Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Civilian Meeting and Jane Austen Talk

The past year has been quite a year for the 21st Michigan. I have been voted in from treasurer to secretary, with an educational plan that gives so much back to our members. We are growing too, with many new members joining our ranks. The business meeting this year showed the passion of our members, and that has translated to our annual civilian meeting!
Photo by Ken Giorlando

Our unit is so lucky because the military and civilian members work together as one. How could we pull them apart? Men bring their families to events, while some soldiers still receive the guidance of parental figures in the civilian camp. They defend us from harm while we shower them with cookies. Altogether a healthy relationship!
Get your smelling salts ladies!

The civilian meeting every year includes more than just clothing. It is an opportunity for all members in our group to practice holding ourselves in a 19th century manner. The discussion this year focused on researching an impression and building a presentation. Members gave examples of their own to the newer people, while we all reflected on our personal choices. Improvement is the key!
Robert took digital tintypes of other members
Sara modeled one of my newest combs!
One of our younger members browsing through Who Wore What

Might I add how well-behaved my little goddaughter Cynthia was during the whole thing? She played with the wooden toys/dolls in the center of the room during the meeting, with the occasional breakout attempt. No crying, no fussing. Becky has really done a fine job!
My Fugawees became baby jail

On Sunday I attended a talk with my Jane Austen group at the University of Detroit Mercy given by Rev. Justin Kelly. He spoke of the many forms of grace in Austen's novels, specifically the sudden insight that reframes a character's opinion or sense of self. My favorite example was that of Lizzie Bennet, finally seeing the truth of Mr. Darcy's actions and her own behavior: "Till this moment I never knew myself."

The university campus is stunning; the room in which we shared tea could be my home! Styled in the art-deco design, religious symbols and distinct architecture made the room both cozy and inviting. I loved the historical paintings, along with the plush furniture. Tea and conversation made the day perfect!

My friend Sue also decided to join the Jane Austen society. She is a bit of an Austenite as well! We drove together to the campus as she is an alumni of the college. Sue even wore her pin!

This weekend certainly exhausted me. I'm ready for the next adventure!
Oh, and I met this guy...

~Kristen

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