This I Believe

Robert - Quogue, New York
Entered on January 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Every day I am questioned about the decisions I’ve made thus far in my life. When they wait for my response, I smile because I know there is not a simple answer that can be formed into a tangible statement. When I think about it later, one word that comes to mind is history. Whether it is my personal life or past events of the world, almost every part of my life is sculpted or based off of history that I have learned. Naturally, this intrigue has led to history being my favorite class and in my opinion the most relevant. Those who do not agree with me will state how it depends on your occupation, such as math for engineers or biology for scientists. I reply with another question, which encompasses the ideal of learning from our mistakes. After all, how can we expect the future without interpreting the past?

I would have to say that my fascination with history began when I was around ten years old, and in the fifth grade. Many other students groaned with boredom when the topic of history was brought up in the classroom, but I couldn’t get enough of learning how our country was formed. Before this, I had merely accepted the fact that our nation was one of invulnerability, and I accepted our military conflicts of unconditional victories. This naïve mentality of mine was shattered by the events of September 11th, and through numerous projects and books I learned how much was sacrificed for this country. My father and grandfather embraced my newfound passion with books and periodicals of the time, ranging from yellowed Cold War-era newspapers to second-hand accounts of the battle of Stalingrad.

As I progressed through my schooling, I was opened up to world history, and I no longer felt constricted to the narrow confines of the American past. Roman, Greek, and Egyptian civilizations helped to teach me the basis of the world as I know it, and my teachers conveyed this information expertly, as I felt as if it was tailored to my own personal interests. My passion helped me to excel in all of my other subjects as well, allowing me to familiarize myself with them when I connected them to history. In a class like science that I had little interest in, I learned how a fire could be created with grease that would not go out with water, but instead it would thrive. That same week we learned in social studies how the very same technique was used in combat in the Middle Ages. I never once felt bored in science or any other class again.

This interest has helped me to become the motivated student I am today, and through the fact that history affects every other classes it has helped me to excel in school. My only wish is that my ideal will spread throughout the world, and students everywhere will take it to heart.