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8 Fascinating Ways To Learn History

8 Fascinating Ways To Learn History

Sometimes I wonder why so many people find history boring. I’d keep hearing the same joke whenever I say I like history. “What’s so interesting about learning the lives of a bunch of dead guys?”. History like literature is full of stories, mysteries, romance -there’s actually more to it if one should look closely.

People’s distaste of learning history might have gone way back to history classes in school, where every exam was dreaded because it’s always about memorizing dates, names of people, and places. Back when most history teachers didn’t emphasize the significance or tried even just a little to tell the great stories of the past. That’s what made history boring. But it shouldn’t be.

Learning about history should be exciting. It is after all OUR journey. it is the story of mankind. It is our story. So, how can you make learning history more fun and interesting? Here are ten fun ways to try:

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1. Historical Atlases

Learning history through hardbound history textbooks can be confusing. Most historical books today tend to assume readers have a decent amount of historical knowledge already. According to historians, the best way to learn history is to consult a timeline or a historical atlas. Historical atlases include maps and charts that depict the evolution of geopolitical landscapes. They help people understand history in a broad view by pinpointing the era when historical events happened.

2. Watching Historical Movies

Movies that portray the past are some of the best ways to learn history. While not all movies do portray history accurately, there are lots of films out there who do a great job depicting the events that happened in the past. For example, if you want to learn more about the Holocaust, you could go watch Schindler’s List, The Boy in Striped Pajamas, or The Pianist.

3. Reading Inspiring Autobiographies

Biographies are another way to learn more about history. It helps you experience the past through the lives of people who lived it. Examples of great autobiographies include Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, The Diaries of Samuel Pepys, and Testament of Youth by Vera Britain.

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4. Visiting Museums

the-louvre-museum
    The Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Image by Horst Friedrichs

    There’s nothing like looking at history through a visual perspective. Most museums today hold artifacts and various historical gems like old clothing, tools, and ancient rings that tell more about the history of a place of than your history book. These things can almost take us back to the period or era by helping us understand how life was back then.

    5. Touring Historical Places

    Visiting a memorial site where they have commemorated a battle or war, or where they honored soldiers can inspire you to learn more about the subject. The problem with most people visiting historical places is that they simply take pictures and post it on social media without bothering to learn the significance of the place.

    When visiting a new country or place. try walking the streets, visiting the oldest places like temples and old churches. Nancy R. Newhouse’s In France, Honoring the Fallen in the War to End All Wars is a great example of a historical visit.

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    6. Attending Cultural Events

    Experiencing a culture through its traditions can be a wonderful experience. When visiting a new place or country, try to attend performances of traditional dance and music. If you can, try participating to get the most of the experience.

    7. Tracing Your Family’s Historical Roots

    Relating history to your life is one way to cultivate a love for the subject. So why not try tracing your family tree to see your historical roots? Wouldn’t it be awesome to find that you were actually related to George Washington? Today there are lots of sites which can help you accomplish this. For example, Ancestry.com is a great place to trace your historical roots. It has a huge collection of historical resources and facts that will help you learn more about your family’s history.

    8. Cooking Historical Recipes

    viking-food
      Viking Food on Viking Culture Day. Photo by weekendnotes.com

      What did Vikings eat for breakfast? What kind of cakes did people like to eat during 1935? What ingredients did they use to make donuts in 1833? No one can find the subject of food boring. Anyone who wants to learn more about their country’s historical past should start by eating like their ancestors. Who knows? Researching about historical food recipes may help bring out the chef in you.

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      History doesn’t have to be boring. Cultivating a love for history by appreciating and reminiscing the past helps us understand our present and future in a more humane way. The best way to learn history is to experience it through different perspectives.

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      Armela Escalona

      Freelance Writer

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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      Review Your Past Flow

      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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