Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I just noticed that it’s been since about four months since I've last posted. Graduate school takes a lot of my time - reading, writing papers, grading papers etc, and generally when I'm free I like to do very little in the way of written expression. This isn't good especially since I've always prided myself on writing plays, stories, and acting, but nevertheless this is a sad but true reality.

Graduate school, graduate school, graduate school. How can I describe graduate school? It’s an experience that's for sure. Not one for the faint of heart or for those unsure about what they want to get out of it. As my one of my professors put it, “graduate school is a graveyard” filled by those who gave up because they didn’t have the heart (or stomach) to continue. I can easily understand after having experienced a single semester.

I’m happy to report that I earned a 4.0 – a realization that still floors me every time I tell someone. I honestly wasn’t sure how well I was going to do. A lot of my work was always between high B, and low A, and there were moments of doubt that washed over me. I’m happy with my grades, and I plan to operate under the same strategy this semester, although with more wisdom and savvy (if possible). In past semesters I’ve generally been stronger in the spring, let’s hope this continues!!!

I began work on my first work of fiction in about…five years. When I was an undergraduate, especially for the first two years, I wrote more short stories and plays. Unfortunately time became an issue and I had to put a lot of my creative writing on hold. Luckily I’ve been able to take to the stage a few times, and give occasional lectures which have satisfied my thirst for public performance. Still, I miss telling a story. I plan to keep this side project going in the background as go about graduate work.

The working title of my story is “Shuttered” and I see it, at the very least a short story, and at the most a novella. The way I have it in my mind: it will be about a man who lost his wife (haven’t decided how yet, and that will greatly affect the story), and gradually becomes more reclusive – locking himself inside his Wellington, Ohio farmhouse and only connecting to the world via the internet. The story begins with an overview of the funeral of his wife and then jumps six months later to the point where he has shut himself in his house. As he spends his days locked away he experiences things that could be elements of the fantastic/supernatural, or elements of madness. Another idea is that the narrative will come from an outsider (next door neighbor for example) who simply watches the house nightly and reflects on the events. As you might have guessed, the story is a suspense story. Not really a ghost story, not really a thriller, but a suspense story.

I got the idea to write this when I drove by some older homes near my hometown and caught myself appreciating real shutters. Not the fake, decorative shutters that we see on most homes today, but the real heavy wooden shutters that actually close over the window. I imagined how creepy it would be to see a house, all alone in a rural area, shuttered with only faint light coming from inside. I also got inspiration from the Shel Silverstein poem "A Light in the Attic" (typed at the end of this post).

I haven’t decided on outcomes, if there will be a happy ending, sad ending, or an ending that is inconclusive. I will keep you updated though. Though this may move to becoming a short story or novella, I might adapt a stage version (if possible) to produce with my theatre connections in NEO.

Well that is all for now. I will keep you updated!!!!

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silvertstein

There’s a light on in the attic
Though the house is dark and shuttered,
I can see a flickerin’ flutter,
And I know what it’s about.
There’s a light on in the attic.
I can see it from the outside,
And I know you’re on the inside . . . lookin’ out.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Poem

A moment in time among many
Complete and full
Work of devotion, in hand and spirit

The portrait of that moment
On the wall
Favorite of the artist in his studio

The paint upon the canvas
Rich and alive
The smile of eyes, the warmth of touch

The model muse of desire
Cold and dark
Erato ceased, Clio the standard now

The prospect of potential
Shattered and smashed
Shards of what was scattered about

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planning to take my State Nursing Boards!


One of the many splendid activities I have done this summer has been grading papers for an adjunct professor at a local college. The professor teaches a biology course of some kind, one specifically geared towards students looking to become registered nurses. I usually grade exams, specifically exams taken by students off campus which cannot be run through the Scantron machine. These tests consist of 40 multiple choice questions, 10 true or false questions, and one essay. Not counting the essay, which was graded specifically by the professor, the majority of the tests I graded had an average score of about 57%. The highest test I can recall from memory was around 68%. I found this disconcerting, and asked the professor if this was the norm for the entire class. The professor shrugged and, in a voice marked by suppressed irritation, proceeded to explain how he e-mailed students detailed slides, gave them essay topics in advance, and offered to take personal phone calls from students with questions about the material.

