Question 1: Out of all of the topics I could have chosen to write about, why did I choose to write about American history?
To answer this question, we must travel back in time to 2011. I was in my sophomore year of college and one of the classes I was taking was called Educational Technology. In the Educational Technology class, education majors learned how to use various technologies and incorporate them into lessons. One of the assignments at the end of the semester was to start a blog. The blog could be about anything we wanted to write about--we weren't limited on the topic (as long as it was appropriate) and we weren't limited on the length, but the blog did have to be shared privately with the class through the college's website. Even though the blog could be written about anything we wanted, I thought about how some of my friends and classmates in high school struggled with history, and I decided that that was what my blog was going to be about. I love American history, and was studying to become a history teacher at the time, so it wasn't a surprise that this was the topic I chose. I got an A on the assignment, and decided that I should take my blog beyond my Educational Technology class, so I got a Blogger account and my first posts went live on May 17, 2011 and it's just expanded from there. My dad helped me come up with the name--become I'm short (I'm under 5 feet tall) and love to write about history...so, The Half-Pint Historian was born.
Question 2: What is the future of The Half-Pint Historian?
Over the years, this blog has suffered bouts of drought, meaning that there are long periods of time where I don't post because I'm busy with other things such as school or work. Well, this will be happening again in the very near future as I begin graduate school so I can earn a Masters degree in American history. The modules for my classes opened today, so I got to see what my course load will look like for the weeks ahead. It looks like time to blog will be extremely limited as I read, write papers, write research proposals, and participate in discussions. I want to assure you, readers, that although my posts will become limited the blog will go on because history goes on.
Question 3: Will you be incorporating other cultures and peoples into your blog posts?
Diversity is important when discussing history, especially American history, because America is the melting pot of cultures and peoples who have come here and established themselves over time. I find that when I teach, American history is fairly white-washed; Black history, Native Peoples histories, LGBTQIA+ history, and women's history are all very rarely discussed, and we also tend to forget about all of the various immigrant groups and their separate and combined histories unless we're talking about the Industrial Revolution. It is my goal with this blog to tell the stories of these peoples, because if historians won't, then who will? History becomes lost when we pretend entire groups of people didn't contribute to this ever-continuing story of the American past, present, and future.
Question 4: Will the readers be involved with the blog?
I hope so. Now that this blog is a few years old and has an established readership, I would like to involve the readers when it comes to the posts that will be on the blog. One of the things I do on the first day of each school year is I ask my students what they would like to learn about within the parameters of whatever time period I'm teaching. Students should be responsible for their learning as well, not just lectured to by the teacher, so I give them the opportunity to tell me what they want to know about. As an example, one of my students wanted to learn about pirates, so during the exploration and colonization unit, I taught about some of the famous pirates such as Blackbeard, Captain Morgan, William Kidd, Anne Bonny, and Mary Read. This is your blog as much as it is mine, and I want to ensure that everyone is getting out of it what they want/need to. So, in order to do this, I want readers to become more active on this blog, so if there's a topic you want me to expand upon just write a comment on this post, and I will do my best to ensure that each reader's comment is read and answered.
Question 5: Will you be bringing in guest bloggers?
I have been thinking about doing this for so long, but I've never gotten around to it. I would love to have some of my writer friends and former college professors write posts as guest bloggers to give their insights on the various topics covered within this blog. We'll see what the near-future brings with this.
So, there you have it. These are the top five questions I'm asked when I say I write a history blog. Now. let's see if we can reach 100,000 views soon!