Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? You just started! Take a break! Grab a coffee! READ A BOOK!
Yes. These facts are true facts or else I would have described them as alternative. Which is an adjective that has taken on a much different meaning lately. The far right party in Germany is known as “alternative for Germany”, which sounds pretty attractive as a young person. Nope. All dick heads.
Maybe not all but possibly some.
So why the new post? Well, no fear, I finished my presentation for Friday! It took many hours of surfing through the internet and four different libraries on campus to pull together all I need to only conceptualize my ideas for my essay together (by the way, sometimes my sentence structure or legnth is very german-y). Which is due in September. But the sooner, the better, right?
And now I have train time.
This is crazy, I spend approximately ten hours a week in public transportation. That’s ten full hours of nodding off, listening to music, reading news, trying to telepathically let that guy know I think he’s cute, complaining with strangers about the unreliability of the trains, and making to-do lists. Ten hours of my week, I get to spend with strangers who have one thing in common with me: they ain’t driving into the city.
Torey, how dare you use the word “ain’t”. What type of English teacher are you?
“Ain’t” showed up around the year 1709 and was used for “am not”, “is not”, and “are not”. Dickens started using it in his writing in the thick cockney accent and then it was banished from proper English. So no. It’s not just my red-necky heritage coming out. It was totally acceptable in 1709.
If my blog posts seem choppy and incongruent, the simple explanation is that I randomly write down my thoughts and throw them together. Like a left-overs casserole, where every bite is a reminder of what you ate that week and how you should learn to not always make enough spaghetti to feed a small squadron.
I probably should’ve just studied history with linguistics as my Nebenfach (direct translation: next subject. Meaning: minor degree). Today I sat in a colloquium from 10 am until 3 pm, listening to my fellow students presenting their ideas for the next big essay, which is due in September. The theme? The American civil war. Yes. I cheated this semester. I choose something that would be, what I thought, incredibly easy for me. Thankfully, the two part seminar has been much more challenging than I had planned, mostly because the flood gates of what “history” is and how it can be perceived, taught, researched have just been opened and I probably should’ve brought a life vest, because I’ve almost drowned several times.
But today was different. Almost. I found my topic about one week ago and have since been scouring the multitudes of libraries that I thankfully have access to in order to find some sort of foundation for my work. Every morning, I would wake up with a new thesis statement and change my entire outline to fit around it. So today on presentation day, where was I an hour before presenting? In the library. Uploading a new outline to the online platform and checking out two more books.
So once I was sitting there, ready to present my future essay, my outline and PowerPoint was a left-overs casserole of German, English, spelling Landrieu wrong, and different font sizes, which I was too lazy to change but still cringed at everytime I looked up at the screen.
I started off in German, trying to explain my thought process, cursing PowerPoint for being slow as heck, and cursing myself for not having turned on my phone to record the presentation and discussion which would follow. My German slowly turned into German words strung together with English terms that I couldn’t translate in that moment and my heart was noticable racing ahead of me.
Thankfully my professor suggested that I simply present in English AND thankfully all German university students speak great English.
So I dived into my thoughts, my crappily pieced together outline, and my ending question: can we “correct” history?
Thankfully, everyone was stoked on the idea, gave very helpful feedback, and I think mostly enjoyed my poorly made civil war jokes.
Its moments like these that remind me of how far I’ve come and how far I have to go. Which brings me to why I didn’t choose to just study history. I love researching, I love asking big questions, but what is most important to me and what my goal is, is to have an effect on the future. I want to teach kids how to be critical, how to see the importance of remembering, and most importantly, find the power they have in themselves to make a difference.
I feel so so so blessed to be able to have the tools to research big questions that I have… And furthermore, that I’ll have the chance to give these tools to others.
Now I’m going to go run 5k to sort through my thoughts and release all of this PENT UP ENERGY FROM SITTING FOR SO LONG UGH I HATE SITTING