15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2017 11:24 PM by techhistorynerd
      • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
        Ann Abney Scout

        I didn't really find history classes in my high school years fascinating - I was, however, a National History Day competitor, and that I found fascinating because I got to pick my own topic to research. Between all my classes in undergrad and graduate school, I have one favorite.

         

        It was a Renaissance and Reformation class taught by my undergrad advisor - a passionate man who loves to jump on tables and then crouch beside you, yelling "Confidence woman!" in such a way you completely forgot what you were going to say. (In the nicest way possible, of course!) He had such a passion for the topic that people who had class below us would come up to me and say, "What was Dr. Hendrix teaching? Why was he yelling about kidney stones and boiling puppies?" (Full disclosure: it was a story about Martin Luther and how one of the Renaissance cures for kidney stones was to drink a concoction that included the water young whelps had been boiled in.) I don't remember a lot of the specifics, but I remember how much fun that class was, and how I enjoyed getting up for 8 am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays because Dr. Hendrix made it engaging. I research the role of textbooks in creating official memory both in East Germany (post-1990) and Northern Ireland (post-Easter Sunday accords) so the fact that my favorite class was about something 300 years too soon for my interests, really says something about the professor.

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        • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
          Kelly Osborn Scout

          What a fun question! There were so many, but I would say I loved my Art History 102 class the best (Renaissance to modern art), just because it made me realize that history was fascinating and relevant and ever-shifting.

            • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
              Wayfarer

              Same here: I was an art major in undergrad, and I took a whole slew of art history courses. Following the histories of pictorial representation, decoration, and the built environment were immensely helpful in illuminating for me how people understood the events and changes in their cultures over time.

               

              The most memorable professor was Dr. Royce-Roll who taught the broad survey courses and Medieval Art. He would contrast the differing techniques of representing the human form by contorting himself in imitation of each style: Egyptian figures pressed flat with head in profile, Byzantine figures wide-eyed and on tip-toe, contrapposto, etc.

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            • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
              Adventurer

              Any and all history classes I love(d)! I have a Master's degree in history and my studies ranged from pre-Greek through the Reformation. I do however wish in my studies that it would have touched more on the Egyptians and Chinese. The only time it did was when the Western cultures intermingled with them. I am a history junkie - I listen to podcasts about history, I follow Facebook pages on history, I joined the SCA, I watch programs on history, read articles on history..... I cannot get enough. My husband calls me a history nerd and I am OK with that moniker!

              • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                Newbie

                It's a tie for me, and both were college courses . . . undergrad at UVA.  Either my Colonial America class, taught by D. Alan Williams, or US History to 1865, taught by Michael F. Holt.  Particularly memorable in the latter was Prof. Holt's re-enactment of Clement Vallandigham's unfortunate (if slightly comical) demise.  Arguing how an alleged murder victim, believed to have been shot in the back, could, in fact, have committed suicide, Vallandigham seized the pistol from the court room table and pressed it to his own back.  The gun went off, mortally wounding him.

                 

                Good teaching sticks with you :-)

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                • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                  Thomas Richardson Tracker

                  Both of my favorite history classes were at the University of Arkansas where I did my undergrad studies. Both were also taught by the same professor, Dr. Daniel Sutherland who taught American Civil War and Military History. Not only did we receive a high level of detail in every lecture, he did it all without using notes, handouts, powerpoints, or anything else. He just walked into class and lectured. Those were also the toughest two history classes I ever took. Our Civil War final was three hours long and one question: Why did the North win? (Or why did the South lose?) Needless to say, several people were freaking out and panicking afterwards.

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                  • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                    Hope Blackford Wayfarer

                    I have to honestly say that I detested history in high school. However, I took a summer school class during junior high (1964 or 1965) about archeology. I loved it! Then after high school, I took an art history class at the local gallery (very tiny) about the Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans...Again, I loved it! I had taken Spanish in 5-12 grades and love the Hispanic culture. Now I dabble in genealogy and family history.

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                    • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                      Christian Belena Wayfarer

                      The Roman Republic. Living it Italy for many years really made me fall in love with History. When I took an undergrad class on Roman history, it was the Republic that really had me fascinated.

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                      • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                        Michelle Richmond Wayfarer

                        I was lucky enough to have a high school teacher who introduced History as a thread that linked all of the humanities.  He was my U.S. History teacher during my Junior year at Dominguez High School in Compton, California.  His name was Ralph Rozelle, brother of the NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. He approached US History with a conventional historical overview but had a way of expanding the story with personal experiences. He asked us what we thought historical figures were thinking when they did things and shared his own interpretations. He used the thread of history to introduce us to art, scientific, literary, religious and military history in the course of explaining our national history. He interested many of us in archaeology by relating his experiences while excavating paleo sites in Arizona.

                        I never saw history in the same way again after Mr. Rozelle’s class, and I have enjoyed weaving all of the various aspects of history into my own understanding of the subject. Later, I also became a teacher and thought of Mr. Rozelle often through the years when I found myself weaving history for my own students.

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                        • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                          Christopher Burroughs Wayfarer

                          High school wise, anything that dealt with American history would be top of the list. As an undergrad, my Civil War class would be far and away my favorites (as this is my preferred area of study), though a class I took in Russian history up to the Revolution was also fascinating (though I signed up for it as a fluke to fulfill a requirement, and because my future wife was in there as well!). In grad school, I loved the course Origins of the New South (beginning somewhere around the end of Reconstruction and going through the Depression), as well as a class on the French Revolution, with the now-departed Dr. Leonard Macaluso.

                          • Re: What was your favorite History class in school?
                            techhistorynerd Adventurer

                            For me, hands down, it was my high school American history class.  She was a really excellent teacher, and her training on the importance of "primary source" documents when studying history made a deep impression.  That appreciation is one of the major reasons I'm finding the National Archives (and particularly its publicly available digitization work) so interesting decades later - she taught me to understand the immense value of the availability of such resources.

                             

                            I'll have to give an honorable mention to my World History class in high school - although I now know it was waaaay too European centric, I still vividly remember my initial exception that the topic would be excruciatingly boring and the shock when I discovered that it was instead the most fascinating subject I had that year.  History can be interesting - who knew?