Eastern’s History Club held their biannual Trivia Night competition on Thursday, November 13. As usual, the event was a great success.
Member of Eastern’s History Club painted the rock outside the Facilities Building this week in preparation for their Trivia Night and History Day celebrations next week.
DR. KIRCHMANN’S SEMINAR STUDENTS TAKE A TOUR OF THE WINDHAM TEXTILE AND HISTORY MUSEUM IN WILLIMANTIC
History majors from HIS 400 seminar in American History toured the Windham Textile and History Museum in Willimantic. The tour was led by the Museum’s Educator and local historian Beverly York. Among other things, the group had a chance to see the upcoming exhibit on the work clothing, which will soon be open to the public. Over the years many history majors held their internships at the museum, contributing greatly to a number of permanent exhibits there. Eastern’s History Club also volunteers at the museum.
On Saturday, October 18 seven members of the History Club travelled together with professors Roland Clark and Dominic DeBrincat to attend the fall conference of the New England Historical Association at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. As part of the conference Miles Wilkerson, an Eastern History major, presented a paper about the role of CIA-sponsored terrorism in restricting civil liberties in Castro’s Cuba. Dr. DeBrincat spoke about how the courts shaped Connecticut’s maritime economy during the colonial period. The History Club played an active part in conference discussions and spent the time relaxing, discussing important historical problems, and enjoying the region’s beautiful foliage this time of year.
On Saturday, September 27, the History Club travelled to Norwich for the annual Renaissance Faire, accompanied by professors Roland Clark and David Frye. Among other things, the fair featured jousting matches, weapons exhibitions, Shakespeare renditions, period singers, and a rat circus. Not to be outdone by the costumed performers, members of the club joined in the fun and some also came dressed in renaissance attire. It was a hot day but lots of fun was had by all.
After all the time I had spent sitting in various history classes talking about people, events, and ideas from places I had never seen, I wanted a chance to experience all these places first hand. Last spring semester, I studied abroad in Paris. It is really difficult to some up an incredible four month experience into just a few paragraphs, But I guess I will have to try my best.
Studying history in Paris opened the doors to all kinds of opportunity. The city sort of just becomes your classroom. In fact, one of my classes were spent half in the classroom and half at various museums and other historic sites. How many times in your life do you get to say you’re late to class in the Louvre? Because we don’t really have the old buildings, cathedrals, and grand palaces, it is such a different world. You feel so small when you look at the grandeur inside palaces like the Louvre, and even Chateau Chantilly, which was meant as a hunting location for the king, but was just as lavish as the rest. When I walked through Versailles, I could really feel why it was that there was a revolution in France. The whole palace was just so opulent and decorated, no expense spared.
I also got the chance to teach alongside a professor there, some American history to a class of French students. The class was fairly proficient in speaking English, yet Speaking to them was very different. I had to watch how I said things, making sure I didn’t use idioms and turn-of-phrases that they wouldn’t understand. It was also very interesting for me to talk to a group that knew so little about American history, since I’m used to being around Americans who get plenty of that even just in grade school.
One of the most challenging parts for me was learning the language, which I must admit I haven’t quite mastered yet, but I picked up a French minor at Eastern in the hopes that I get better, rather than lose everything I have learned. Sometimes, you know exactly what you want to say and how to say it, but you’re so worried about sounding dumb that you end up messing up anyway. There is certainly a certain level of confidence you need to gain, and that can be the greatest obstacle to get around.
Yet it wasn’t just Paris and the French that I now had access to. I was in an international program and became friends with people from all over the world. Two of my best friends while I was there were from Panama, and the other from South Korea. On many weekends, I traveled. Sometimes going to other places in France, like Strasbourg, Normandy, and Chantilly, but I also was able to see and experience other countries as well, including Spain, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, and the U.K. and even Morocco. It was a great chance to experience all these other cultures, even if it was just for a few days. Morocco was the most interesting for me, simply because the culture there is so different than what I am used to. But one of my favorite things I did abroad was hike through the little mountain village of Fatima in Morocco to get to see waterfalls running down the mountain and look out at beautifully unfamiliar landscapes.
In the end though, it was Paris that I fell in love with. I loved just walking through the city, even when I didn’t really have a destination. I miss the crepes, the people, and having all of that huge city to explore. I hope one day to have the chance to go back.
Christine Geer, a senior History major at Eastern Connecticut State University, was awarded Eastern’s Outstanding Teacher Candidate Award for the Spring 2014 semester. The recipient of this award must be nominated by both the teacher candidate’s host teacher and university supervisor and is then selected by the faculty members of the educational program. Christine completed her student teaching at Norwich Free Academy and was chosen for this award based on her commitment to the profession, teaching competency, professional demeanor and exemplary performance. Congratulations, Christine!
Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker has written a thoughtful piece “Does It Help to Know History?” In it he points out that the European powers made decisions in August 1914 that had terrible consequences: “don’t believe that the trouble then was that nobody read history. The trouble was that they were reading the wrong history, a make-believe history.” For more see:
The History News Network has published a report (8-14-14) on the jobs history majors land, based on the analysis of the data from about 165 million users of LinkedIn, a social media website for professionals.
According to the report, 1,101,426 of LinkedIn members studied history. Surprisingly, one of the largest employers of people with history backgrounds is the United States military: more than 7,000. History majors also hold jobs in technology; for example, IBM employs about one thousand, and Google six hundred. History graduates can be found in the U.S. Department of State, education, and a variety of businesses.
Generally, areas with sizable groups of employees with history backgrounds include: education, media and communication, sales, operations, entrepreneurship, legal, consulting, administrative, research, marketing, community and social services, finance, art and design information technology, support, human resources, program and project management, business development, health services, engineering, real estate, military and protective services, accounting, quality assurance , and product management.