I am the type of person who really prefers to stay within my comfort zone. That pertains to everything from going out, what I eat, who I hang out with, and pretty much everything. The older I get, the more I like things to feel safe for me. Then again, the older I get, the more idiotic I look when trying to stay that way.
Today (albeit rather a small one) was a situation where I was forced to get out of that zone. I attended a seminar at MSUM as a part of the Teach American History grant I am a participant in. For the record, the seminar was AWESOME! I love learning new things. Teachers in this day and age of budget cuts are no longer funded to go to social studies conventions. So my 'on the job' training has stayed that way--on the job. To say that the staff development that we are provided with (for the most part) is less than stellar is an understatement. Until this grant.
Two historians from New York flew in on behalf of the Gilder Lehrman Institute to educate us on Industrialization, Immigration, and the Progressive Era. It's been soooo good. I am looking forward to learning more tomorrow.
Anyway, what had me a little nervous was the vague lunch menu: Irish immigrant insired lunch. Say what? What will that entail? I am a very basic eater to say the least. When the food came out my first thought was, boy this smells good. It was beef brisket (?), some sort of potato dish with bacon and saurkraut (?), and cooked cabbage (?). Okay I have never had any of the above other than bacon and pototoes. But guess what? It's lame for adults to be all, "Ewww gross, I won't eat that." So I ate it, and guess what? It was sooo yummy.
I was proud of myself for a) trying what I consider to be bizarro food, and b) liking it. Us 'set in our ways' people enjoy those small victories okay?
Now, tomorrow is Italian immigrant inspired food....not a fan of that either, but I will pull up my big girl panties and delve in.
On a side note, what I enjoy so much about history is looking at both perspectives, appreciating what they are, and how each did or could have impacted us. These instructors did just that. My kind of training.
It has been that training this year that has encouraged me to apply for not one but two trips away from home this summer for fellowships. Thad is not too thrilled about it, but like I told him, I have been away only twice for work, and one was an overnight trip. The odds that I will be accepted to both or even one of these courses is low, so I had to try.
One is in Richmond, VA. It's called The South Through History. The other is on Abraham Lincoln....