Living History

History is being largely ignored in primary schools, and by the time it is introduced, the old names and dates methodology that has turned away so many from the discipline is still the primary teaching method. History is vital to know. It allows you an understanding of cause and effect on a large scale. It can help shed insight into how people will react to certain circumstances. History provides essential case studies for various sciences. Living History is a great, fun, hands-on way to explore these ideas. Living History is basically the idea of meeting people who lived at a certain time in history, and participating in activities from the time. It provides a way to combine all the senses into one experience, making the lesson more memorable. Meeting people (actors) provides stories, which are a great way to relate to other people.

When I started college I was not really sure what I wanted to do. Studying theatre was a no-brainer for me. But I wanted to do more. I decided on history, not because it would help my career, but because I enjoy it. If you had asked at the time, I wanted to be an actress. My last semester in school I took a history class that I did not really know much about. The description was very vague, I’m not even sure why I took it. In the end I am glad that I did. It was a Living History class. I had always been intrigued by Living History since I visited Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement. Maybe even before that, from El Rancho de Las Golondrinas near where I grew up.

I had always tossed off the idea of making a living doing Living History though. From what I know, Williamsburg hires high school students for summer work, while Las Golondrinas uses volunteers. This does not necessarily set up the most knowledgeable people in the field, which is unfortunate. On the other hand, the SCA is only a hobby, and is full of people who are very passionate about learning and sharing information in their spare time. Today I am hopeful that I can find a way to combine so many of my passions into a single career. I want to be part of the education that helps children grow into successful, thoughtful adults.

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