Why is history so facinating?
Is it because there is a sense of mystery and intrigue in that no matter how hard you try, you can never really learn the whole story. By its very nature history is based on hearsay and biased storytelling. Or does our fascination stem from the fact that in our current age of technological advancement, we simply can’t comprehend a life without all of our gadgets that are supposed to make our lives more streamlined and simpler? Or, do we realize that many of our technological advancements have made our lives more complex and we simply long for simpler times?
I don’t have an answer, but I do know this. Over the course of my teaching career, I have somehow turned into a history enthusiast. When I first started teaching, I was a science teacher. Then I started a job in a small rural school and needed to become more of a generalist. I remember the internal groan I issued when I was told I would have to teach Canadian history. All I could envision were long drawn out lectures of dates and pointless facts. In preparation for my lessons I began to learn the stories, not facts, of our history. I kept digging and digging into our past and was amazing at the tenacity, fortitude and sometimes insanity of the many who authored the story of our great country. Then I invited my students to join me in digging. It has been an amazing journey.
My photos this week are looking into the past of Fort Steele. One of the elements of this historical site that continues to draw me in, is that to walk through the town you are surrounded by both restored and decaying buildings. As I stand gazing into these structures I often wonder about the stories that are held within the walls of these historical bastions. If I lean in close enough I can almost hear the whispers of love, deceit, honour and tenacity.
In my view, to listen to these whispers is to learn a little more about yourself.