Monthly Archives: June 2013

How I Occupy Myself!

Hey guys!

I thought it would be cool to show you what I do here as the summer student. The truth is, I do everything from A-B! I’m the utility man! The go-to guy! Haha. The fun part is that I am learning as I go, so each new task is challenging and fun. My most recent project that I have been working on is transcribing interviews. This is the process by which we convert the interviews into  a word document, by listening to it and typing whatever is being said. Now, I am not the fastest typer, so luckily I can slow down the rate at which the words are being said (Whew!).

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The headphones help me a great deal.

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The workstation! Aimee’s notepad saved me from carpal tunnel. So much typing. (Sorry Aimee!)

I hope that gives you a good idea. Next up, I also spend a fair bit of time searching for newspaper articles, and then cutting out any that are relevant to our archives. It’s a tricky business because its easy to miss an article of interest, and its also not hard to accidentally cut an article that you did not see on the other side. Fortunately these mishaps are rare.

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Snip snip snip snip snip snip…

Once these articles have been isolated from their cozy little newspapers, I bring ’em to the photocopier and replicate them all, making sure that any two-parter’s are still together and not spread out. Once the articles have been copied, we then trash the originals (they’re acidic and won’t stand the test of time).

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The chair is a life saver.

Now, there is one activity that is relatively low-maintenence and is done in concurrence with all of the above tasks. This is digitizing audio casettes that contain interviews. Tapes are placed inside of a converter that is connected to a computer, where they are stored. To start this process, I simply place a tape in the converter and press play. The material is recorded onto the computer using an audio program (We use Audacity). Once the tape is done, I just replace it with the next one. This process requires no supervision, just timely check-ups.

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Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I’d show you about archiving but that is Top Secret information.

Kidding.

I am not archiving at the moment because Jill, our archiver, is gone collecting goodies for future issues. I will help her archive when she gets back!

So these are the three main activities that have kept be occupied recently. Perhaps I will let you know more in the future as I find out! Thanks for reading, and have a good day.

Wallace

 

 

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Trying a new craft

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When I was in Rigolet for the Nunatsiavut Heritage Forum, I spent an evening learning how to make grasswork. It was my first time sewing grass, and my results were not exactly perfect. But if you’re going to learn how to make grasswork anywhere, Rigolet is the place to do it. The craftspeople there are experts!

A lot of work goes into making a basket, or a bowl, or any piece of grasswork. I think if you were to see a piece in a craft store for the first time, you might get sticker shock, but once you actually looked at it, you’d know that SO much work and talent goes into making a single piece. It’s actually watertight!

Nowadays, most pieces of grasswork are ornamental, but it also used to be quite functional. My grandfather told me about gun cases being made from grass. Now THAT’S a lot of work!

Naomi is one of those craftspeople who can make anything, and make it perfectly! Grasswork is just one of her many talents.

Naomi is one of those craftspeople who can make anything, and make it perfectly! Grasswork is just one of her many talents.

Garmel Rich is another well-known grass worker.  Her work is impeccable!

Garmel Rich is another well-known grass worker. Her work is impeccable!

The grasswork made in Labrador (it can be found elsewhere in Labrador, but the epicentre of it all is really Rigolet) is made by sewing pieces of grass around bunches of more grass. It isn’t just any kind of grass, either–you need to know just where and when to harvest this kind of sea grass. You can’t just go out and let your lawn get overgrown. 😉

Sarah teaching James from the Hudson's Bay Company Archives in Winnipeg.  James' grasswork actually turned out really well, and the rest of us first-timers were jealous.

Sarah teaching James from the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives in Winnipeg. James’ grasswork actually turned out really well, and the rest of us first-timers were jealous. As a side note, James was really nice and I hope that I can go out to the HBCA sometime and see where he works too!

Sandra of the Rigolet Heritage Society with Belinda

Sandra of the Rigolet Heritage Society with Belinda

Joan of the White Elephant Museum learning grasswork.

Joan of the White Elephant Museum learning grasswork.

I was taught by Sarah Baikie. I’ve known Sarah for a few years, and she’s known my family for longer, so it was nice to learn from her. She was a good teacher…you can’t blame the quality of my work on her, that’s for sure. 😀

I found it to be a relaxing activity. Of course, I wasn’t doing it for hours (I suppose then it could get very repetitive, in a not-so-good way) but I quite enjoyed it. I could picture myself doing it on a winter’s evening while basking in the warmth of a woodstove. It would be quite meditative, I think, just doing the same thing over and over (with some variation, of course, depending on what you’re making). Kind of like knitting that way.

Sarah guiding me through the process.

Sarah guiding me through the process.

I kept my concentration, even with Jon, Bea, Sarah and Patty all talking around me.

I kept my concentration, even with Jon, Bea, Sarah and Patty all talking around me. And a camera. Nothing like working under pressure!

