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Diary of A Renaissance Woman

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S: Global: Renaissance

BC: Thank You for Listening, THE END!

FC: The Diary of Alessandra Moretti By: Ivon Hong, Robyn Francis, & Andy Dai

1: The diary of a 1400s midwife who notices the changes occurring around her. She lives between the time of transition from Medieval to Renaissance.

2: 28 February 1401 Dear Diary, I lost my old diary so I decided to start a new one from scratch. My family and I all live in a one room home which is very crowded. We are a family of 5. My job doesn't pay much so I need my whole family to work if they were to survive. I serve the village as a mid-wife and doctor. As a mid-wife I'd often be called on in the middle of the night when a woman would go into labor. I would go to the woman's house and stay with her until the woman gives birth.

3: Over the years, I deliver over a thousand babies and never lose a mother. However, a few babies were lost. Well, today was a hot day. I had to feed my husband and my three children in a blazing hot area of the room, where the stove is. I was sweating buckets. The worst part is that on one of the hottest days, I had to deliver 3 babies. Sometimes, I just wish I could retire, but to survive, I'm going to have to suck it up and work hard. This is the only option I have right now. Well that's enough for today. Alessandra Moretti

4: 29 February 1401 Dear Diary, Today was such a long day on the job. I had to work overtime because so many women came and doctors needed my assistance. I helped seven women during labor and delivery. However, one of my patient's child died during birth. It was a sad time for her and her family. It wouldn't have been helpful if she was born anyways, she was a girl. I feel like a woman of my age should be retired by now.

5: Being 47 and only getting paid minimum wage is upsetting. On the bright side, I did get paid extra for my extra hours on the job. Thank God, I have tomorrow off. I have been saving up all my money to go shopping tomorrow. I need new work attire. I will also be getting my hair done tomorrow. My friend can do “magic” with hair. Well that's enough writing for me today. Bye diary. Alessandra Moretti

6: 1 March 1401 Dear Diary, I went shopping for new clothing. I got two dresses with detachable sleeves. I saw a jacket made of expensive Italian velvet; however I could not afford it. I also got my hair fixed and have it loose now. I was looking at homes today when I saw a homemade of brick replacing the wood or stucco. The Roofs were made of slate or tile. This was different from the houses in the past, which were made of wood. It caused fires and many deaths, these new houses were more modern. Spiral staircases are also introduced because it took up less room.

7: Today I was thinking about the rights of women like us. We are always reliant on men and make less money than them. We don't get an education and are not allowed to vote. I have to spend most of my time indoors cleaning or working. I wish all women could be like Queen Elizabeth, standing strong and powerful. She is one of the few women that the men actually listen to. I read in the newspaper today that many theories of human anatomy were wrong and after practicing dissection, they finally figured out the human anatomy. Well that's enough for today. Alessandra Moretti

8: 2 March 1401 Dear Diary, Today I have used a new invention and technique to deliver a child. I’m truly in awe. There have been many new inventions to help assist me in delivering children but not one as useful as this new stool that was just invented. They created a new invention a birthing stool in the shape of a v or x this gives me space to work. A scholar named Aron has also told us how we should deliver the baby. “She should lie down on her back, but she should not lie down completely and yet also she also should not quite be standing, but rather it should be somewhere in the middle”

9: Today I heard about a women Isabella d'Este. Isabella d'Este differed from any other women I had ever met, she was independent and powerful. I want to be like her. She needed the approval of no man to live in the style that she chose. Isabella was remarkable in that she was one of few women who expressed themselves in the arts to any extent. She recently made female head of an Italian city state after her husband was captured in war. I want to meet this woman and thank her for changing my life. Today I went to the art gallery and saw "The Adoration of the Kings in the Snow, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I can't believe how realistic paintings in our times are getting, it was truly fantastic. That's enough for today. Alessandra Moretti

10: 3 March 1401 Dear Diary, I just noticed how many inventions were made during the past couple of years. It's amazing how advanced out society is getting. Recently I’ve seen the rich and well educated where eyeglasses that were newly invented to make them sophisticated. My life has also gotten a lot easier with the newest invention the Mechanical Clock. Now I will be able to know the exact time and how many hours I have until sunset. Today I was sick so I decided to read a book called The Canterbury Tales by a famous writer known as Geoffrey Chaucer.

11: The book was a combination of 14 stories. I just finished the first story the knight's tale. It is a love story about two imprisoned knights Arcite and Palamon, from Thebes. They both fall in love with Theseus’s sister-in-law Emelye. Arcite is freed by a friend. However he can never return to Athens. He loved Emeyle so much he returns in disguise. Palamon also escapes from prison, and the two meet and fight over Emelye. Arcite wins however he dies. Palamon marries Emelye. The first book was interesting. That’s enough for today. Alessandra Moretti

12: 4 March 1401 Dear Diary, Today I and my husband were discussing about our children and their futures. We believe that our children are supposed to act like adults. We want our sons to be merchants so they will be able to make money. Therefore, they are being taught grammar and arithmetic because those are the tools of a merchant. Our girls will stay at home and learn to be an obedient wife. They will learn the household chores and how to properly conduct them.

