Friday, July 6, 2012

Hello and Good-bye

As the final course of TAH History Connected approaches I find some conflicting emotions.  I look back and find that my time with History Connected has deepened my understandings not only of US history, but of my students and my teaching as well.    When I discovered that some of the participants had already spent three years in a previous TAH program I wondered how someone could commit to such a six-year commitment.  But now I find that as my own year three comes to an end, I wish there were more.  Yet I am happy to complete the full scope of History Connected.  The upcoming course ‘The U.S. and the World’ has already got me thinking- and it hasn’t even started yet.  The orientation proved to be both engaging and challenging.  Ann-Marie asked us to post entries based on our current understandings of the importance of events in U.S. history. At first I wasn’t sure I could complete the assignments.  However, I found that I had enough background to actually complete the assignments.  Years ago during the Falkland Islands War, my father, whose parents were British citizens, had a lot to say about the relationship between the US and the UK.  The conversations I had with him at that time came back to my mind and formed the basis for my glossary entry.  That assignment not only helped prepare me for the course- but also helped me remember the things that were important to my Dad.  The idea of “Soft Power” was also interesting to me.  There are some nations that may believe we exert soft power, but I’m pretty sure there are others who think that whenever we exert any power at all it is definitely not soft- given the strength of the US.  I am intrigued to dig deeper into this concept.
On another personal note- wow- Luce’s article made me realize how much Life Magazine really did shape my ide of what American life can and should be like.  When I was a girl, that journal came to my house each week- and I looked through each and every issue- taking its content for granted.  Couldn’t and shouldn’t my life be just like that?  This really gave me food for thought- and I am an American.  What would foreigners assume?  Again, it’s a lot to look forward to as we get into our coursework.  I hope others will agree with me as I say The U.S. and The World looks like it will be the grand finale to the fireworks of History Connected! 

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