This evening I graded the final examination for the class, again only the multiple answer section, there were 100 questions. The average of the students I graded (again, not the entire class, only the off campus students) was 57%. I decided, after having graded the exams, to take the exam myself, just to see how hard it really was. I had done this in the past with a Body Structure and Function class – a biology class for science majors, and required for students wishing to enter the nursing program – and earned a 77% on one exam, and a 81% on another. My background in biology, as an Arts and Humanities major (History), is limited to non-science major science. In high school I took AP Biology I, AP Biology II, in college I took General Biology and Human Biology. My father is a medical doctor, and my mother is a registered nurse. I admit that all of these things have given me the ability to do well on science tests, including these lower level collegiate science classes for nursing majors. I tell you this to give you an idea of what I know with regards to the sciences.

So I sit down to take the final exam, all 100 questions, without having attended a lecture or looked at a slide. I can freely admit that some educated guessing was involved a good number of questions. The test took me a total of about 50 minutes. The students at the college had 3 hours to take the exam, but finished in about an hour and 20 minutes. I only took 50 minutes because I did some guessing, and I have nothing invested in the outcome of the exam. The actual students, for some reason or another, decided to coast through the exam as quickly as possible. I turned the completed copy of the exam over to the professor for grading, and in the end learned that I earned a 65% on the final exam. There were two questions that I could not answer, and two questions that I would have gotten right if I didn’t get confused. So 64 to 66% was my ability on this final exam.

Allow me to recap. I took a 100 question final exam in a class designed for nursing students who are prepping for the State Nursing Boards, and earned a 65%, a solid D. I earned this solid D as a Arts and Humanities student who has never taken a “for science majors” science class, who hasn’t taken any science class since the fall of my sophomore year, and who never attended a single class for which the final was given. Even with all of those things against me, I earned a 65%. I passed. Not only did I pass, but I bested, by quite a bit, the average of the students I grade, while rivaling the averages of the rest of the students.

With that, I think I am ready to take my State Nursing Boards. I now trust myself with the lives of others more than I trust the students of this biology class. It’s frightening to think that some of these students will one day become nurses, and will one day have the life of another in their hands. Does anybody else find this disturbing, or am I overreacting?

Vous comprenez?

Au Revoir mes amis

Friday, July 30, 2010

Two Weeks Until I’m Gone

After some serious I thought I decided to retool my blog and make it more personal and accessible to those who happen to read it from time to time. I once had fourteen posts on my blog, but since removed the older posts, which consisted mainly of academic papers and observations. I once called my blog, “A Cultural Smorgasbord”, with the URL being “anythingundeverything” (the “und” being the German word for “and”). I planned to focus my posts on virtually anything in the world of art, history, literature, theatre, etc. In the last month or so I had a change of heart, possibly with the coming of graduate school, and decided to blog about my personal life, hence the new name (taken from a Moody Blues song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USujNc5uPBs&feature=avmsc2 ). Technically this means that I will be posting about all that above stuff, while including more things about myself. I have already mentioned most of this new plan in a previous post, but I decided to just throw it out there for everyone to look at again.

Well today is July 30th and, by my calendar observation, I'll be leaving for South Carolina in two weeks - August 13th. My official move in date is August 14th, and I have graduate school orientation on the 15th, and department orientation on the 16th. The first day of classes, at least officially for the university, is August 18th. Time has been moving very fast. For me, at least, it literally feels like I just graduated from Hiram yesterday. In reality, it has been two and a half months since I last set foot on that ancestral, and beautiful, campus I once called home. Since that time I have been on a rollercoaster of personal highs and lows, at least where my health is concerned. I spent a number of weeks indoors after graduation, and had a trip to the hospital due to an old medical problem I have. I am happy to say that I am much better, but for a while there I was rather concerned and in a lot of discomfort and pain. During my recovery, when I became strong enough to get out more, I began working out every other day at the gym. I would lift weights, and do cardio for two hours. I have lost about 7 pounds, I weigh somewhere around 180 pounds now without clothes, 184 with clothes and shoes. Naturally, as you can probably imagine, I am feeling better about myself, and about my health in general.

