Random Person: “So, you’re going to school?”
Random Person: “What are you studying?”
Me: “European History.”
Random Person: “Why History? Why European?”
I partly answered the question, “Why European?,” in my first Educational Pursuits post. But the question, the real question, is why history. I get asked that so many times and I think it’s because, really, why history?
I’ve always been interested. I tried to think back to the first experience I had with history and I believe it was genealogy. My family has always had a love of genealogy. There’s a family historian in one of the core families and I remember trying to put together a family tree in grade school. I remember getting excited when I started to understand the relationship between my mom and her sisters and then her sisters and their parents and so on and so forth. Looking up old names and historical documents intrigued me. More so, I remember thinking, “Gosh, what it must have been like to live through 1900 Hawaii?” I remember thinking a lot about how people must have lived through that time.
Since then, I was hooked.
Aside from my curiosity, I really like learning about different eras and different cultures. I like learning the why behind the reason we do things the way we do or the reasons why we do it differently. I also day dream of what it may have like to live in the 1930s or any other era in our present. The Hawaiians take history pretty seriously in addition to family history and I believe it rubbed off on me.
More so, and make of it what you will but it’s the truth, I decided on European based mainly on intuition. When I stumbled across the Library and Information Science degree, it felt like a right fit for me. Then I learned it was a Masters program and I didn’t even have a Bachelor’s degree. So when I started to consider what I wanted to study, intuition told me History. That was the first thought in my mind and it felt right. Who am I to go against intuition?
One of my professors asked me why European History. When I asked why she asked that question, she mentioned how European colonialism had such a major impact on the world, many of it negative (including the Polynesians) that she was amazed by the fact I wanted to study it.
This was my reply:
A few semesters ago, I took a course on World Religions and realize just how little I knew of the world outside America, but it was last semester, when I took Viking History, that I really wanted to focus my studies on European History. I saw how the Vikings expanded and how integrated their culture, customs, and history became with the places they have been. I want to see how much of Europe is in America since that’s where America branched off from. Going further, I want to see how we, both Hawaii and America, relate to Europe.
And I haven’t been disappointed. In my short two years of my BA program accomplished, I realized just how much fun I’m having.
So, why history? Short and sweet answer, it feels right.
(Photo credit: tagzedo.com, history word collage, and http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/old-magnifying-glass-word-history-13199603.jpg for feature image)