The value of History as a Major

On any given night in my childhood, just before bedtime, two high-pitched squealing voices could be heard demanding, “Read me a story, Daddy!” My father would never disappoint my sister and me, never failing to satisfy our persistent appeals with an extraordinarily elaborate tale of a magical land where Princess Chloe and Princess Kelly ruled. Each night, he told us a fairytale, starring the two daughters of King Daddy and Queen Mommy. Every story had its own moral lesson in response to some real conflict that had arisen between us sparring sisters. Princess Chloe would, for example, realize that she actually should have shared her ponies with Kelly instead of being selfish. These and other stories vastly shaped my childhood and my values without my even realizing it. To my child self, the tales were mainly a source for my imagination to flourish and carry me away from a mundane place, and to my own castle in my own kingdom. I dreamt that I could someday live there, have all that I ever wantedif I was good enough.

Castles, and the lives of the royals who resided in the elegant masterpieces of architecture, painted a picture of elegance and wonder that I had never before experienced in the modern world. The Medieval Age sparked an interest with me that never faded away. I wanted to know all that I could about this miraculous era of growth that led into the Renaissance, a time of rediscovery of the ancient arts and appreciation for the forgotten works of old. It intrigued me that people, intelligent humans no different from the ones that walk the earth today, could have let such a travesty as forgetting their past occur. For centuries, there was darkness and little hope for the restoration of learning. Then a light shone on those who still retained a glimmer of the ancient studies and arts.

As the years passed, my eyes were opened to other arenas of history, such as American history. I took an Advanced Placement class during my junior year to be challenged. You see, I have always pushed myself to succeed in every opportunity available to fulfill my thirst for knowledge. Nothing was more fascinating to me than reading about the past of human civilization, be it as far back as the ancient Egyptians or as close as the Revolutionary War. To me, it seemed like I was not merely reading about some dead and long-gone culture, but rather that I was reading about myself and the society that surrounded me at the present. I see history as a story about what’s actually going on right in front of us. It just needs to be interpreted as such and then the map will unfold itself.

The word history’ comes from its Latin origin, istoria’. It is defined: learning through research. No where in this original intention for the word does it say that history is only relevant to the past. It is in itself, the art of learning. Somewhere, hidden deep within everyone, there is a need to learn. We strive for the knowledge of what we are, and what we’re going to be. History repeats itself, and this is a fact. We should learn to embrace the gift of knowing how others lived before us. It is a privelege to understand how and why they suffered and succeeded, so that we may avoid such recurrences of failure and repeat those of victory.

In order to aquire and comprehend the knowledge of the history of life, we must study what has been left behind. It is my intention to pursue the field of archaeology, a more specific area of the study of history. It is not possible to fully experience the way the Egyptians lived if one merely examines copies of hyroglyphics. Therefore, to obtain a complete perspective of their world, one must enter it and examine artifacts of daily life. I will study their wall-frescoes and architectures, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza. The majestic architecture of bygone civilizations is crumbling away into dust faster than we think. Cathedrals, monasteries, castles, Greek temples, Mayan and Egyptian Pyramids; they must all be preserved for the purpose of cherishing the past. I wish to restore those edifices which have already begun to fall, and to preserve those which are currently left to the ravages of the elements.

My passion for history comes across in all aspects of my life, especially in my choice of literature. It is apparent when looking at my personal bookshelf, that I hold a softspot for historical fiction. Ever since I was a little girl, I have adored the romantic stories that my father entertained me with. The added element of a factual time period where my mind can surround the events of a tale with actual historical references is priceless.

I want to share the joys of our past with others, and this requires an exceptional education, one that I have spent the better part of my life working for. Those childhood stories somehow shaped even my work ethic, presenting an ideal world that I could have if I worked hard enough to earn it. It is no recent revelation to me that hard work will get me places. It is a slow process, the acquisition of knowledge, taking years to hone, but worth any sacrifice that this earth offers.