History has always been a challenging subject for me, despite my interest in storytelling and politics. I have trouble remembering dates and names even in real life, and even fail to remember the names of popular singers and actors. Having to sit down and think about what I have learned for the week, has helped me further understand where my shortcomings are, and it helps me plan on how to improve - paying attention to the details is high on that list.
The lack of attention to detail, has made the quizzes that much more challenging, I have found that I am changing the way I take notes and study before jumping in and starting on assignments. I am changing the order in which I complete assignments so that I have the most information when completing them. For example, this week, I took notes while I read the chapters, then I went back and re-read the chapters to make sure I understood what I was reading. I then took the Quizzes - which I still wasn't happy with the results - and then watched the Green videos so I could complete the document interpretation and have one more source to cite. In retrospect, I should have included the videos to my preparation to the quizzes, since they give a great summary of the events that are important.
I need to improve in taking better detailed notes, since remembering all those dates, names and their contribution to history seems like a skill that can’t be learned in a matter of weeks. However I will be putting more of an effort to work-out my memory muscle since this will aide me in future political science classes where it is helpful to remember the names of Supreme Court cases (remembering these facts are only slightly easier). This class has been great at piecing together parts of history I never understood, and never had the curiosity to explore. The weekly reflections have shed light at my ignorance of the colonization of this country, as well as the rest of the Americas. I see the weekly reflection as a personal mini-quiz, however true to my abstract mind, I see the bigger picture – the main idea – of the story, which guarantees that it will be engraved in my memory.
What I learned Ch. 1 & 2
There are a few things I have learned so far, both from myself, and historically. I have found the reason for my dislike of history; the details. I tend to look at the big picture and generalize things; I put them into compartments so it’s easier for me to remember. This doesn’t do so well with a history class, where it seems that it’s all about the details. You must remember dates and names, two things I’m terrible at. I enjoyed reading the first two chapters of our textbook, and assumed that since I understood the general idea of what I learned, that I was prepared for the quiz; this was not the case. Having such a close time restriction contributed to my panic at not having the answers memorized, I’m going to have to focus more than usual to be able to succeed in this class.
Historically, I didn’t realize that the biggest contribution to the downfall of American Indians was disease. I grew up learning that we traded blankets that carried polio and other diseases that killed some Natives, but I did not realize how big of an impact it had been. I also never questioned why we fought Briton, if Columbus discovered America – who was not British. I will have to learn to be curious about details, instead of simply learning the facts I believe to be important to move along the course, I see now that there are important things to learn from our history.
Lastly, I know what I don’t know; I don’t know how to adequately analyze a paper. I believe the paper I turned in might possibly be too much of a summary of what I read, rather than an analyzation, I came to this conclusion when I replied to a classmate about their analyzation of the same document I wrote about. I felt that I was giving more of an analytical point of view in my response, than I did in my actual paper, and not having analyzed a document before, I am not quite certain yet. I see how this is a very important skill, and it’s something that I would like to improve.