This year, the Human Ecology, Histories, and Literature Departments have collaborated on a series ongoing assignments. Each week students are asked to write a reflective essay that demonstrates their understanding of the themes from their coursework and effectively links these themes to their unique thoughts and experiences. Enjoy reading how our students have deeply and personally engage with essential questions, important to their course of study at The Island School…
Last Weeks Prompt: How has your experience within the Literature and Histories curriculum challenged the way you understand History and the past?
“Inspired by History” by Kate Maroni
I have studied history throughout my ten years as a student, yet one historical account remains the most prominent in my mind. My grandfather, Jacques Maroni, immigrated to theUnited Statesduring World War II because of the cultural oppression that existed inFranceat the time. He and his older brother were forced to leave their home at the ages of seventeen and nineteen. They both spoke very little English, which hindered their assimilation into the American education system. Eventually my grandfather was able to earn a spot at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked remarkably hard in the ensuing years. My grandfather has told me his historical background many times, and each time I am left feeling thoroughly impressed and exceptionally grateful. The emotions that are evident in my grandfather’s voice as he recounts his incredible life story allow me to appreciate the hardships that he has overcome in order to give our family the life that we have today. At The Island School, I have come to understand the reason why his historical background is so compelling in my mind. My grandfather’s story includes such powerful emotions, which enable me to better understand the level of difficulty he faced. Historiographers refrain from including emotion in their work in order to eliminate bias, however the reader is left without any real sense of emotion or personal account of what happened. The reader therefore is unable to grasp anything beyond the literal context. There have been many moments throughout my Literature and Histories classes when I have felt especially inspired by history, and all of these moments have included profound emotions. Continue reading