Each semester it seems there is one class that I am heartbroken to see end. Last semester it was children's lit, and this semester it is my American History class.
You may be wondering why I am taking a history class. Trust me, you're not the only one to wonder this. I'm studying elementary education, not secondary education, so most of my classes are methods classes, and not content heavy classes like the secondary students have. Although I am, however, very interested in teaching middle school someday (I know, I may have a few screws loose) so I added the middle school endorsement to my list of areas. I will not finish this endorsement until after I have my degree, but according to a couple of principals I have spoken with and various other people in my program, if I really do want to teach middle school, this endorsement will be beneficial.
The classes for this area are all content heavy classes in language arts, math, science and social sciences. Of course this made me so excited. Social studies? English? Sign me up!
The first class I chose was an American History class that picked up after the Civil War and studied everything up until current day. You guys, I completely nerded out with this class. I read every single word of the assigned readings, took my weekly papers very serious (they were actually kinda fun to write!), and did not miss a single lecture.
When I was younger, I hated history. Even in undergrad, I hated history. Maybe I wasn't mature enough. Maybe I didn't have enough life experience. I'm not sure. I do know that when I was in elementary, middle and high school it was the way it was taught. Most of the time it was reading the textbook and answering the questions at the end of the chapter. Not. Effective.
In high school, though, we had this current events class and each week we studied a new subject. We studied things like the JFK assassination, serial killers, 1970s cults (Charles Manson - freeakky), the Lindbergh baby, and the Amelia Earhart disappearance. It was probably my favorite class of all time, and I often think about how I wish I still had my notebook for that class. I have even considered going to my high school to see if the teacher is still there (too bad I cannot remember his name. Local East grads, do you know what I am talking about?!).
The point is, it was the way the class was taught. The teacher was so passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects, and he made them interesting for the class! I often went home and Googled (well, I don't think Google was around then - this was like 1998) the subjects to learn more. I can remember one time looking up stuff about Charles Manson (I'm not weird, I swear) and there was this site that had a huge picture of his face and his eyeballs followed the cursor. The links on the left were all vertical and every time you scrolled over one, a bullet shot would sound. I didn't know this and I scrolled over all of them... About 15 bullet shots sounded and I think I had a mini heart attack at age 16... I wonder if that site is still up? I can remember telling my mom I wanted to read Helter Skelter. I'm pretty sure she was concerned.
This class was the only class I can remember really loving that regarded social sciences and history. Until now!
All I have left is the final, and hopefully I can kick the final's butt and pull off an A. If so, I will be pretty happy, but if not, I'm still happy. The class was fun and it kept me engaged the entire semester, I looked forward to the sections and reading each chapter of the book. Sounds nerdy, but I really did! I wish I could spend more time on the middle school endorsement, considering these classes are like electives for me (seriously, I'm a nerd), but I just can't!
Well, I probably shouldn't have spent 20 minutes typing this considering how much I have left to do, but I feel a little calmer. A little less stressed.
One more week to go! :)