If you're an aspiring novelist, then it's imperative to learn about the past. It can be found anywhere, everywhere. Many people aren't curious about it, though. It takes a special lot to be passionate about history.
English major students will found out that a novel would be dull without a historical backdrop (to the storyline). Think of Henry Rider Haggard's Victorian adventure (book) series. H.G. Wells's science-fiction books, which are a compilation of political thoughts in disguise, also revealed the turbulent time in Europe during the turn of the 20th century. D.H. Lawrence focused on the effects of the Industrial Revolution in his hometown, of how progress changed his family's view of relationship and sexuality. These novelists did their homework, which would beg the question. What are the most effective ways to learn about history?
Let's count the ways: Sightseeing; watching a play (or film), looking at it through the eyes of a child, re-enacting a particular historical event, and reading more about it.
5 Ways to Love History
Get out and go around. You don't have buy plane tickets and travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Europe isn't the only continent with the storied past; if you're a resident of the Big Apple, then you should know that old neighborhood where Henry James and Edith Wharton once lived. It was a prominent spot in New York City during the 19th century, which showed the nouveau riche in the New World. The history of New England is colorful like the Old World (in 19th-century Europe). If you've been living on the West Coast, then a tour of Los Angeles should be lots of fun. This would be the fun behind sightseeing, which kids also enjoy (even if they hardly understand the magnificent archaeological designs and impressive structure). History isn't confined to the classroom. It's meant to be enjoyed as well, which can be done once you step outside.
If you can't re-enact it, then watch it. If you can't participate in a historical play, then check out for any play(s) in your local area. Watching it will enable you to appreciate the enormity of such an event. It can be a musical. ("1776" shows how our Founding Fathers sing their heart out before creating the United States of America.) If theater is not your cup of team, then rent a Blu-ray of a historical movie. (It's impossible not to find a title.) There's more to history than its serious side.
It's time to be a kid again. It doesn't refer to Lego's Architecture series, which offers a miniature of the popular destinations of the world. You can stare at it, as it prompts you to realize that nothing beats the real thing. It can also be a card game, which features the UNESCO Heritage sites in cards. It's been proven that you can learn fast if you have a dose of humor from the sides.
Try a different approach in the classroom. Your professor only wants the best from you and your coursemates, yet history can be a tricky module. There's a high probability that you'll get bored of reading an assigned book after the first few chapters while you won't pay attention to the details that would make the oldest building (in your university) stand out. Your professor will likely assign you to find a way to engage everyone. Think of a puppet show, which is a lively entertainment in many parts of Asia. You can also take on your favorite photo of the Statue of Liberty, and explain (in five sentences or less) on why you like it the most. The possibilities are endless.
There's no harm in reading more books. After all, history is a written account of what happened in the past. You would be challenged to understand it during a hectic week (or right after Reading Week), but you'll be grateful for the opportunity. You should know that it's far from gospel truth, which can be argued (or disputed). Don't attempt to make much of an effort to read a historical book unless you're required to do it.
Here's a short list to remember
History can be a contentious matter, where two or more parties won't agree to disagree. You're not doing it to impress anyone, even someone. Try to enjoy it without setting a target date in the final chapter. If you're doing a group activity on this one, then share your thoughts on your favorite historical character or a place where you would spend your last holiday. You should have noticed a peculiar object, if not a jaw-dropping landmark. (It can natural scenery or man-made structure.)
There have been many studies, which revealed that most teachers don't give students a chronological understanding of a historical event. They focus on certain incidents or outstanding individuals (who would end up as heroes). You can write a paper on it, but you need to ask for your professor's intervention. “A Christmas Mystery” should make a companion piece, as author Jostein Gaarder depicted the history of Europe in a backward manner.
What you have read will tell you that there's dependency on history books, which can be a bit too much at certain times. There are other ways, even other ways to appreciate and enjoy it. Brainstorming might be the option here.