Students initially wrote whatever came to mind. For the second stage of the assignment, however, Stewart had them perform more formal research using the museum archives, history books and the Internet. This proved a frustrating turn, as the museum records were often incomplete, said Stewart.
Someone years ago held the exact same object. I was cap-
tured by the object, and I had to find out more about it.
~ Kelsey McComish
“It took me about a week even to find out who the person [who owned the canteen] was,” said McComish, who eventually learned it belonged to John Lewis Tupper, a Vermonter and former Norwich student who died of typhoid in 1898.
Stewart said she likes to use Norwich’s resources in class, believing it makes the school’s history and the assignments more relevant to students.
“Sometimes students need that connection ... to think about writing in a way that’s useful to them.”