Keeping Up with Century America

Howdy Guys!

This past couple of weeks as been really crazy. With getting enough research for an academic paper and working my RA job here on campus, I have been working non-stop. Nonetheless I am progressing which is all I can ask for! Here is my comments on two of the articles that I read.

The first article I read was “Strike While the Iron’s Hot” by T. Kurt Knoerl. This article discussed some field work and experience in blacksmith work. Knoerl was discussing the difference between thinking about the process of blacksmith work and actually attempting to try this laborious work. The author found a way to put his questions into actions and attempting to remodel a hammer (a task that would be a common tasks among British smith in the 18th century). The author reveals that he was not expecting the amount of strength required to preform this task. The experience, Knoerl claimed, enhanced his understanding of the trade.

I truly enjoyed this article because the writing was based on personal experience. There are many experiences that we as historians can not participate in, so to take the initiative and do hands on work was great. The writing was readable and informative. I like more personable articles and naturally was drawn in by the style.

The next article I read was “The Tightrope Called Academia: Women and Work-life Balance” by Maria Bucar. This article was all about the need for supervisors to consider the women in the workplace who have kids or might to start a family. The author wanted her readers to understand the hard working life women face when having children and perusing academics. The author then proceeded to list a number of ideas for tenure professors to consider when handling mothers in the workplace.

I did not like this article mainly because of the content. I understand chaotic home life of mothers but the article is very one side and potentially biased. I personally took offense to the article because of the idea of getting special treatment because of my potential to start a family while perusing a career. I also had doubts about certain concepts the author was suggesting such as ” Women still bear a disproportionate responsibility in parenting young children.” and ” These women are pursuing their degrees at a time when they are most likely to become mothers. That is simply a fact.”. I was not sure if the author was using valid statistics or personal experiences. As a women perusing an academic career I have not yet experienced being a mother so I have not personally experienced having to balance a baby and academic papers, however, the idea of special treatment in the workplace makes me uncomfortable.

The two articles were very different in style and content but I enjoyed reading them both in general. I related more to Knoerl’s work and liked his style a lot more.

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