13: Today I also went to a jousting tournament with my husband. Rich nobles organized a jousting event for the knights in our village to practice their combat skills in mock battles. The knights would demonstrate their combat skills to impress the ladies. The purpose of jousting was to get a rider off its horse. The winner was awarded with ladies and riches. It was a very entertaining match. That's enough for today. Alessandra Moretti

14: 5 March 1401 Dear Diary, One of the most terrifying days I’ve experienced thus far. A woman came in for a checkup today, she was pregnant. I believe her name was Catalina Montessori. She was a young girl, only about nineteen or twenty I’d say. At first, I thought she was just another girl who got married and became pregnant, but I was wrong. The father of the child came a few minutes after Catalina's arrival. I would assume he didn't know of her pregnancy or else he wouldn't have reacted so surprisingly. The only predicament here was the fact that they weren't married. I could even say it is alright if they had premarital pregnancy, until the news broke out. The man wanted nothing to do with her, yearning to recoil from the situation. There was not getting out, they were all standing there, aware of exactly what was going on. All is understood if he chose to marry Catalina for his child.

15: The horror here is that he just desired to have her for a day then dispose of her like rubbish. To be a woman and see this, I was infuriated! Perhaps simply supporting Catalina and the child would be enough, but he wouldn't even do that! What is a man if he cannot pick-up after himself? It is a shame women are viewed at with such low standards. His last words were the most vindictive; he told the doctor “Just let her have an abortion.” Appalled at this, I practically felt my heart stop for a moment. He was referring to a massage abortion, one in which we would press on her abdomen to exterminate the unborn embryo. Catalina wasn't too far along, so she could have an abortion. I had anticipated and implored that she would stand up for herself and refuse to do as he says but alas, the status and role women play do not allow us the freedom. I think I’ll end here; perchance I’ll be able to rest tonight without nightmares about today. Alessandra Moretti

16: 6 March 1401 Dear Diary, On my way home today, I overcame a thought. Despite it being such a flourishing time period, the rights of women still didn't change much. I have noticed the younger generation being able to get an education, that is, if they have the financial capability. I could've only dreamed about getting an education like that, exploring the sciences and different works of literature. The nobles and the wealthy women were offered such a privilege back in the 1300s. But even back then they were taught the ways to be an ideal wife or mother.

17: Their time was often devoted to religious matters, anything dealing with the church. I’ve watched the world spin by, yet I still stand in the same place. I rant on about not having enough rights or freedom, but I surely hope someday women will be just as powerful as men. My parents had raised me to be the “perfect” housewife. Was that supposed to mean that I was destined to be a simple housewife? It's a shame what people think of us, were not that simple. Maybe I’ll write more tomorrow, about my story. Alessandra Moretti

18: 7 March 1401 Dear Diary, My story, what is my story? I guess I’d never wondered about tell my side of the story. It was always about the rich people or scholars; I’ve never even heard the story of a regular person. Men or powerful women are the spotlight of these stories, but this time, I’ll let it shine on me, for just a moment. This is just a simple diary book, but it’s about enough for me. Growing up, my parents took control of my whole life. It seemed to me that if you weren’t a man, you don’t get to choose your own path. I had believed this to be true until about I was sixteen. I had to mature fast, I needed to be stronger than others around me. I was determined to be more than the person behind my husband. Please don’t get me wrong, I love him dearly, but taking my own path was vital for my inner self. I was engaged by the age of nine, and married by ten. This was already pretty old for a marriage as my parents would say.

19: I was devoted to household tasks and bearing children because that was what I was taught. This was all up till the day I saw change. I met this teenage girl, just 5 or 6 years older than me at the time. We clicked instantly and began to talk about how life in the future would be. She told me about her dreams, wishing to be a doctor. I laughed at her first, how could she think that? It wasn't even possible that women could be doctors... or was it? That day I went home to think, barely realizing that I’ve been trapped within myself. I wanted to be more, to help others, to see the glimmer of hope in people's eyes because I was there. I was still trapped in my shell though. I waited for a breakthrough, and one day, I was truly enlightened. I must rest; my hand is aching from all this writing, not to mention that I’m running out of ink. During the break of dawn, I will go purchase some ink, but as for now, g’ night. Alessandra Moretti

20: 8 March 1401 Dear Diary, Men nowadays are gaining quite a lot of new knowledge. The printing press helped to spread ideas amongst people. Times have truly changed. When I was a young girl, educated men were rarely seen, rather than nobles and the wealthy of course. I saw the transition occur myself, the questioning, the embrace of the human talents, and freedom. For once, I saw people break through their shells, taking chances at what they dream. The only reason why I wish to be a man is so I can be educated like them. Despite all of this, women are still of lower class than men. Either way, it doesn’t matter much to me, as long as Marco is happy. He’s done so much with his life.

