Having taken AP United States history in high school, I did not anticipate that I would get much out of my American Experience writing class. I was definitely mistaken though. HST110L WI was a beneficial class for me because it has given me a broader sense of both United States history and the leaders who helped shape it.
American history was one of my favorite subjects throughout school. I was always most interested in it because I was curious of my country’s roots and how it got to where we are today. But the most unique thing I got out of this class was the extensive information on each prominent leader in history. It was a nice spin on the subject; rather than just telling all of the information as it was, my professor would explain figures as if we were getting to know them as people.
Since it was a writing intensive class, my classmates and I have had a few essays to write throughout the semester. Each essay touched on leaders in different time periods of American history. Students had the liberty to select who they would write about as long as they lived within the time period given by our professor. When I write about things that interest me, it makes working on the task so much more interesting. For example, my latest essay was a book review on the leadership of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The Civil Rights movement is my favorite aspect of American history to learn about, so I was looking forward to the project. It allowed me to grow as a learner and as a writer.
After taking the American Experience, I can confidently say that my knowledge of United States history has been strengthened. It makes me analyze history more because I no longer look at just the broad meanings of things. The leadership behind events that have shaped this country’s history is what needs to be thought about more, not just the events as a whole. I also have taken this mindset into consideration when reading about current events. Leaders of today are in the process of changing the future of this country, and I am interested in seeing how their leadership styles will affect the way tasks get done.