For your information I was not too enamored with history while I was in school until I had two wonderful professors in college.
Dr. Collins taught Art History at WVU in the early-mid 1970s and I was fortunate to have him as one of my instructors. Our class was in an interior room of the Creative Arts Center which was cool and dark, just perfect for showing slides of art works. Along with the cool, darkness, Dr. Collins’ soothing voice allowed some students to think that was the perfect opportunity for a mid-afternoon nap. But not me. Instead of just mentioning the painter or sculptor and the name of the art work, he also included some tidbit of information about the artist, obvious as well as not so obvious details about the work, the political and religious atmosphere of the times, and the reactions of the world to each piece. His dry sense of humor was evident and he interjected his commentary with it daily. I learned so much about the history of the era we were studying and not just about ART history.
The other professor, whose name I do not remember, was just as fascinating. Ancient History was dull and boring, or so I thought. He brought it to life by talking about the everyday people of the time, the culture, the wars, the food, the floods, and how it all related not only to that time but how it related to the present.
Neither class was dull or boring. It wasn’t solely focused on specific generals, dates, places, and battles. History was real and about real, everyday people.
I don’t even know if the schools teach real history any more. And that’s too bad.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
We “loved” our government class!!!
Interestingly, I grew up LOVING history, maybe because my grandparents told me stories of when they were young, and when their grandparents were young. So for me, it always was about the stories. My grandfather in particular was one to talk to me about the reason behind things, the thinking of the day. He was not well educated in a formal sense, but he was well-read, having a great curiosity about things, especially history. He had a great library of biographies and books written by famous people. He used to meditate over them, almost, he was so thoughtful. And he was good at conveying that to a small child, a young teen, and know-it-all high school student, and a young woman. 🙂
I still often think about “what was it like to be a regular person living when”? It opens a whole new world.
What a wonderful resource and inspiration your grandfather is! Thank you for sharing. 😊
Sent from my iPad
All my grands are gone now, but I have such happy memories of things like this, spending time with them. If I could instill that love of history to anyone, I would feel very lucky. So I am so glad to hear you say you love the stories. Even though I had nothing to do with it, I completely understand it. 😉