At this point, I imagine it should read, “Hello friends in Public History,” but who knows who this blog is going to impact. Power of positive thinking.
The blog title, “Backwards with Time,” is taken from a song by the Avett Brothers. Looking over the course of their lives, the brothers conclude:
“For all I know there’s more I don’t
Oh the little I have learned
For every year of knowledge gained
Is a negative year I’ve earned
Folk always told me that my heart would grow
The older the man, yeah, the stronger the stone
Am I losing my mind?
Am I growing backwards with time?”
These words resonate with me, not only in the sense of negative yearly earnings, but also as a student returning to graduate school after having completed a Bachelor’s degree at Queens University and a Master’s degree at Baylor University. As I watch another batch of freshmen get dyed purple, as I meander through buildings trying to find which one I am supposed to be in, and as I figure out another library system, it is certainly easy to feel that I am moving backwards with time.
However, I take comfort in preceding lyrics:”For all I know, the more I don’t, oh the little I have learned.” Just reading the syllabus for Digital History reinforced this statement. I am comforted because the truth is that education, and the pursuit of learning, is never really over. Going back to school, whether to learn or to teach, is not really moving backwards in time because wherever we are, or whatever age we are, there is always more to be learned. And honestly, I am excited to find out what “spidering,” “text-mining,” and “Locative Technologies” are all about.