catapult magazine

catapult magazine


History class


May 09 2003
10:04 am

We had a lot of history in California schools in the 40s and 50s. California history was always exciting for me, with the Gold Rush, and with the Spanish missions still in evidence. World history and U. S. History were okay (particularly the American pioneer period), but every year we covered the same ground, and the teachers always ran out of time before we got very far beyond World War I. It was probably post-college before I finally became interested in the events around World War II. The things that have really made me a “history nut” have been:
(1) teachers who told “the rest of the story,” not just giving the canned presentation (e.g., war as told by the winners), but getting into the personalities and the deeper issues behind what happened.
(2) trying to make people ecologically conscious by looking into the social and cultural history that has shaped the environment and society we now live in;
(3) studying genealogy, and trying to make ancestors into real people who lived in real times, not just names on a chart.