Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Woe to the society that pays its politicians"

I've been growing up some.
I'm learning more about who I'd like to be as an individual.

I want to be an encouragement.
I want to feel purposeful.
I want to be intentional.
I want to gain wisdom and understanding.
I want to take journeys.

Starting in January, the beginning of a new semester, an aspect of my life began to exhibit all of those desires. I am enrolled in Texas History, an advanced level course.

[Background: History has not been my forte throughout college. A cloud of dread preceded the course because of my own personal history with the material. With how poorly I performed in previous history classes, I was convinced that taking an advanced course on the subject would push me to the same fate as before.]
 For years, I have been complaining to my mother about how history could be the most exciting subject to study, all it would take is an enthusiastic professor. Alas, I never experienced one of those...

...until now.

Dr. Torget has impressed me so much with his enthusiasm for the ins and outs of Texas that I felt led to write him a note to thank him for changing my perspective on the subject.

I like to believe that that thank you note was an encouragement.
Because of the feeling of potentially being an encouragement, I also felt a sense of purposefulness.
With this newfound interest in the centuries that lie behind me, I have tried to become more intentional with my studies thereof.
Through those intentions, I have gained wisdom and understanding about the past. 

But what about the journey?

My parents took me to the east coast!

Ahh, that rich land...
So full of the past, a gift to the present!

Colonial Williamsburg gave me the opportunity to advance my understanding of the 18th century. The historians and interpreters bring the men of old to life.
I had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Henry, who is famous for his quote, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
I know him now, however, for his quote, "Woe to the society that pays salary to its politicians. Corruption is sure to follow."

Who knew he wasn't just a lawyer but a prophet as well??

And how cool is this picture??

I learned that muskets are heavy, around 6 pounds without their butts. Imagine hauling a musket with a bayonet attachment through the woods and snow, dying from disease and british invaders.
I guess George Washington was a truly great man; he would have to be for people to follow him through such horror.

I learned that it wasn't entirely uncommon to see women in trade environments. Maybe I'll become a shoemaker.
I also learned that coffee shops were rare and the usual clientele were wealthy landowners who had time to sit and talk about crops. My, how times have changed. Now there's a coffee shop on every corner, filled with busy people in huge hurries. Stop to smell the coffee.

I got to visit this old friend in D.C. He's kind of the coolest. Fun Fact: Abraham Lincoln was nominated for presidency because he was boring and didn't take any stance. The republicans in the north felt they bettered their chances of winning the election and thus the fight against slavery with a guy who wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings.

That was my journey
I wish I had more to write about it, but at this time I'm a little overwhelmed from the travels and the joy of knowledge expanded.

The Takeaway:
Don't stop exploring history once conventional school is over. History didn't have to be written down. Take advantage of that.

Why it's cool:
God gave humans the innate desire to seek knowledge. It's awesome that we truly can learn something new every day, and not just go though life as thoughtless creatures who eat, sleep, and poop.

[History is destined to repeat itself]

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