a comical childhood event, I am grateful for the trust they have placed in me. It takes a great deal of courage to share ones memories of living in the Third Reich, and I am honored to join the privileged group of scholars who are forever preserving the individuals memory by means of oral history.


After staying away from blogs for the past year I decided I wanted to create one...and here I am!

Being a first year graduate student, my thoughts have naturally centered around academia for the past few months. As I ponder and analyze historical events relating to World War II, I have thought it would be nice to send my various musings out into the cosmic void. Hence the reason for this blog! To all who read them and any other thoughts I happen to bestow upon you...Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the live you've imagined. *Henry David Thoreau

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the God." 2 Corinthians 3:18