Last week, we were encouraged to reflect on how we became interested in history. I’m a bit late with my post, mainly because I felt I didn’t have a particularly interesting or specific story like some of my classmates.
My history career begins with a very vague childhood memory of my Dad taking me to a museum in St. John’s. It’s one of those memories where you aren’t even sure that it happened or if it was something you dreamed or made up (and I suspect my Dad will be unable to confirm that this occurred, as if it did it was probably just another way to keep me out of the house while my mom rested after working the night shift as a nurse).
In any event, this really is a terrible story, because I don’t remember exactly where we went or what we saw. I do, however, remember feeling completely fascinated by the objects and thinking that wherever we were, it was very special and cool.
Fast forward to high school, where my memory is a little better (but not much). I had a boring and grumpy history teacher and I don’t remember the class being particularly interesting to me. I do, however, have a very clear memory of studying for an exam (or, to be more accurate, cramming for an exam). I remember sitting on the floor in my basement with all of my notes and text books spread out around me. As I finally sat down to learn the material, I became totally captivated and interested all of a sudden. It is here that I would have to add a vote for the Seven Years War to Prof. MacDougall’s tally. I remember actually processing the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, imagining what it looked like and understanding what it meant for Canada. My Dad makes another appearance in this memory, as I recall running up the stairs, excited by what I was learning and eager to share it with him.
Lucky for me, my history memories are not restricted to these two moments and I’m continually adding to the collection. Many more occurred while I was traveling throughout Europe a few years ago and many are being created as I complete this degree. I guess that’s how you know if you are in the right field – you keep having these moments of inspiration.