Tea With Sarah: Likes & Dislikes About History

Good afternoon, it’s time for tea!

The weather in SoCal has cooled (just a little), and I’ve got autumn activities on the calendar for the next few weeks. If we were really having tea, I think a good black tea with pumpkin spice flavors and maple cookies would be on the menu.

Earlier this week, I was at a party and we played a guessing game where each guest had to list five likes and dislikes and then everyone else had to guess which person had written the card. I thought it might be interesting to put a twist on the question and relate it to history for today’s conversation. Here we go…

What 5 Things Do You Like About Studying/Teaching History?

  1. I like meeting people – colleagues, conference guests, fellow travelers, other researchers, history fans, etc.
  2. I like books and archives!
  3. I like exploring and expanding big ideas about the past.
  4. I like to meet school students and help them see that history is not boring.
  5. I like to travel to history sites.

What about YOU? What do you like?

What 5 Things Do You Dislike About Studying/Teaching History?

  1. I dislike the way history has been traditionally taught in schools.
  2. I dislike that every children’s book about Gettysburg (published post 1994) has Chamberlain as the single hero who saved the Union.
  3. I dislike the extreme ways that women are portrayed or viewed in history studies.
  4. I dislike historical movies that give people the wrong impression of the past.
  5. I dislike constant, un-factual arguments.

What about YOU? What do you dislike?

What 5 Things Would You Change About The Way History Is Studied/Taught If You Could?

  1. Teach history as a true story with excitingly human characters instead of boring, un-relatable dates and “random events.”
  2. Engage people’s interest in the past to help them gain a better appreciation for accurate history.
  3. Make airline tickets a little cheaper?
  4. Work toward using more accurate historical images in books and teaching materials.
  5. Purge the agendas from the history field and focus on studying the facts and interpreting those with open honesty.

What about YOU? What would you like to change?

Let’s chat in the comments and don’t forget that you can send questions for our next tea in a couple of weeks!

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

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