For the Love of History

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

I used to be one of those kids that absolutely loved school. Not because of my friends, but because I loved learning. I loved coming to class and learning about how things worked and why they worked that way. I loved everything except for history. History is arguably one of the most important fields of study because if we forget about it, there is a good chance that it’ll happen again. Donald “We have stupid people” Trump rallies, for instance, eerily resemble those in North Korea or even Hitler rallies during World War 2.This post, though, isn’t about politics…

Why didn’t I like history you might ask? For starters, you, or I guess I, wasn’t learning about anyone relatable to me. Yeah all these old, dead, White guys paved the path to creating the United States as we know it now, but why did I care? They were also the ones who created slavery. They were the ones that would inevitably lead to me siting in classrooms surrounded by people who didn’t look like me at all. They were the ones who made me feel uncomfortable in a classroom because any time I asked myself why they did this or that, the answer was never satisfying. Rather, it was quite disheartening.

Human history, though—anthropology, now that’s my kind of history. I discovered anthropology spring semester of my freshman year at BU and I have been in love with it ever since. The idea that you can look at part of the human skeleton or look at human behavior and ask why and find that in our history is astounding. Why do so many people have to get their wisdom teeth out? Because compared to our ancestors, our diet is extremely soft so our jaw isn’t growing as much as it used to. Why do babies cry? Because they are biologically designed to manipulate those around them to take care of them since they aren’t fully developed until at least 6 months after birth. Why is childbirth so painful for women? Because the shape of the pelvis had to change with the evolution of bipedalism (walking on two legs). It makes sense. There is a reason and not only is it satisfying, it is infinitely interesting. But still, I couldn’t get myself to be interested in the history of our country, of this world. That is, not until a particular Christmas present.

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© Kayla Nguyen 2016

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© Kayla Nguyen 2016

 

Last Christmas, my grandma, my mom’s adopted mother, bought my sister and I Ancestry.com DNA kits so that we could see where we come from. Holy Shit. With the exception of Antarctica (okay and Australia and South America), we came from the whole world. It wasn’t my genetic makeup that excited me, though; I got excited about finally knowing and finally knowing has led to a slew of questions, the biggest being “What the HELL were my ancestors doing that they created me?!” And so, my interest in history has been sparked. Hopefully, one day, I’ll find out exactly what they were up to.

Featured Image:photo credit: Asia in 1689 via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Politics, Reflections, Social Activism

Kayla Nguyen

About the Author ()

Kayla is a Senior studying Biological Anthropology and Arabic. She is from a small town in Wisconsin--her inspiration for coming to Boston. When she's not writing blog articles, she enjoys cooking, watching movies with giant bowls of popcorn, and considering going to the gym.

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