End of Semester Conclusions

This is my third semester at Mason and I have to say it has been one my favorite in terms of my classes. I really enjoyed how in this class we were able to learn about technology as well as focusing in on Virginia history. Completing assignments like the timeline or organizing data from death certificates made me intrigued about the history of where I live, because there is so much to learn about and discover. Specifically reading about the process of the construction of George Mason University made me think about all the other buildings and sites I pass by or visit and wonder what the history behind them is and if it’s even written down or if it has been a narrative silenced. Speaking of silenced narratives, one of the readings that will really stick by me was the book Silencing the Past. Reading about Trouillot’s thoughts on history and historical narratives was a thought-provoking perspective. Thinking about what other narratives could be present, what other narratives might have existed but have been erased, or silenced is something I think about when looking at historical events, or even just everyday life. I’m also taking a Global History of Disease class, so I was able to take some of these concepts and apply the same questions in the context of disease. In terms of technology, I feel like I got some helpful tips on organizing data, like from our classes and presentation with Wendy. It was also nice to learn about aspects of technology and data that we tend to forget with its prevalence in our lives. It’s important to keep your data safe with strong passwords and to also try to really read what kind of data gets collected about us (aka reading the fine print). I also enjoyed making a website and messing around with WordPress as well as other online resources like TimelineJS and StorymapJS. This course also was a helpful introduction to other online databases that can be helpful for research. I’ve used Google Scholar often, but the databases used for our historical highway marker research were so vast and I got sidetracked when doing my research itself; I wanted to keep exploring what primary and secondary resources were available and ready for me to utilize. In general, this course felt very fulfilling and introduced perspectives that have helped further shape opinions on history and aspects of history.

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