Sunday, December 9, 2018

Research: Jack - "I found stories of how my great great grandfather lead seventeen ship fleets up a Chinese river to support the democracy side during their civil war"


Searching for History vs. Reciting it
        As our time of students we are put through the “runaround.” We are tasked with reading chapters, writing papers, and memorizing for test. Throughout my time taking history classes this seemed especially true with them. It seems as if everything in history has already been researched or discovered. This is why I was surprised and a little confused when Dr. Soldani said we were going to be doing some of our own research in this class. Little did I know how false my notion was in thinking everything in history has already been discovered.
        Our first assignment in this class was a Casefile. We were given things such as census reports from important locations and time periods in the United States. I picked the census report of the Carlisle school, because I have always heard about it but didn’t know much on it. Dr. Soldani showed us how to do proper research, and look up state documents through websites such as Ancestry and Newspapers. Throughout my time researching the names on the census report I really gained a lot of knowledge from it. For example, I found a student there who later went on to serve in World War I. He was a part of a U.S. Cavalry force which lead many raids in WWI. It’s things like this that you never hear about in history class. You usually learn about events such as the Carlisle school, but it’s as if we learn about the people in them as if it were a photograph.  This snapshot doesn’t tend to look at what happened before or after the picture was taken. This is just one example of a paper we were assigned in this class, but it really opened my eyes up to how much there is to learn outside of the classroom.
         After doing this we were assigned to read other people’s case files and what they were able to come up with. I enjoyed this, because Dr. Soldani made sure we didn’t get people who researched in the same field. The casefiles I was tasked with had some pretty crazy stuff come out of their research. For one I was reading about a scandalous murder that really did look like it belonged on an episode of I.D. A high ranking official had an affair with a Japanese women around the time of the 30’s. Being that he was already married he couldn’t let the public find out about his illegitimate child. The Mistress then proceed to kill her newborn in an effort to not find out. However, it was too late and she was charged with murder and life in prison. After serving multiple years in prison the governor of California pardoned her due to the fact that she was psychologically tormented by the official to do so. She would be later sent back to Japan losing her citizenship grant from the U.S. The crazy thing is that there were multiple case files I read with the same type of intensity. At the end it seemed as if the class was able to make their own history book about things you would of never learned in a base AMH 2010 class. Along with researching others we had the opportunity to research ourselves and our family tree.
         When I personally found this out I was ecstatic, because I always find lineage and family heritage are cool subjects. I had learned and heard stories about my past ancestors, but never taken the time to look up what they did. I spent hours researching and not because it was necessarily hard, but because I was so interested in the subject. I found stories of how my great great grandfather lead seventeen ship fleets up a Chinese river to support the democracy side during their civil war. I found my great grandfather representing cases for Bear Bryant and others such as the city of Atlanta vs. France Air Corp. Along with this I found an ancestor who built things such as the Swan House, and they have now become historical landmarks. I could go on for hours with the research I found, but the most important thing is I had fun doing it.
       In conclusion, we did have had the basic test and still learned the base materials. However, the papers Dr. Soladni assigned were something I had never done before. She built up an interest to research the topics instead of reciting what other people had found. We all had a newfound love for it. We found things that were so interesting and cool, but you’d never learn about them in a basic AMH 2010 class.