Today is the second day of classes, and the fourth day of October. October rose hot and dry in London, but with a sudden blustery wind that rattled and rustled the piles of brown leaves that manifested seemingly overnight. The blustery wind has brought a gray clouds and a chill that will only get chillier as the days wear on and I could not be more thrilled. This change of weather is immediately reflected in the sweaters (jumpers) and knits that swaddled the masses as we walked, trudged, and meandered to our various destinations.
This morning/afternoon I sat in a coffee shop relatively near my campus (not starbucks!) and read. I’ve befriended the baristas, I think. They cheered to hear that I’ve completed my UK banking beginnings, and my favorite girl there grabs my books to see what I read (a student of history herself).
Today in class our Professor asked us some very thought-provoking questions, which is terrifying because it has been awhile since my thoughts have been provoked in an academic capacity. And when I say thought-provoking, I mean thoughts. Big ones, relating to Life, and your Goals. We were being a bit waffling in our answers, finding shortcuts and side alleys to avoid being wrong (terrifying prospective to anyone). Of course he called us out on it. As historians, it is our job to take a stand, to make an argument. Otherwise, why are we historians? What do we have to say? WHO am I, as a historian?
“You must be doing this for more than just, it’s what you’re good at” he said to us.
And I really don’t know why I’m doing history necessarily, why I’m doing early modern history even LESS so. And he asked us, essentially, to do some soul searching and find the answer because we’ve now crossed the barrier from accepting the words we read as fact and regurgitating them. Now we are postgraduates. Read analytically, critically. Question. Judge. And boy, do we have readings to do.
I research and read history because it is what interests me, because viewing the world in a historical context opens your eyes to a technicolor, multi-layered existence. I study history because we are informed by the past, but we cannot repeat it. History is not cyclical. I study early modern history because it is the foundation of our society, rather than the precursor. I study history because I have something of value to say, to incite further discussion in my field.
Beyond that . . . well, I’ll keep you posted.
cardigan: Madewell circa 2011
tank: target circa 2011
jeans: levis circa 2011
boots: River Island circa 3 weeks ago
Glasses (perscription glasses, thank you very much): Gant circa 2011
excuse my hair, it looks like poo because my bangs (fringe) are in that heinous growing out stage where there’s nothing to be done about them.