So, once again, I have changed course in my academic career. I’m now a student in Public History. I just realized that Public history is more in tune with what I want to teach or do as a profession. It will be a difficult road, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
I’ll be posting more soon…..
“The history of white abolitionist coffee drinkers from Boston.”
Intrigued? If so, then you would totally fit the mold of today’s University History departments. Too many of them are obsessed with radically narrow topics like these. It is no wonder that I chose the Comp exam over the thesis for my M.A.
I wanted to write my thesis on Abraham Lincoln, but that just wasn’t “unique” enough. The problem is that too many history professors are anti “popular history.” They don’t accept “top down,” big events, major character type of research papers. Instead, they wish to focus on gender, environmental, cultural, and
intellectual snobbish history.
This is why I tell people interested in getting a history degree to do it as a minor. If you love history–the old school modern methodology of history–that you find in bookstores, then you’re in for a horrible experience.
Other than my courses with Dr. Rietveld, I had to endure most of my courses. I had to take urbanization, popular history, and other history courses I never would have taken purposely had they not been requirements for the degree. Granted, I did learn some interesting things, and I appreciated some of the study, but I still would rather take something more interesting.
It’s all part of the postmodern movement in academia. “deconstructing” studies is what is sexy in all departments, especially history. Thus, this is why many historians don’t call a book by David McCullough “academic” history. Never mind that his biography of John Adams was a best seller over books like “White Female Abitionists of New England.” Which would you rather read?
Anyhow, this is why I decided to simply skip the writing of a thesis. Why should I waste precious time writing a thesis I have no passion for? Why would I want to be an expert on a topic I hate? No thanks.
Don’t be a history major, do something else, and your love of history will not cease to end.
Stay Classy Academia!
I found this lecture very interesting!
In prep for my Comp exams for the M.A., I’m “taking the course” offered from Hillsdale College. Hopefully this will be good review. :)
It has been a year. Yes, a year, since I announced that I was on “my last semester at APUS.” I took the thesis course last Spring and it was a complete disaster. My thesis proposal was not just criticized, but it was ridiculed, with my “second reader” stating that “I have no idea what I’m talking about.” In short, he said my thesis stunk.
After this discouraging news, I withdrew from the course, as I was no longer going to have the proper time to write a new proposal, and “course extensions” wouldn’t help me with loan deferments. So I decided to take the Comprehensive exam instead. However, I needed to take a few more courses before I could do so. Now I’m in the process of doing that. This March, I plan on taking the Comp exam. This time, however, I either will pass or not. If I pass then I will be happy and move on to MLIS. If I don’t pass, then forget APUS an I will still go to MLIS. I feel like the M.A. in history has been a complete waste of time. In fact, being a history major has been a complete waste of time. I have a B.A. and 99% done with a M.A., and I’m a cashier at an amusement park making under 20K a year. This with high loans that will have a reckoning on me someday.
Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have been a Geography major or business major. Both provide better paying jobs and skills for today’s economy. But then again, I became a History major because I really believed that I was going to be a secondary school teacher. But the reality of that occupation threw all my “plans” into the gutter.
But as historians say, hindsight is great, but does nothing for me now.
I guess in my heart I’m not really a historian, but more of a history buff. I love reading great books and biographies that deal with great figures and events, Instead, my major was mostly (sarcasm here) about “abolitionst women of New England, and the environmental aspects of northern societies.” SNORE.
I’m now high considering an MBA degree after the history degree, if only to get a REAL job. One which will allow me not to live paycheck to paycheck. The only good thing is that I don’t have children, so the level of urgency and responsibility to make money is not a death threat like others I know.
Anyhow, I’m starting fresh. Gonna blog here for the next few weeks if anything mostly for prep for the exam.