Week 3: Collaboration and Destroyers and Infections, Oh My!

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Monday, June 25, 2018


Kristen Larson

Week 3: Collaboration and Destroyers and Infections, Oh My!

This week has been quite a whirlwind.

Monday began with a mystery. I was reading the oral history for Robert Shankland [fn1] and he made a statement that left me puzzled.

You know, the first time they started out from New York harbor with an active sonar on a ship, it was sunk before it cleared Long Island, because the submarine used the sonar pulses to locate the destroyer or whatever it was. Well, really, the Navy was going to stop using sonar right then and there. And of course, if you take a very short term view, if you’d been on that destroyer and swam ashore, you might say, “Why give your position away with sonar?” But those things are only overcome by great leadership, in my opinion. 

AND THAT WAS THE ONLY MENTION HE MADE ABOUT IT! No dates, no ship name, nothing!

Now this was a circumstance that I hadn’t heard about before and coming from a military family I feel like I know the significant portions of history, but alas this was something that hadn’t come across my memories. So after a discouraging hour of searching for destroyers that were sunk in or near New York harbor I couldn’t find any validating information. Now Monday also happened to be Stephanie Williams birthday and we had a little gathering to have ice cream. Here I was able to have a quick chat with her mentor, Greg Good, and talk about my little wild goose chase. He recommended that I look into “The Two Ocean War” written by Samuel Eliot Morison who did research on the naval ships throughout World War 2. So while I am waiting to get my hands on that book from a library (where I don’t have a library card) I am back into reading more oral histories.

Do you have any leads for me?

Later this week, my mentor, Melanie set up a meeting with marketing and creative services to discuss some possibilities to make the exhibit cases a bit more interactive. At the end of the meeting we decided that having a web component and an iPad available would be excellent companion pieces to the cases. Side note, we also got approval to move the exhibit cases outside of the library to be in the 3rd floor lobby! Now they won’t be so hidden away and will enjoy more exposure!

Now for the infection portion of my title. Well I ended up getting a stomach infection and couldn’t keep food down, so off to the hospital I went on Wednesday. It felt like it was inconclusive for the origin but they gave me drugs that help somewhat, even though I still feel permaqueasy. I took the rest of the week easy and was also given permission to work from home on Friday (this is where oral histories really come in handy, online transcripts are awesome).

I am super thankful for supportive mentors and roommates.

fn1: Collection #OH4886, Interview of Robert Shankland by Loyd S. Swenson, Jr. on 1974 August 20, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, American Institute of Physics,
College Park, MD USA, www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/oral-histories/4886-1


Trip to the hospital selfie.

Kristen Larson