Favorite subjects…

Today’s Wednesday writing prompt from Long and Short Reviews is: what is your favorite subject?

I can still remember the first day of fourth grade, walking eagerly to my desk and rummaging through the pile of books there to find what we’d be studying that year in history. This is the first time I remember being conscious of my love of history, a love that’s never waned over the course of decades. Anyone who reads this blog probably anticipated the answer, because year after year, history is the Queen of the Stacks, having lost once to science (2007) and once to religion and philosophy (2009). History was easy for me, and remains so, because as someone weaned on piles of books I approached it as just another story — only this time, a story that happened to be true. More than history being a drama that had happened, though, knowing history made the world around me more exciting. I took delight in visiting Old Cahaba and trying to imagine what was there before, or to see in my mind’s eye Creek war boats traveling down the Black Warrior river. The idea that things had once been so utterly different fascinated me, and this was increasingly the case when I got older and realized that events in history didn’t simply follow one another chronologically: they created what succeeded them, like the Crusades generating wealth for Italian merchants that led to the Renaissance, and creating interest in finding a way to the markets of the far east that did not involve paying the Turks money — and so resulting in the Age of Discovery, as the princes of Europe competed to find other paths across the world. As I age, of course, history becomes a way of rooting myself in the tradition that reared me, and in grounding me from the irrationality and absurdity of the modern age. And of course, imagining knights galloping across a field, wooden frigates deliver broadsides, and P-51s twist and dive in the sky is more exciting to me than grey boxes shooting missiles at one another.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
This entry was posted in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Favorite subjects…

  1. Something I’ve noticed today is that history is way more popular than I thought it would be, which is great!

  2. Patrick Prescott says:

    I can tell by the painting how much you love history. I glad it’s such a popular subject too.

  3. lydiaschoch says:

    History is such an interesting topic.

  4. Cyberkitten says:

    I (obviously) share your love of History. As you say, it grounds you and lets you how how the world is the way it is. It provides context and understanding, rather than being lost in an eternal present without the knowledge or understanding of the decisions and mistakes that got us here. One of the most important things though, as you rightly pointed out, is the sometimes shocking knowledge that things have not always been this way. That in the past they did things differently – which implies that the *future* can be different too. That’s a powerful thought to hold on to. The idea of History always brings to mind two quotes: “Those who do not know their History are doomed to repeat it” and “He who cannot draw on 3 thousand years is living from hand to mouth”. I think Historical knowledge is vital – especially today when so many people seem to want to twist it for their own reasons. Thankfully, interest in History has never really been higher. LONG may it continue!

  5. Michael Mock says:

    History is actually really fascinating, and the overlap with what’s taught as English is a whole soapbox issue for me because so many of the core skills and ways of thinking are the same.

  6. History and English were the only subjects I liked in school. I did really bad at everything else. I still love history and read a lot of it.

  7. Marianne says:

    I find history so amazing and interesting. It’s a shame most schools don’t teach it in a way that students enjoy — it’s not just dates and battles. My daughter was fortunate to have a teacher who immersed them in history. They watched shows, wore clothing, ate food from the era, etc. Even now, she’s excited to learn new historical things.

    • That is really awesome that your daughter’s teacher immersed them into history. I wish more teachers would do that: transport kids into that time and place w/ food, music, dress, and environment. Kids actually love pretending and imagining.

  8. History is fun. You have to have the dates as an outline, and students need to know a bit about the horrors of war, but I think all kids naturally love reenacting history.

  9. History is so important. When I started to homeschool my kids, I created history/literature-centered curriculum, and we learned through history/biographies/literature in a chronological manner. (I really did it for me, LOL! because it is what excited me.) My kids did not, at the time, understand the value in learning history, but it is really awesome, especially when it is taught and written in a fascinating way. As you said: you can imagine it unfolding right before your eyes — ME, TOO!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s