Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quest for Knowledge

I absolutely adore people who are always seeking to learn something new. I think it is one of the best ways to stay fully alive. Certainly, it makes life more interesting and offers refreshing new insights to look forward to each day. I would very much like to be one of those people every single day.

My current area of interest is American History. I am absolutely fascinated by it, and yet I am TERRIBLE at it. I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader in this subject. Not even close. I recall just enough to have a basic outline in my mind (some of which is probably inaccurate), but I would utterly fail any test that asked me to recall specific dates, locations, or even names of leaders of all of the major events in American history. Sad, I know. I CAN name all of the presidents in order and all of the states in alphabetical order, but only because I learned songs about these lists when I was young. :-D And honestly, what good is a list if you don't know much about the items *on* the list?

SO--I am on a mission to further my knowledge and understanding of American history. Which I realize is a HUGE subject that I will likely be able to study for the rest of my life and still not take it all in. I've wanted to do this for awhile, actually, inspired by the rich history that overflows out of every building, tree, rock and cemetery in New England. But just last week, one of my favorite friends in the whole wide world came to visit me, and it just so happens that she spent years teaching middle school history (and is still very involved in the subject, although her role has changed somewhat recently.) It was so much fun to drive her around here. We found the graves of a Revolutionary War soldier, several WWII soldiers, and even some people who were born before America. BEFORE AMERICA, Y'ALL!!! We looked at building after building bearing plaques proudly announcing that they've existed for 200 years or more. AND--I think Tiff's favorite thing of all--literally on the way to the airport to drop her off for her flight back home, we passed a powder house which was used during the French and Indian War and a creek which was used to transport supplies during the French and Indian War. (I KNOW, RIGHT?) Craziness. And the more we talked, the more I found myself wishing I knew more about what happened in each of these places.

SO--with that in mind and realizing how HUGE the topic is, I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for some fabulous tools for beginning my quest. Books, DVDs, websites, whatever! Let me know. I want every subject. Revolutionary War, Civil War, whatever. Bring it on!

1 comment:

Jen said...

New England is a treasure trove of colonial American history. You live in a fun area that was central to much of our early history. Pay attention to markers when you're driving around - those little signs will point you in lots of fun learning directions. I need to take my own advice around here.