Thanks goes out to Mark Turner for taking the photos of me making my first piece of grasswork! (Hey, you never know, I might pick it up again someday…it’s in my blood and everything!)

Aimee

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Digging Through the Archives

Hello readers!

This past Friday we received a request about locating a cover photo from one of our previous issues. I believe it was one of Max Budgell. Well, Aimee, Jill and I stepped up to the plate and began our search! We must have browsed through a few hundred photos by the time we were done.  Unfortunately we did not find the picture but we had fun along the way. Many laughs and giggles were had! I wanted to share some of the gems we found with you! Take a look:

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  The team. Searching feverishly as you can plainly see!

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This was one of my favourites. Look at this guy! I want to be that excited about my birthday when I’m his age. The photo is unmarked so I don’t know who he is.

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Now, this one is a bit hard to see. Here is Dr. Keith taking a photo of himself in front of a mirror. Possibly one of the first ‘selfies’ ever taken, which is why I found it so hilarious. Great picture, though.

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His name is John Edmunds, who is Daphne’s (Our administrator) uncle. I thought I would share with you guys because I find it interesting to find a personal connection here in the archives.

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And lastly here is a picture of two ladies demonstrating some good reading habits, by reading Them Days magazines! This one made us smile.

There were many entertaining and informative photographs that we uncovered and I am surprised that we found so many. It just shows what a great history the Big Land has and how great its people are. I am looking forward to uncovering more of this in the near future.

Have a great day everyone!

Wallace

 

 

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Square Dancing in Rigolet

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On my second night in Rigolet, the community held a square dance to welcome the members of the forum. It was a really good time! I had to leave before I had a chance to dance (I had Bea with me and she was getting tired…as much as she loved watching the square dancers, it was a little too late for her…and she probably had a smidge too much sugar besides) but at least I got to see the demonstrations!

Square Dancing! The pair in the middle were super fast when they were dancing and spinning.  I was very impressed!

Square Dancing! The pair in the middle were super fast when they were dancing and spinning. I was very impressed!


I also have a short video of a dance. I forget what this one was called (they all have names).

I’ll be posting more from my trip to Rigolet in the upcoming week…until then, have fun watching the video! 🙂

Aimee

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Hey Everyone! Wallace Here

Thanks for the warm welcome, Aimee!

Alright, my first post! My name is Wallace Chaulk and I am the ‘New Guy’ around here. I feel excited to be a part of Them Days and I look forward to helping this magazine move forward by adding some input and assistance! It’s a great magazine (but you already knew that) and the work atmosphere is very friendly. I feel at home already!

Want to know a little about me? Well I live in Mud Lake and the commute to work every day is not as cumbersome as you might think! Fortunately I am able to hitch a ride with my mom, Christine, as we venture across the Grand River via speedboat. The ride definitely helps cure my drowziness in the mornings, especially when we spot moose, geese, and bears! Also, I am atending Memorial University with hopes of attaining a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I enjoy drawing, video gaming, piano playing and Kraft Dinner.

I know that I am not here for very long so I will enjoy it as much as I can. Aimee, Daphne, and Jill are very lucky! I will be posting more in the near future so keep an eye out!

Wallace

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Introducing our newest summer student, Wallace!

Hello dear blog readers!

I’ve come back after a week in Rigolet and a personal trip out to visit my parents, and I’ve returned to a large Labrador day! The sky is blue and clear and the temperature is absolutely perfect–19 degrees. That’s the ideal temperature for me–not hot enough to be sweaty, but hot enough so that I can go without a sweater or jacket and feel comfortable! (Well, I wouldn’t mind if it were a few degrees warmer, but I won’t complain.) A beautiful summer day, that’s for sure. And the newest person in the office agrees with me–maybe it’s a genetic thing? The new summer student, Wallace, is actually a third cousin of mine (we share great-great grandparents), so maybe we are genetically programmed to like it. Or maybe this is just a perfect summer day! lol.

Anyway, Wallace just started this week, and he is already making a great first impression (even though we are third cousins, it’s actually the first time we’ve met). He’s a great worker so far, and I think we’re going to get along famously this summer! He’s going to be updating the blog too over the next eight weeks, so I’ll let him do a proper introduction next.

Wallace next to the Labrador flag outside our office.

Wallace next to the Labrador flag outside our office.

So welcome to the office, Wallace! We’re glad to have you here!
Aimee

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Hello from Rigolet!

If I’ve been quiet on the blog front lately, it’s been because I’m in Rigolet for the 2013 Heritage Forum, and I’ve been kept busy morning, ‘noon, and night!  (Not a bad thing, except for when it comes to blogging!)ImageCross your fingers that I don’t end up stuck here like I did after the 2010 Heritage Forum!

Aimee

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