Monday, October 11, 2010

How do you know?

This afternoon I was driving through beautiful rolling hills that were dipped in the reds, oranges and yellows of fall in the Appalachians! It was an amazing fall day and I was traveling to visit 2 clubs in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia to meet lots of new students. I was excited to be headed back into the classroom. As the miles ticked by, I realized that those miles were themselves becoming a classroom for me. I was driving past some very important historical landmarks that I am sure I learned about in high school, but have long since forgotten. Unfortunately, my historical knowledge is very limited and I probably shouldn't admit that I was unaware of the importance of some these places until now. (My limited knowledge may be linked to the fact that I grew up and learned American History in the South, where the Civil War is still referred to as the "War of Northern Aggression")

The first passing landmark was the Battlefield of Antietam. This was the location of the first significant battle of the Civil War to be fought on Northern soil and thought to be the turning point of the war. Although it was considered a tactial draw this battle was the springboard to President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as Union Army Major General George B. McClellan was able to stop Confederate General Robert E. Lee's invasion of Maryland.

Next on my little history trip was Harpers Ferry which is layered with many historical events:  the starting place of  the Lewis and Clarke expedition;  the site of the John Brown raid which precipitated the Civil War; the first command of Stonewall Jackson, who raised and trained his famed Brigade here;  the site of three Civil War battles, the major one involving over 30,000 troops on both sides which resulted in the largest surrender of US troops until Bataan in WWII.

So, how do you know when you love your job? For me, I know when I am driving to a high school to meet and teach new students and I am the one that becomes the student.

No comments:

Post a Comment