Thursday, July 4, 2013

History, Education, and Keeping It Real

While I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, I read a tweet from the National Archives that shared a pic of two love-birds on the Archives steps after Mr. Lovebird had proposed to Miss Lovebird. My initial reaction lasted a short moment where I thought I might vomit at the saccharine sweetness of the event.

Then I went to click on the picture to see these lovebirds...and I hesitated for a brief moment.  Did I really want to see what two history nerds in love look like??  Because let's face it, if you propose to your girlfriend on the steps of the National Archives in Washington D.C. on July 4th...you're a history nerd. Turns out, Tommy and Abigail are actually a ridiculously cute couple, and to top it off...I'm going to go so far as to say "Abigail - Lovin' the sandals that you were sporting on this festive occasion! I can't even see all of them, but I love the patriotic blue!"
Owly Images
http://ow.ly/i/2wI2m - @USNatArchives
The more I thought about this happy couple, I realized that Mr. D. and myself may very well be a couple of history nerds ourselves.  Yes, I just admitted that (or had you already figured it out upon learning that I follow the National Archives on twitter?).   I guess it was only a matter of time before the realization hit me.  After all, our 2 1/2 week family vacation this year includes Gettysburg, Washington, D.C., and a genealogy conference. (And an amusement park - but that's just so the monkey children won't get ugly and revolt against us!)

Just last week, Mr. D and I's date night consisted of heading out to watch a new movie, Copperhead.  I'm guessing most people haven't heard of it, nor will they outside of this blog.  It wasn't being played at the local mega cinema multi-plex, but rather a theater known more for it's independent films.  There were all of maybe 10 people watching it with us...and at 40 and 43 years old, Mr. D. and I were the youngest ones in there.  Still, I found it fascinating - the Civil War, to fight or not to fight - and to prove that I actually am a history nerd, I sat through the closing credits just to find out where the historical settlement was that this was filmed at.  (Admittedly, it was disappointing to find out that a United States Civil War movie was actually filmed in Canada.)

So yes, I just confessed it to you.  I am, just like Tommy and Abigail, a history nerd.  And really, that's not such a bad thing.  I think this country needs a few more of us.  If the schools and their Common Core standards are only going to focus on English Language Arts and Math...who is going to focus on making sure our American history is taught to the future generation?  Who is going to make sure that our future leaders will actually know what the Civil War was about, and when World War II was fought?  Our veterans from that generation are quickly disappearing...who will be here to tell these kids what it was like to be taken as a prisoner of war in nazi Germany when the only subjects that teachers are concerned about are the ones that they're being tested on for state aid consideration and their own evaluations?

So maybe that's why our family vacation will be dangerously close to boring for the monkey children.  Because what we will be showing them and teaching them will hopefully stick with them...somewhere.  Maybe it will be at the forefront of their thoughts and turn them into little history nerds too.  (Yay!) Most likely they'll tuck it away to never be thought of again until they become responsible adults and realize..."Hey I remember that from when mom and dad took us on that snooze-fest of a trip that one summer...I get it now!"  Then the spark will be lit, and watch out world...a whole new generation of history nerds will have evolved!

C.

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