January Musings

After two months of being buried in paperwork for an undergraduate anthropology class and being buried in piles of lumber and buckets of paint for house renovation projects, I am finally beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. I think it’s one of those new LED flashlights: it’s too small for a train and besides, I don’t hear any horns. I can finally get back into writing for Focal Plane and get on track with an exercise program (ambitious, yes?).

In the meantime, I am working towards a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Maryland University College. That’s the adult education, by the way. I originally had selected natural sciences as my minor, but the science classes have been steadily disappearing and there are only a couple of upper-level classes that I could take to finish out the minor: a biology class and a global warming class. I took a 300-level microbiology class last summer and my neurons are still recovering from it. I don’t think I can do more biology, which is mostly aimed at health workers anyways. What else is left? Nothing.

I agonized about this a full semester, because I wanted to finish out the minor but could not get the classes I wanted. I hoped they would be offered in the fall, but no such luck. I guess everyone is afraid of science, so I decided to switch my minor to history. At least here I have some very nice choices of what I want to study.

While UMUC doesn’t require that students take a minor, I want to have that focus. Communications is great, but you still have to be communicating about something. I may yet take the two remaining lower-level science classes that I haven’t taken: astronomy and meteorology. There used to be chemistry and physics courses, but they have long since disappeared: presumably they were sucked down a black hole and emerged in another galaxy (or at least another campus).

I took one history class a year-and-a-half ago and really enjoyed it, so I am looking forward to taking more history classes. The way I think about it, science and history aren’t really opposite subjects and there’s plenty of “history of science” that I can write about. The more I think about how this has worked out for me, the more convinced I am that these two subjects will play off one another very well. I’ve been searching for some direction to my studies and I think I’ve found it. The next semester starts in three weeks. I’m taking a a History Writing class, a mass communications class, and a forensic anthropology class (well, that is a science and a history, isn’t it?).

In the meantime, I’ve had a request to do more writing about bloggers through history. I did one article about Benjamin Franklin that was well received and was fun to write. Since I’ve decided to do some history writing, I might as well get started here. I’m thinking of it as a warmup for my class. So, bookmark Focal Plane and be on the lookout for the Blogs through History category. The next installment will be Alexander the Great.

Is there someone you’d think would be a great blogger from history? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.