I just got back from studying in the library. I went in with the intention of finishing all four Historiography chapters, some Rucker, and the first chapter in "From Subjects to Citizens" but after 3 hours I had only read 1 and a half chapters... Three hours goes a lot faster in the morning...
I come back in a haze.
A couple weeks ago when my History280 class walked to the Wilson Library, the professor told me all about great big, graduate study libraries. I lit up and got really excited, and she told me that I have found my vocation.
I think I already knew that. I came in a History major, and I will leave as one. To what end, I don't know, but Professor Gustafson assured us that we don't need to know what we are going to do with our lives until we are 30. If we are thirty and still don't know, THEN we can start worrying.
Mix that with the out look that one of Visser's professors had that you just have to make your life INTERESTING, and I am pretty set.
With the History classes I have this semester, I feel that I am really learning the stuff that is going to be integral. I am becoming immersed in a reality that can never be understood, but is entirely mine.
Maybe that's what Historiography is about.
In an essay by Barbara Tuchmann that I read today, she spoke of the most influential professors in her life. She said that what gave them their power was their passion. In describing one of them, she compared his love affair with Article 39 of the Magna Carta to that of any love affair. When one is in love, they want to tell everyone all about what makes their sweet heart so wonderful. (Insert CPA format citation here...)
When I went home last weekend, all I could talk about was the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'ouverature, historiography and libraries.
I know something must be right because it moves me just to think about the little interactions I've had with history so far, and even more to think about where it will take me!
To grad school.
To six books a week for one class.
To bloody terrifying dissertations.
To a coffee table at 3 in the morning, with my peers and comrades, all recounting boistrously why our latest flames out shine the others.
I wish I knew how to better put it to words...
"Vocation" is a cliche here, and it really does sound like it belongs in the flowery mission statement of a private liberal arts college, but it does exist.
This is bound to be a recurring theme. I just really love history, and history loves me back .