Good morning everyone. After some rearrangements it is me the one in charge to update for this week, and unfortunately you will have to wait to see what amazing Scott has ready for you until the end of the month. Nonetheless, I hope I can entertain you at least for a bit with this very random but perhaps interesting post. I have been meaning to update with something like this for a while and finally here it is.
Some of you might know that one of the requirements for history students is to do an essay and evaluations of the importance of being a historian, studying history and all that jazz. Well, I did like many others my essay some time ago already.The ideas I argued in that paper were very similar to the following one. First of all the issue of employability; history students have a good chance to find a decent graduate job thanks to their knowledge and skills acquired during their degree, which is just as a good reason as anything else to make the degree valuable. Apart from that I also indicated that historians do have the knowledge from the past that can be used to change the present and the future. Many of the nowadays situations that our governments have to deal with and even some of the circumstances given in the majority of the societies and economies all around the world have their origins in the past. As historians we can try and learn from what happened before and take measures to make it work now. In addition, I always thought that just the learning of history should be pretty much compulsory in schools, high schools and colleges no matter what, because history also forms you as an individual. History allows you to develop your own views on different matters, it makes you do your own reading and research, very useful skills for anyone in general, and it makes you understand your place within the world. It allows you to identify yourself within a bigger context, to belong somewhere. History ties in very closely with family and community, two big parts of our everyday life. Many people, not to say everyone, wants to know who they are, where do they come from, who were there ancestors, were they interesting people? did they do something relevant? something important? Something to be proud of and aspire to achieve?
These and many other things make history so important. I could carry on rambling about this the whole day, but now I would like to proceed to put forward the reason why I have been thinking about this lately. There is a TV series, that som of you might know called Falling Skies. It started last year and the new season is about coming out very soon. The basic plot of the story is that in an alternative sci-fi future some aliens have come to some places of the earth, (well in this case america, but one can assume the situation is similar elsewhere), establish huge alien bases and fight mankind. In their struggle it seems that these aliens have also been stealing the young boys and girls on many of these people to enslave them and use them in their colonisation of the planet. Why is this relevant? Because of the main character of this story, called Tom Mason, who is a father of 3 and has lost one of his sons to the aliens, and whose rescue is one of the main subplots of the whole thing. So what is the deal with Tom and why I have the urge to share this with everyone that reads this? Well as it happens he IS AN HISTORIAN!
Have any of you ever seen a historian as the protagonist of any TV series? Everyone knows about the adventures of Professor Jones against the nazis and the russians to recover lost and mysterious artefacts, and the same applies to the National Treasure saga. But it did shocked me that it was a history teacher the one that basically has the control in this series. Apart from the whole deal with the aliens, the one bit that gets to me every single time I see this, is how Amazing Tom Mason keeps on making comments and references to historical events that could give them the answer to solve a specific problem they have to deal with. Mainly and most of the times is references about battles, outcomes, hostages and military history in general, but still It Is History applied to a counterfactual situation, and the man proves himself to be useful and most of the time quite right. He uses his understanding of mankind to attempt to understand these aliens, to defeat them and to change things. I think it is a very nice tribute to all of us that engage with history to know that we can also be the ‘heroes of the day’ even if it is in fiction, and perhaps in reality if this situation could ever occur.
So today goes for you all history lovers, and in particular, as my degree finishes soon (in deed the next time I would be updating this blog I would technically have finished I university), I would like to dedicate this post to some of my particular ‘heroes’ who happen to be historians in a way or another, like the already mentioned Tom Mason, my father without whom I would have never ended up doing history, and my university lecturers.
HISTORY CHEERS! I hope you enjoyed this relaxed update and that you will keep an eye on for the delightful stuff my team mates will be sharing with you in the following weeks.