History

Reasons to Love History #9: Like-Minded Individuals

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!

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10 thoughts on “Reasons to Love History #9: Like-Minded Individuals

  1. I think the longest paper I wrote for my undergrad studies was about 25 pages. Our capstone paper was to analyze how historians had written about a specific person or event over the years, which was really a fascinating thing to do. I think my paper could easily have been longer, but we were supposed to keep it within a certain page limit.

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  2. This is one of the reasons I do historical re-creation.
    I get to research, I get to make #AllTheThings, *and* then I get to use/wear/show off my stuff with hundreds of people who look at it and say “Cool!”
    And when I burble on about all the research I uncovered for the Thing, they are just as excited as I am!

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  3. Moments when I realize my undergrad experience was different: reading that others (especially in the humanities!) are reaching senior year with 20 pages being the longest they’ve written… We had those types of papers pretty early on… My senior thesis topped 200 pages.
    But it seemed like 29, because so do love it. History and writing, and one of the things I loved when I stepped back into history fields was being surrounded by people who love it as much as I.
    Having people around to geek out with you about obscure things from the past is just awesome 🙂

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