Back in my Day (3/24--4/5/17) By: Keely Ash

Area of Knowledge: History

Chapstick Group: Rhea Sachdeva, Nina Rao, Ayman Manasia & Keely Ash

EQ: What is the relationship between history and memory?

I read about Maya Lin and her work on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and the Slocum Texas Massacre. I found them immensely interesting. I learned about a completely new historical event. The Slocum Texas Massacre that happened during the June of 1910. A group of 8 to 22 african americans were slaughtered by a white mob. However it is unclear as to the exact number, some websites say that it, in fact, would be ten times this amount. They then proceeded to cover the incident up for decades. I found it really interesting that I live in texas and have no idea that this had ever happened. Although, I shouldn’t be surprised at the time period and the event taking place in the south. I learned about the similarities and differences between history and memory. Before this class period, I thought that they were basically the same although memory being more personal. I also realised that my definition of history was off. History isn’t the past, which is what I thought. History is the study of present traces in the past. These present traces can be geological marks, literature, videos etc. Oral history is basically history and memory mashed together including all of our bias' and perceptions.

What is the relationship between history and memory? History is public knowledge about significant events and memory is our own micro-history; they give us a sense of our identity. History and memory are interconnected because they give us a sense of our identity.

Extension Proposal:

I choose my extension proposal to be Memory and History: Understanding Memory as Source and Subject. This website offers a wide range of interesting ideas about memory and history.

Journalling

3/27/17

Our essential question is; what is the relationship between history and memory? History is not the same as the past. It is the study of present traces of past events. History is not the actual past but our interactions with it. History is collective/public memory, we share it with others just ourselves. History is concerned with significant events (e.g. the 9/11 attacks), not what you ate for breakfast last week. History gives us a sense of who we are, we model our own memories around significant events. It is a defense against propaganda and enriches our understanding of human nature. Memory is our own micro-history. Memory relies on our bias’ and perception to fill in blank areas of events. For instance, if you took the bus to work and you remember that you felt disgusted but don’t remember why. You may fill in this blank with what you think most likely happened. Both history and memory are interconnected and both give us a sense of our own identity.

3/26/17

We have chosen our question to be what is the relationship between history and memory? The problems that are raised by this question are that it is a question that can elicit many different opinions. This may also be a good thing because you don’t want to choose a question that is one straight answer, that’s boring. Having a debatable question will allow the class to discuss with us. Although we will have to do more work to present both sides of the question it will yield for a better presentation. We want to make the point that although history and memory are very similar they are completely different. History has to do with major, life-changing events whereas memory has to do with small, personal events. Instead of doing a mini-experiment we were thinking about presenting our research of the question and support it with evidence. Since I have done experiments in the presentations for the most part, I wanted branch away from that and explore different ways of learning and acquiring information. Although I wanted to branch away from the experiments, I think that this question requires us to research it. The question can’t really be experimented, at least not in a week. We have started making our powerpoint; we started planning as soon as we were in our groups. Which is great because now I don’t feel as rushed. I am confident about how our presentation is going to turn out.

3/28/17

For my elective readings, I read about Maya Lin and her work on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and the Slocum Texas Massacre during class today. I found it so interesting. I also learned about a completely new historical event. The Slocum Texas Massacre that happened during the summer of 1910. A group of 8 to 22 african americans were slaughtered by a white mob. They then proceeded to cover the incident up for decades. I found it really interesting that I live in texas and have no idea that this had ever happened. Although, I shouldn’t be surprised at the time period and the event taking place in the south. I learned about the similarities and differences between history and memory. Before this class period, I thought that they were basically the same although memory being more personal. I also realised that my definition of history was off. History isn’t the past, which is what I thought. History is the study of present traces in the past. These present traces can be geological marks, literature, videos etc.

3/30/17

The main point that my group wants to make during our presentation is that history relies on memory and vice versa. Memory is our own personal information and history is public information that is based on significant events. History and memory give us a sense of who we are. My personal goals for this presentation is to connect memory and history to our essential question. I want there to be essentially no grey area or questions to be asked after our presentation. I have had trouble with that these past presentations because I don’t link everything together or don’t say enough about the topic. What is the relationship between history and memory? History is public knowledge about significant events and memory is our own micro-history; they give us a sense of our identity. History and memory are interconnected because they give us a sense of our identity.

3/30/17

We presented today, and I am not proud of how I presented. Our idea was good and the example we choose was great. The Slocum Massacre was a very strong example, however we didn’t make enough connections to how memory is connected to history. I thought I knew what I was talking about until I went up to present and then I got really confused. We failed the presentation with a 15, so I’m pretty angry at that. However, at least I will get a better understanding of History as a area of knowledge and memory and how they interfere with each other.

3/31/17

Three knowledge questions that I encountered in the course of your work were; what is the relationship between history and memory; are historical claims restricted by the language they use; and is all history biased? We chose what is the relationship between history and memory as our essential question for our presentation.

4/3/17

We have to do a redo for our area of knowledge history presentation. We plan to focus less on the actual evidence we have, which is the Slocum Massacre, and focus more on the analysis and connection of the question and evidence. The problem we ran into was that we used the evidence to answer the question, however we needed to use the evidence to aid us in answering the question. The essential question we have doesn’t just have one answer to the slocum massacre is must have multiple answers and apply to different things.

4/5/17

I am actually surprisingly grateful that we had to redo our AOK History presentation. It helped me a lot. When we got a 15 I was confused as to why. I thought we did a good job. I know that we spent too much time and energy on our evidence. However, when Rhea and I presented the second time I realised what we did wrong. We didn’t focus on the question when we should have been, we were too concerned with the evidence to care. We watched a video after our presentation about the scientific method. It was super weird with this guy that made jokes so bad they were mildly funny. Anyway he mentioned that most of science isn’t science, it’s theory. That messed me up, so you’re basically saying a lot of what I’ve learned in my years at school could be potentially completely wrong? It made me think; what else do we think as certain could be wrong? Is the sky not blue? Aside from all of the weird jokes I found it interesting. I am going to question a lot more from now on.

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