Topic: Sarah Tran

More Than Meets the Eye

By Sarah Tran, Undergraduate Worker
January 24, 2017

The common adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is often adapted into tale, the most popular of which is “Beauty and the Beast.” The timeless story opens on an old beggar woman seeking shelter from the storm at a prince’s castle. The prince, though noble and handsome, is also cruel and unkind. He dismisses the ugly old beggar woman, unaware she is a powerful sorceress. The sorceress transforms into her beautiful self and warns the prince not to be deceived by outer appearance. To instill this lesson, she turns the prince into a horrific beast, placing a curse upon his castle that can only be broken when he finds someone who will reciprocate his love despite his beastly appearance. Following a period of prolonged self-reflection and caring for others, the prince finally breaks the curse. This tale has engaged audiences across the world, blossoming into a beloved romance and children’s bedtime story. But the theatricality of “Beauty and the Beast” might divert the audience from its moral.

While searching for newspaper articles about Martha Washington, I came across a similar story in the Alexandria Gazette.

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Lettuce Enjoy the Lettis Tart

By Sarah Tran, Undergraduate Worker
September 27, 2016

During my search for documents and letters relating to Martha Washington, I’ve stumbled upon numerous interesting articles. One of the most attention-grabbing pieces was a short recipe for “lettis tart.” The article was published in 1906, under the “Domestic Science in Household” column in the Omaha World Herald. The recipe itself came from Martha’s cookbook, which safely resides at the Pennsylvania Historical Society.

“To Make a Lettis Tart,” Omaha World Herald, June 24, 1906, 8, Link to source.

“To Make a Lettis Tart,” Omaha World Herald, June 24, 1906, 8, Link to source. Image courtesy of Newsbank.

To begin, I had to wonder – what exactly is “lettis”? I assumed it simply was “lettuce” misspelled, but when I googled “lettis” to confirm my hunch, I found a blog post about a modern attempt at the recipe. I was not surprised to find that it was written by a former intern at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.1 The post broke the recipe down to an understandable guide for a modern cook—a significant improvement from the short instruction in the 1906 article. It also identified “lettis” as iceberg lettuce. Though a little research suggests that iceberg didn’t exist in Martha’s time, the post was all I had to go on, and by this time  curiosity had gotten the best of me, so I added the ingredients to my grocery list. I was excited to try the recipe, but my enthusiasm quickly wavered when I remembered an important truth.

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Get Dressed or Get Embarrassed

By Sarah Tran, Undergraduate Worker
June 29, 2016

After a difficult spring semester, I returned home from the University of Virginia to visit my family, exchanging the stirring smell of coffee from Alderman Library for the welcoming aroma of authentic Vietnamese food. Being home is always a welcome, much-needed break. My productivity level plummets, and my motivation to look presentable disappears. I constantly find myself wearing pajama pants and T-shirts, and I usually think my fashion choices are fine. Being home is a break from the necessity to appear “put-together”…or so I thought.

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Performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

By Sarah Tran, Undergraduate Worker
December 9, 2015

Sarah Tran, one of the Washington Papers’ undergraduate workers for the 2015-2016 academic year, was fortunate enough to be a part of the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a color guard performer in the University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band. According to Sarah, the opportunity was the highlight of her year. She shares her experience in her own words below. Continue reading