I know we did our introductions the other day, but just to refresh, my name is Megan.

You can’t miss me in class. I’ll be the one with the long hair in a ponytail, black skinny jeans, and a shirt that somewhat shows my shape.

Why will I look like that? Well, in the words of Maria…

Yes you are Maria, yes you are.

Yes you are Maria, yes you are.

But jokes (and Aristocats) aside, being the only young woman in the course is going to be a new experience for me. Just by being here, I am breaking the proverbial “glass ceiling.”

But, I don’t know if being a woman is the thing that gives me a different perspective on history.

I’m certainly interested in the past condition of women. Their stories of oppression, revolution, and resistance are ones that resonate with me deeply, and the fact that these stories have been marginalized from historical accounts is alarming and must be redressed.

However, to me, history has always been the universal study of the human condition. My idyllic definition of history would include words like, comprehensive, inclusive and thorough. To leave out, or exclude an experience from history is not history at all. It’s a disservice to the past and warps our current understanding of the world we live in.

If I have learned anything from studying history these past three years it is that history exists alongside two things: humanity and time.

It is a continuum of our entire existence and it is a reflection of our best efforts to accumulate all that we have ever been. 

I believe that every bit of our past is relevant to who, what, why and where we all are today, which is one of the reasons why I decided to take HIST 291.

The universality of history is a uniting force. When people know their history, and the history of another, similarities, and not differences, are drawn. In this environment, marginalization is less likely to occur because people start thinking of themselves, and their history, in a collective sense.

People start identifying with the universal we rather than the exclusionary them.

Understanding (or at least attempting to understand) why things have happened, is the ultimate pursuit of history. To me, history challenges one to understand. To walk in someone else’s shoes and to develop, not only emotional empathy, but rational empathy as well.

In short…

History is a beautiful thing.

Therefore, any attempt to share this beautiful thing with a wider audience is something I’d like to involve myself with.

I think Digital History is a field that is attempting to do just that.

Digital History aims to share history with the masses by presenting it in an interactive and an appealing way. Its attempting to bring the past into the present through the use of technology and other innovative tools.

Working extensively with computers is going to be a new thing for me. I’m anticipating it to be a great challenge.

But, I must say that I’m looking forward to taking a break from written history.

It’s just so 2012.