Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Someone as Smart as Phil Should Be Studying History

Phil is a junior history major at Messiah College and the author of a group blog called Reckless Historians.  Recently someone asked Phil's mother why a young man with Phil's intellectual talents is studying history in college.  Phil was not very happy about the comment and took to Reckless Historians to do some venting.  Here is a taste:

So the other day I was talking to my mom about history.  I was talking about some of the books I was reading, and some of the course content that I learned this past year.  In the midst of the conversation my mom brought up that someone had told her “He is so smart, why is he studying history?”  While I am flattered that they find me intelligent, I was also a little off-put by the comment.  What is it with our culture that decides that majoring in the humanities is not considered one of the intelligent roads to go?  It is almost considered a waste if you don’t major in some sort of science field, and I’ll be honest, it frustrates me.

Here are just three reasons why someone as smart as Phil should be studying history in college.  My thoughts come from my forthcoming Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past.

1. The study of history will prepare Phil for democratic citizenship and make him an important player in the cultivation of a more civil society.

2. The study of history will help Phil to grow as a person--intellectually, morally, socially, and spiritually.

3.  The study of history will help Phil land a job that will most likely provide him with meaningful work for the rest of his life.

Do you want me to develop these points?  Why Study History? will be available in early September. It is available for pre-order today.

And now I want to call out the rest of the writers at Reckless Historians--David, Tyler, Nick, Megan K., Grady, and Megan P. (is she still on board?).  Where have all your posts been this summer?  It looks like Phil is doing all the heavy lifting!