With graduate school looming I’ve been very busy, spending time with my family and contemplating my life’s journey. I’ve been going to Cedar Point and Soak City with my father, and spending time at home with my mother. I took my niece to see a play, had ice cream with her, and have been swimming with her. I’ve seen my sister a number of times, and my nephew as well. Still, with all of these things I can’t help but to feel the end coming. Things have changed. The things we do together now, the things we did before, are not quite the same. They don’t feel the same. My dad has mentioned this, and we are both very happy to have spent all the time that we spent together in the past. My father and I are very close. So I must come to terms with the fact that things have really changed, not for the better or worse, but have changed nonetheless. I have come to terms with this, I’m fine, but it’s a weird and bittersweet feeling. I think the hardest thing to do in the world is grow up, and understand that we need to let go. This is one of those moments. I think once I settle into my new life in South Carolina I will find a new rush of happiness.

Speaking of graduate school, that is another concern altogether. While I am immensely happy and excited to be attending graduate school at Clemson University, part of me is a little apprehensive. Graduate school is hard, very hard. Although I received nearly straight A’s at Hiram (I got three B-‘s in French, but only because I was new to French and made the mistake of learning German in high school), part of me still feels uneasy. The work will be strenuous, but I love the subject matter so I'm hoping that will carry me through. The duties of a graduate assistant (which I don’t know what they are for me personally yet) will be a challenge no doubt, and then there is the adjustment to a new home and school. These are all things students go through, I am no different, but I still need to acknowledge that I have these feelings. I want to do well. It’s not a competition between me and others (though I want to be competitive) it’s a competition between myself now, and what I hope to become and accomplish. I just hope I can make it through this masters program, and through a doctorate program without burning myself completely out. If I let myself fixate over egotistical things like who is the best, I'll go crazy! My senior seminar had some pretty humbling moment, but I resolved the situation and came through in the end. I hope I can do the same here. Of course, if I cannot pass my language examination in French all these worries won't matter because I'll be screwed! C’est la vie, I guess. Je lis le francais ok, Je ne parle pas le français bien, vous comprenez?

Well that’s all I’ll say for right now. This was a more serious post, I wanted to get those things out of my head. I have had a lot of fun this summer despite my head wondering all around, and my health issues. Go see Inception, its flippin’ awesome. I hope I can catch some of my friends like Patrick, Ben, Matt, once more before I leave. I’ll write again soon.

Merci, Au Revoir mes amis

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Curriculum Vitae

Matthew David Hintz
• mhintz@g.clemson.edu

Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio – 2006 to 2008
History/English /Transferred

Hiram College, Hiram, Ohio – 2008 to 2010
Bachelor of Arts in History Graduate with Honors: Cum Laude

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina – 2010 to Present
Master of Arts in American History

Academic & Field Positions

Graduate Assistant – Clemson University – Fall/2010 to Current

Vencl-Carr Teaching Assistant – Hiram College – Fall/2009

Tutor – Hiram College – Fall/2009 to Spring/2010

Intern - Oberlin Heritage Center, Oberlin, Ohio – 2007 to 2008

Honors & Academic Accolades

Delegate to the 2005 American Legion Buckeye Boys State
Phi Theta Kappa Academic Society, Phi Pi Chapter
Honors English Program at Lorain County Community College
The Alpha Society of Hiram College
Phi Alpha Theta
Recipient of the Dwight Hoover Scholarship for Graduate Studies in Community History


Two high school levels of German
Three collegiate levels of French

Research Interests

Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras
Slavery, Abolition, and Emancipation

American Cultural History

Turn of the Century: Luna Parks, Watering Places, and Amusement Parks
The American West in Reality and Popular Culture
The American Counterculture Movement of the 1960s

Connecticut Western Reserve

Oberlin Colony and Oberlin College
The Second Great Awakening in the Western Reserve

The Mythology behind Mississippi Delta Blues

Invited Talks
“The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858 and the March towards Militancy and Civil War”, presented to the Hiram Historical Society, Hiram, Ohio, April 22, 2010

Academic Submissions
“‘As Goes Oberlin, So Goes the United States’, The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858 and the March towards Militancy and Civil War”, submitted to the Hiram College Archives and the Oberlin Heritage Center (not for publication)

Additional Activities
International Thespian Society, Elyria Summer Theater, Martial Arts, Choral, LCCC Theater, True North Theater, Junior ROTC, Salvation Army volunteer, Student Worker, black and white photography, ballroom dance, ballet, writing