Why are we here…well, not in the metaphysical, meaning-of-life kind of way. But definitely in the “why is Ms. Searcy making me blog?” way. We’re here because you, my students, are historians right now, whether you like it or not. I don’t mean just because you’re in my class. I mean that you’re a historian because, more than any generation that has come before you, you have access to so much culture, information, ideas, pictures, music, tv shows, fashion trends, etc. than any other generation before you. Want to hear a strange World War One propaganda song? Have a desire to speak in 1920s speakeasy slang? Itching to analyze the fashions of the Chinese court of the Qing Dynasty? It’s all at your fingertips, and the shackles of time are becoming less and less relevant.
Yet- we still study history in school, at desks, with textbooks and tests and speeches and skits and all the school stuff. We still read old documents and look at old paintings and talk about people long gone- usually in quite a formal sense. But I’d like us to do this in a more authentic way, too. What news items, fads, tweets, plot lines, puns, or off-handed remarks do you come across on a weekly basis that have something to do with what you’re learning? What current issues, important ideas, life experiences can you parallel with what we are learning in class? This is where we’re going to explore all of this. I’ll do it, too- because I also need to practice be a historian.