So I was inspired by Danielle's post just now. When I was in 8th grade I was in a creative writing class. I got such great grades on my papers. I decided that I was a fabulous writer (and I was, I have recently come across those papers, man I can tell a story)! As usual during that time we started reading The Diary of Anne Frank. My teacher just happened to know a living holocaust survivor and asked him to come in and speak. I saw the numbers tattooed into this mans wrinkled arm. I don't remember much he said. I don't know why. I wish now I could have asked him so many questions, but alas, I was young. I do however remember reading about all the terrible things that happened to the Frank's during the holocaust. Thats where it all started. The first question I asked myself was; why would someone (Hitler & co.) do such a thing? What in his right mind made him think that was ok?! Then I wanted to learn more about the actual events. My love affair with psychology and history began at that very moment. At the same time I had a young, twenty something, history teacher. He seemed to care about every single one of his students. He seemed excited to be in class. He wasn't irritated with us or annoyed by our rowdiness. Mr. D changed my life! I even remember his real name! His spirit for teaching reminds me a lot of Danielle's post.
In history class Mr. D told us we were to get into groups to have a tribunal. One side was to be pro dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the other anti. I don't even remember exactly what side I was on, I think pro. The smartest girl in the class was on my team. She thought she was just going to take control of that group and do all the work. So she was assigning us tasks. I piped up and said "I'm going to research Pearl Harbor". She asked "why? What did that have to do with anything?" I told her she was crazy and researched it anyway in connection with the US dropping the bombs. Along my research I saw pictures of the devastation these bombs caused. I specifically remember seeing a book (there was no internet) that showed a picture of a normal liver, and a liver exposed to the amount of radiation from an A-bomb. Again I wondered why.
The day of the tribunal. We had to dress like lawyers and everything! Mr. D. made this as hands on as possible. The other side was first to ask questions. Are you ready for my shining glory?! Their question (which makes me think I was on anti dropping the bomb/ possibly Japan), "Why did you attack Pearl Harbor?" Oh my god! I could not help but have a huge smile from ear to ear. I looked over at Elsie Huxtable (I just remember the name) and said, "you wanna take this one?" Oh god I was vindicated against the smartest girl in class! I was hooked on research let me tell you! Needless to say, I went from a failing student (literally, I had an F in the class) to receiving a medal at my graduation for outstanding improvement in history (I still have the medal!).
The moral of the story is this. I was astonished by the events and wanted to learn more about them. At the same time I was intrigued, I wanted to know why. What in Hitlers mind made him think and do the things he did? For years I wanted to do history. Hands down. I started taking my community college history classes and had equally enthused about history. Prof. Piscopo actually gets on her tip toes when she gets excited about a particular piece of history. Prof. Patton teaches an amazing early American history class with a women's emphasis. She even had a hand in the text book we use. She is tough but great! I saw her at a prop 8 rally and she remembered me! It had been so long! I didn't get to finish her class because my books were stolen from my car and I had not money to buy them again. Sadly, I had to drop. All my history professors have been amazing ever since. However, I have had some great psych professors. Dr. Tromborg, he is blind. He has the most amazing sense of humor. He loves to hear the students moan and groan when we have tests. Literally. He told us! He calls all cats fluffy and did his dissertation on ground squirrels.
Then I saw the series on HBO John Adams. By the end of watching the series I went to my mom crying, "I have to teach history! Who is going to teach it the way it happened?" I was literally crying! Not a little , ugly crying! The part when John Adams walks through the white house and sees a painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence depicting all the signers in one room. John Adams gets so upset because thats not how it happened. "Artistic license" the man says. No! It should be told how it is. So in that aspect I want to teach history. Badly. On the other I feel like I am comfortable in psychology. It interests me. I like learning about the criminal mind. I was going to work with vets with PTSD since there is a real need for that. But I cannot stand their whining! But I will keep that to myself. Or leave it for another post. So now that I decided not to join the army as an officer and work with vets and their families (the families need the most help on how to deal. I feel bad for them). What am I to do with a psych degree? There is so much! I am confused, torn, I don't know what. But I for sure am in a love triangle in the worst way.