I can’t afford cable, so I watch a lot of public television. To be honest, at this point, I think cable would be wasted on me. I can’t imagine making a return to having all of those channels and still never being able to find anything to watch. Between my three different PBS stations, I can generally find something interesting and thought provoking to fill my time when I should be writing (but that’s a different blog post.) One of my current favorite shows is America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa.
History has always fascinated me. I enjoy historical novels that allow me to immerse myself in other times and places and understand how people lived “back then.” However, history classes have always bored me. I have learned far more about history from historical novels than I ever learned in any history class.
Every history course I have ever taken has focused on dry facts – dates, names of battles, lists of names on important historical documents – that students were required to memorize and then regurgitate on that next test. Most of these details immediately flew out of my brain as soon as I turned in my final exam.
Ask me when the U.S. Constitution was signed. I can’t remember, but I can Google it for you if you like.
While these factual elements are important to setting a story in time and place, they never quite tell the entire story. Unfortunately, the “story” part of history seems to be missing from many American history classrooms. (Although, we do seem to get the “his” part right in most cases.) Continue reading “The role of fiction in the understanding of history: Why everyone should read more historical novels”
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my very first Quinceañera. Our Puerto Rican neighbors planned a beautiful 15th birthday party for their beautiful oldest daughter, and my son was invited to be one of her attendants.
The party decorations were very pretty, with purple ribbons and Quinceañera favors to match Charlene’s amazing purple dress. I was so jealous… my 15th birthday party was nothing like this! Continue reading “My first Quinceañera”