Friday, November 28, 2008


Maybe it's because I've chosen two majors deeply rooted in historical background, but lately my historical perspective has been lending itself to blurred thematic color schemes.

I've been thinking that high school AP European History was really groundbreaking.
Not just because I had one of the zaniest, intense, and, therefore, best teachers in my life, but because, up until this point in my educational career, history was this faded and staid red, white and blue. Full of honest, moral characters fighting honest, moral fights with their hard faces set, like George Washington and Harriet Tubman.
For some reason there's also been a heavy dose of sections over the Holocaust, an unfathomable gray.

And then in comes European History with its rich and vibrant golds and blood reds and bleak blacks and romantic pastels.
It's sort of this mash of years and countries and periods: heads flying with the Kings and Queens of England, Louis XIV eating cake in his gold bed in France, Russian eccentrics from Rasputin to Stalin, the art that comes out of the Italian Renaissance in that lightening-strike moment where Michelangelo's God and Adam seemingly touch, Martin Luther dramatically nailing his 95 Thesis to the door in Germany, Picasso's hard angles describing the Spanish Civil War...

My Letters degree has had me so focused on the timelessness of antiquity, classical Greece and Rome.
Stone and marble archaeological ruins bleached of all color, glaringly white.

And then come my International Studies classes where Middle Eastern history is this endless stream of blowing sand and global foreign policy is a barrage of flags beating wildly in every primary color.

Not to say that all of these historical schematics aren't interesting or complex. They are. Very
I don't mean to downplay the significance of any country or historical period.

It's just that I know senioritis must be getting to me when I'd gladly trade in the church challenging the legitimacy of gay marriage in California for Galileo's heliocentrics or Putin for Nicholas II and Alexandra,  just to relive the dramatic glamor of European history.