These past few weeks have been the busiest weeks I’ve had at work, and as such I am often too tired to make art. Instead, I indulged in catching up on my journal writing and curling up with a good book. There’s nothing so relaxing than hearing my husband puttering around the house while I curl up in bed, listening to my cat’s ridiculously cute snore while I lose myself in a book.
When I read Corrie Ten Boom’s book “The Hiding Place”, it made me want to read books about history. The lives of people who made a difference during their time, books about wars, even historical fiction. To say that this is surprising is an understatement. I have never enjoyed studying history. In fact, it’s my second worst subject, a close runner-up to Math. I have a very poor memory and understanding when it comes to numbers and dates. The only time I enjoyed any sort of Math was in my Physics class on our senior year in high school, under Mrs. Genota. Our teacher had a very visual way of explaining numbers. My parents were dumbfounded at my excellent grade in Physics that year, but that feat was never repeated. Alas, I would not come across another Math teacher like Mrs. Genota, nor an equivalent for any of my history classes in high school or college.
History classes focused mostly on dates. The teachers I had focused mainly on whether we can get the dates right or not. I sorely missed the insight of history itself. It became a really long calendar of events, rather than an unfolding of a grand, continuing story. Our exams and recitations focused on dates. Dates! My memory on dates is so poor, the only dates I can remember are the birthdays of my immediate family members. If Facebook didn’t have birthday reminders, a lot of my friends and extended family members would feel neglected. My history classes focused more on the chronology of events, rather than helping students see these events as pieces of a bigger puzzle. So my knowledge about history has always been rudimentary, at best. Enough to get me a passing grade of 3.0 in every single history class I attended.
Now that I’m reading more about the story of the world, I find it completely engrossing. I wish my mom was still here so we can talk about it.