Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Like everyone, I have a variety of interests. If I had to pick a top three, I would say that I really enjoy music, reality television, and films. During my time at Bonaventure, I really have become a reality tv addict. I watch the Real Housewives, Honey Boo Boo, the Kardashians, and the list goes on and on. I will admit this and I have no shame. I also love watching classic films, so my time is split between watching TCM as well as watching reality tv. While I do love these things, what has made me love them even more is the fact that I was able to incorporate them into my history classes. I took a history class with Dr. Marinari where we had an assignment in which we had to pick a research topic on an event that happened in the past twenty years that will be studied by future generations. I picked the Kardashians and looked at how they created this new type of family empire in Hollywood. I can honestly say that I have never had more fun doing research than I did when it came to that subject. While I can’t say that I took a class on reality tv, I can say that I took a class on film. Taking a film with Mr. Spaeth class made me realize how much of a movie buff I really am and how much I actually appreciate film. Since taking that class last spring, I’ve realized that I analyze films like crazy when I watch them and look at them in historical lenses. My friends really hate to watch movies with me because of this. I have also realized that I can’t stand most of the movies that come out nowadays.
All in all, I am happy to say that when I graduate in May that I have taken a variety of classes that have sparked my interest in certain things. I have found that in these past four years that you need to do what will interest you, and that you need to apply what you like to what you’re doing. Thank you to all of my professors that have helped me realize that at different points because without coming to this conclusion, I think that these past four years would not have been as amazing as they have turned out to be.
Friday, February 28, 2014
With my personal interest in 20th century history, the Cold War to be specific, Prague seemed to be a natural choice to study abroad and has not disappointed. Whether it’s the Museum of Communism or the memorial to the victims of the Communist regime, evidence of the city’s troubled recent history is everywhere. Even in the tourist shops, some of which are around the corner from the memorial, one can purchase hats, shorts, or t-shirts stamped with the hammer and sickle.
But what is really amazing about the city is that it truly has a wealth of history from every one of the eras since its founding. On a single subway line, you can stop and see a Romanesque rotunda from the 10th century, continue on to the city center with its wealth of Baroque merchant houses and churches, and finally get off outside the city in Soviet Era block apartments. The city truly has something for anyone with even a modicum of interest in the past.
I challenge anyone to visit Prague and not be moved by the centuries of human history that is visible before them. My experience in Prague has reaffirmed my belief that anyone who condemns history as boring simply hasn’t been taught it properly.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I have enjoyed every day as a member of the SBU history program. I discovered very quickly that our history professors deeply care about their students' success not only in class but in life after college as well. The professors here have challenged me every step of the way. They have helped me developed my skills of writing, reading, and, most importantly, my ability to think critically. These three things are arguably the most important skills an individual can possess, and I know I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.
I think the most important aspect of this discipline is the fact that history challenges the way you think. One of the best parts about being a history major is discussing issues with other students. Almost every day, I find myself outside of Plassmann Hall discussing current and historical events with other history majors. I can remember having a conversation about this topic with Dr. Joel Horowitz. We both agreed that one of the best parts of college is that it exposes you to differing opinions, and differing points of view. Being able to acknowledge someone else’s point of view is one of the most important things a person can possess. I think it sets you up for success, and ultimately makes you a better person.
Two of the professors that have had the biggest impact on me are Dr. Maddalena Marinari and Dr. Joel Horowitz. Through the rigor of their course requirements they have molded me into a driven student. My plans for the near future consist of serving as an Active Duty Ordinance Officer in the United States Army. I eventually wish to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Whenever anyone mentions Ireland, they almost always define it by its color and its people: “it’s so green,” they say, and “the people are the friendliest in the world.” Well, both of these things are completely true. My first impression of flying over this country was that everything was greener compared to home; the light pollution was almost nonexistent, unlike in the U.S. And the people here are among the kindest people I have ever met; willing to share a story or advice just as long as you’re willing to listen. However, there is a lot more to this island in the Atlantic. I study in the northern part of the island, which still remains part of the United Kingdom.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
"So, what do you plan on doing with a history degree?"
This is the question that every history major has to answer at least forty-seven times a week. It is usually asked with a condescending quality or bewilderment. I know I've heard it, and having to justify a personal choice at every turn gets tiring after four years. But I no longer find this question to be tedious because I could defend my degree until the day I die.
I could tell you more about the S. S. St. Louis, the Tango, or the Great Leap Forward than you would probably care to know, but the skills that I've learned as a history major extend beyond facts. I can digest and transmit information well. I can gauge other subjects through a historical lens, from medicine to film, and tell you what implications they convey. The skills I've learned are applicable in many areas of study. Sometimes I get overwhelmed at the prospect of the future but only because there are so many things I want to do. With my degree in hand, I know I could achieve any of those things.