Archive for November, 2012

Many people studying the history and philosophy of science like to view it as a discipline on its own, situated between several disciplines but distinct altogether and with its own methodology and axioms.  Nonetheless it is difficult to separate one historical study from another even if they are for different ends and many who ultimately study the history of science first have to start with history.  History itself is seen as a rather useless pursuit outside of academia so who in their right mind would study it?

The Militarist

Their focus: The battlefield

This guy, it’s almost always a guy, is studying history simply for the battles and wars.  They are often, but not necessarily, enrolled in an ROTC program or affiliated with the military.  For them history is a story that could be completely told through battles and the generals who fought them.  In his spare time he is either playing Risk or cleaning his gun and/or replica sword.

The Ideologue

Their focus: Their ego

Arguably this is one of the more intelligent people on the list, they recognize the basic tenant that history is written by the winners and immediately seek to undo it.  They forget that most history today strives towards more objective conclusions but for them, no history is radical enough.  They will often argue with the professors they dislike, and corner any professor that shares their views for hour long discussions.

The Bourgeois Classicist

Their focus: Rome

They were raised well and come from money yet would rather pursue something intellectual rather than business.  Therefore they turn their sights on the classics to better understand high culture.  They can recite all the Roman emperors and famous Greek playwrights, and are currently learning different dialects of Latin.  When not with their nose in a book they will attend classical recitals.

The Husband-Hunter

Their focus: That guy three rows down, or that one over there, or over there…

It’s 2012 but some girls still go to college with the exclusive goal of finding a husband.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone looks for love during their studies but these girls use school as a pretext for creating a traditional family.  Often they are history majors, because despite being pretty dull in terms of wits, they do recognize a male-dominated field when they see it.  And there aren’t many male-dominated fields that don’t require vigorous work to progress.  History has no prerequisites so it’s pretty easy to graduate even if you nearly fail everything.

The Niche Culturalist

Their focus: Some third-world country

These guys and gals are the opposite of the classicist; somewhere along the line, either because of their roots or some other interest, they absolutely fell in love with another part of the world.  They’re a history major because their small liberal arts college doesn’t have a Burmese Studies department.

The Padder

Their focus: Whatever else they’re studying

The padders are probably the largest block of all people taking history courses, with many becoming all-out history majors.  These people use history as their second major because they feel like their primary major isn’t impressive enough.  And it’s not that hard for them either as all they really do is sacrifice all their free electives for history classes.  They might have a general interest in history but are rarely as passionate as the others.


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