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August 10th, 2007

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08:05 pm - One week left
I only have one week left of freedom. Beginning August 20, I return to the IVORY TOWERS to pursue graduate work in history. While I'm really excited about this transition, it is also anxiety-provoking at the same time. My previous undergraduate and graduate work does not involve any actual history coursework. For this reason, I am grateful that the department actually took me in the first place. While I have a strong social science background (poli sci + sociology), I'm quite concerned about the intellectual shift required to engage in historical studies. I welcome the challenge, but I also do recognize that it will truly be a CHALLENGE.

For almost my entire life, I absolutely hated studying history in any academic setting. My God(dess), EVERY SINGLE DAMN history course I took was somewhere between disgustingly boring to barely (and I mean barely!) tolerable. Most generica history texts are certainly the same way.

I know that "doing history" will be more exciting, though.

And, I have grown rather fond of history over the last four years. I never meant to teach history in the first place. See, when I did my MAT work, I choose SOCIAL SCIENCE COMPOSITE, given my background in sociology and political science. Upon graduation, I took a teaching job as a world geography teacher. I absolutely loved teaching the course from a highly cultural perspective (as opposed to the usual HS geography experience of coloring maps and memorizing place names.) Both my PAP and "regular" classes were pretty cool, I thought.

The following year, however, proved interesting. We had a significant staffing shortage at the school, and no one seemed to be willing to step up to the challenging of teaching world history (as it would also involve teaching AP World History.) I welcomed the challenge, attended a rather robust AP World History institute, and I was off teaching the course. I was a bit haphazard my first year of teaching the course, but I still felt like the students walked away with a changed perspective on world history. And, as AP dictates, I was thrilled that I taught a course entirely NON-EUROCENTRIC in nature.

And thus, I taught the course for two more years. I've learned MUCH MUCH world history over the past years. And now, I'm really excited to go back to school.

Many of you already know my research interests as they pertain to my impending graduate work. I'm really interested in writing a history of alternative models of education and how they have impacted communities of color in Houston. I'm particularly concerned about "successful" programs and their impact on cultural/racial identity.

Well, to pursue this work, it makes most sense for my to get my PhD in United States History. And thus, that's what looks like is gonna happen. So, while I've deepened my engagement in world history over the past few years of teaching the course, I'm really coming in as a blank slate when it comes to US history. Plus, as a discipline, I'm not entirely thrilled (yet) about studying US history. We will see what happens, though. I may end up doing Latin American History, as I've indicated before.

One week until take-off. We have "grad camp" next week for two days. Much of it will involve an indoctrination and induction into the not-so-glamorous world of TAing. Oh, and by the way, I'm gonna be a TA for US History until 1877. That's right: ass-early US history. Whee, I guess.

(1 comment | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 13th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
blahhh i meant to comment earlier but got caught up in mommy-birthdayness~! haha (shoot me.)
I guess I just got lucky that you started teaching, huh? haha but I know going back to school has to be a wow-very-prevalent stress source at the moment but i think you'll be okay...
just think of it as an in-depth look at one part of the world...that's what it is,afterall, right? heh heh... As for your project--i'm actually a little intrigued.. how would you go about conducting the research on the "impact on cultural/racial identity"? And b.t.w.--blank slate can be a majorly good thing, as long as you're looking at it from a completely subjective viewpoint and multiple viewpoints. of course, i suspect you know all this but just thought i'd remind you that you gotta go into it with an open mind and perhaps there will be more there than what you thought before. then again, we are talking about the u.s. *coughs*
btw i am registering tomorrow con mi hermana *makes a face*. sweeetness, i know. when are u gonna be around??
ew this comment is long lol
-the (official/unofficial) advisee(?) haha

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