I have always defined education as the process of accepting the passion to explore. Unlike the widespread view that knowledge is precious in itself, I believe that it only serves to light the fire of thoughts and ideas in order to expand even further. History is certainly one of those classes in which to promote one’s interest into the field should be regarded as a primary goal, by far more important than anything else. Dates and events are not as important as the connections between them and their logical consequences. A deep historical analysis which is supported by strong arguments is what marks the level of intellectual engagement. History belongs to the creative mind because it could be seen through numerous lenses. The moving forces behind an event could be political, social, economic or cultural. It all depends on the individual’s ability to reflect.
Based on those principles, I consider the syllabus appropriate for reaching the goals mentioned above. It covers a vast field of topics each one rich enough in material for reflection. The syllabus is well structured in order to encourage a well rounded scope for research required for every professional historian. It develops key skills such as critical and analytic thinking. The discussions at the beginning of each class enable the student to express his thoughts in their entire passion but not to forget to organize them reasonably and perhaps most important, to respect those of others. The short essays imply a solid understanding of the material and encourage keeping up with the fast pace of the course. In addition to that, the two longer essays would allow us to show how well we understand the underlying connections between events and to reflect on them creatively.
I feel enthusiastic towards the syllabus because it promises an interesting academic year for those who want to study. Those who fall behind will most definitely experience hard times because in addition to all other qualities, the syllabus is also ambitious and demanding. Throwing pessimism aside, I am sure that a great year waits those who have embarked on a journey to becoming professional historians.