Sunday, August 11, 2013

His Story

I don't know why, but I've always considered myself to be a history-buff (this was a time when I thought of Economics as the one where a lot of weaving and farming is involved... don't blame me, I was young!"). When I was "younger," I've always thought of having a career in History when I get older. It's not even because I like to read those dry and dreadful textbooks in elementary. It had a lot to do with video games and movies - mostly on warfare and civ management. Playing Age of Empires, Civilization, and Call of Duty (the early ones) and watching those war movies and historical documentaries made me love the subject even more.

Many of my friends have asked me, "WHY?" and I don't even know the answer (or at least, the exact reason behind it). Maybe it's because when they think of History, they think of those useless dates and places and names that you have to memorize in elementary and high school.

Then again, "why?"

When I think of history, I don't think of useless facts; I think of those old pictures and artifacts I see in museums. I think of those castles, catapaults, towers and ships that I build in video games. I like to imagine myself being there and observe how these "primitive peoples" live their lives ignorant of the convenient ways of the internet. I dream of excavating artifacts, travelling around the world and uncovering ancient cities (see Pompeii). Those actual neolithic hunting tools that our ancestors used, fossils of species that are extinct today - and those guns used in the "good ol' days" are just few of the things that amaze me.

Of course, this was before the day I realized that most probably, possible careers related to History only covers teaching and research. Still, I was very much eager to have a degree in History. Why? Because paychecks aside, I just f*cking love the subject. And besides, I don't mind teaching and doing a bit of research ("not bad for an 'Indio', don't you think?").

The last time I had a superb experience in History was on my third year in college, when our class went to Camp Aguinaldo to get ourselves oriented with the history of the Philippine military. It was supposed be about the military during the Marcos and Aquino administrations, but the speaker was not able to come due to bad weather. Nevertheless, we get to see military hardware and related-memorabilia ranging from the katipuneros and the guardia civil, the resistance against Japanese occupation, the volunteers in Korea (a section dedicated to former president Ramos), to its role in the Marcos-Aquino years.

Guns, guns, I just freakin' love guns!
Flags and banners said to be captured by the military during raids.

"Good ol' days"
Circa 2,000,000 B.C.E
Even if I did not end up pursuing History, our trip to the AFP museum reignited my interest in the subject. It was just unfortunate that it didn't end up the way I had planned. Reality (breaking dreams since puberty) had forced me to choose a different path. It's a very long story, so I need not bore you with the "history" behind it. The bottom line is that I ended up taking a course that is not called "history" (not saying that I hate my current course... but it does have elements of history on it so I don't mind really)

When all you do in a particular subject is to memorize dates, places, and names of dead people, it is no surprise that many people look down on History. The measly pay that always is associated with the field makes it seem worse. I always wanted to ask my classmates, who are majoring in History, why they choose to pursue it, but haven't found courage to do so. I assumed that they pursue it because they love it, and assuming that it's true, I really envy them.

C'est la vie!

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