21: Last night, he told me of a new concept, based on individual performance. What was this called again? I believe it was humanism, yes! It was surely humanism. In the medieval times, this was rarely possible. Focusing on one person rather than the whole? It was just a joke then. Now, everyone is recognized for their unique and special talents. A few artist friends I know aren’t just seen as ‘the guy who draws things’, but as a person that can capture images on landscape. He was always expressing his artistic ability, but nobody cared to notice. They finally do now. This just makes me wonder where I stand in society. I wish to be appreciated and upheld, but it seems for now, it’s just a dream. I’m happy that my children are born into such a great time, they will have great lives. Alessandra Moretti

22: 9 March 1401 Dear Diary, What a hectic day at work it was. I delivered two females and one male today. It looks like those two families will have some issues. Every time I deliver a female baby, I always feel terrible inside. It’s not that I don’t like female children, I am a female myself. The problem is no one wants girls. What could they possibly do in the future? They are always paid less attention to and never seen as responsible enough. I’d only wish we were viewed equally. It seems this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this. I can’t help it; it’s constantly on my mind. Well, moving on from this, I’ve found a new appreciation for artwork.

23: Recent paintings have been beyond amazing. It is like looking at the real thing. Before art was flat and always about the wealthy, but not anymore I’ve noticed. There is so much detail and perspective in each painting. I could only imagine how long they would take to create one masterpiece. Through my lifetime, I’ve seen this change. This sudden enlightenment and spark of creativity has led to amazing things. I could only imagine the future, the far future. Will women ever be viewed any differently? Nevertheless, the future is undetermined. I can’t say what’s to come, but I can hope. Tomorrow is another day, what lies ahead is determined in fate. Alessandra Moretti

24: Essential Questions 1.What was the renaissance all about? The renaissance was a period of artistic expression, freedom, and society advancement. It is a general term used for a time of “rebirth”. The Italian renaissance in particular was one of the most famous. The Italian renaissance impacted artistic endeavors for hundreds of years. Artists were once considered as “craftspeople” however, they are noticed for their unique individual talents during the Renaissance. Renaissance artists were concerned with portraying objects and the human form in realistic proportions and perspectives.

25: 2.How did the development of the printing press affect civilization in general and the lives of people specifically? | The printing press is a printing device for making copies of text on sheets of paper. The printing press developed sometime in the 1400’s. The distribution of presses ended in the “Age of the Scribal Culture” and begun the age of printing. The Age of Scribal Culture was when people had to make books by hand, which took many years. Now, with the development of the printing press, people can produce books much faster. Through the use of the printing press, literature became more common. More circulating copies of books meant more readers and increased exposure of writing styles and techniques. Writers become better at their work through reading others and the accessibility of the printing press made this possible. This made literature not only more common, but improved.

26: 3. Were the lives of people living during the renaissance similar to our lives today? How were their lives different? The Renaissance describes a period of cultural movement and educational reform. For example, the development of the printing press helped evolve books. It promoted reading by mass printing. New art techniques allowed for better paintings and drawings. Today, art is also valued even though it takes the form of television, movies, and digital art. For example, we have technology such audio books (kindle) that can actually read the book to you aloud. Art museums are also found throughout the world, displaying great works of art. It is noticeable that it stems from the Renaissance because those same techniques are used today.

27: 4. How did change that took place in science, the arts, politics, religion, and education accelerate global political and economic expansion? | New ideas that sprouted in the Renaissance increased the rate of production of tools. Maps and navigation tools improved traveling conditions. With more traveling came an increased amount of cultural diffusion. Authors that wrote about various political ideas gave a model to a different political system. Advances in the sciences, art, and education also provided changes to other civilizations. These changes would push forth the economic state of the civilizations, giving more jobs to artists, scientists, and scholars.

28: 5.What were some of the advances in technology, education, literature and the arts? An advance in technology and literature was the the printing press. It encouraged more people to read and it helped save time by printing books rather than writing books by manuscript. By encouraging more people to read, they gained a better understanding of words, which therefore, made an advance in education. Advances in art are the principles of linear perspective drawing and painting invented by Filippo Brunelleschi. Another important advance in art is symmetry. Symmetry in art means that everything is geometrically balanced.

29: 6.How did religion change during this period? What effect has this had on world religion as we know it today? Religion during the renaissance was important because the church was wealthy and had power over many aspects of life. Religion also inspired much of the art, painting, music etc. It was important to intellectual ideas as well. Changes occurred when the questioning kicked in. New ideas formed, thus leading to new religions. It also allowed for more religious freedom for the individual. People could interpret the religion as they'd like.

30: Lady Owein

31: The Woman With a Unicorn

32: Francesco Petrarca was an Italian scholar and poet | He contributed to the model of the modern Italian language, made by Pietro Bembo

33: Durante Alighieri, generally called Dante, is best known for his works of literature, specifically, La Divina Commedia.

34: References | 1.http://www.freeonlineresearchpapers.com/biography-martha-ballard 2.http://www.aisling.net/journaling/old-diaries-online.htm 3.http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/WomenMed.html 4.www.hsj.gr/volume5/issue1/515.pdf 5.http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/childbirth/midwives.html

35: Well then .............

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