I’m having one of those weeks where I just can’t find anything or remember anything. Did I have a draft of this post from three months ago? Probably, as this post concerns something that happened at the beginning of the semester. Memory will have to do.
Senior Seminar is the capstone course in my history B.A. Students learn about professional ethics and take a series of ungraded achievement tests for the school’s benefit, but the main thing is to write a 20-page research paper — for many of us, the longest paper we’ve ever produced. On the first day of class, our professor was explaining the requirements and the amount of work it was going to be, but before we could get too nervous, he said something like this: “But hey! Don’t get too nervous! You’re history majors, you’re here because you love this kind of stuff. You love reading books and learning new things.”
Ironically, considering how I can’t turn up the original draft of this post, he’s right! I do love researching, careful documentation, learning stuff, and telling other people about cool things! You really don’t get into history for the money and the fame, ya know.
I’m sure not everyone in the field of history — or everyone in that class — agrees with me about loving papers, and history hardly has a monopoly on “doing it for the love,” but people DO do it for the love, and that’s good enough for me. I guess this Reason kind of amounts to “Reasons to Love History: Innate Preference,” but the real reason here is that I’m not the only one. The whole community of historians is largely made up of people who like history!