Yesterday my hairdresser asked me what I liked to read. She’s been cutting styling my hair for over a year now and mentioned my love of books. While other clients seem happy to pick up the latest copy of one of her many “rag” magazines, I always bring a book. When I told her I read mostly European history books she gave me a pained look. “Aren’t those dry and boring?” she asked. I had to admit, sometimes they are but often history writers inject humor into their books knowing what they write can cure insomnia. And besides, I find entertainment in learning something new even with a “dry” academic read. I don’t think I convinced her history can be fun.
I blame this on the American school system. History class is one of the least favorite among high school students. Facts and dates are center to our education. Social context is seldom addressed. The actions and motivations by our forefathers seem so alien to us. But what if we found a way to show students that while historical figures lived long ago and with different norms and values, they really aren’t as alien as we might think? What if we could get them to laugh while we educate them? It would probably be something like this. Enjoy!
2 thoughts on “History Can Be Fun”
OMG!! History is fascinating. It could be that the way it is told is boring—and it often seems overwhelming. Lately I have become much more aware of the insanely violent past of our species—and I’m horrified. Not just that these things happened—but that these things didn’t happen that long ago and that it follows that these horrifying quirks of personality and absence of judgement might lurk in my own psychology somewhere. I think knowing, discussing, and understanding our history is the key to a better future for all of us.
Good luck! 😉
I so agree with you on both counts. I did enjoy history until college. I had a professor who examined history through its social context. He taught us not only the hows and whys but also the changes in society brought about by historical events. This is why I am so fascinated by the infamous Black Death. The major changes Europe saw in the aftermath is pretty interesting
Yes, we have a very violent pass, but sadly ever time we turn on the news we are reminded that haven’t learned to be peaceful. You know what they say
“those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”.