History – Love it or Hate it!

When I was a kid “social studies” was divided into 3 parts – history, geography, and current events. History was hateful because it focused largely on battles and wars, dates, and politics. It required a great amount of memory work – not one of my better skills. Geography was limited to colouring maps, mostly of North America. Other than a few stories I read about children in other lands, I knew little about other countries. Current Events amounted to listening to a classmate read a newspaper item one morning a week. This boredom continued until my second year of university. A German professor, educated in England, taught a course in American history at the University of Alberta, Canada. This gave him unique insight, of course. But that wasn’t the fascination. His lectures were stories! Who doesn’t love a good story? Not only did every student, including me, stay awake and listen; we absorbed and we remembered. This was when I realized that history is just millions and millions of fascinating stories linked together to show the trends, the follies, and the creative progress of man. In the days before TV, there was a radio program called “Grand Central Station,” that stated, “millions of people pass through Grand Central Station every year. This is the story of just one of them.” Hopefully, in my historical stories, as related by a cat, I can interest a few children in the history of man. Meg

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