After spending some time working on continuing to bolster my LinkedIn profile, I set to work again on my research for my Trench Warfare Discovery Page while at the Pritzker Military Library, now in the 7th week of my internship.

A benefit of sitting at the circulation desk is getting a chance to see PML members come in and have their own time with the holdings and displays.  Many come in to simply take a gander at the library, possibly look at the “She’s a WOW” WWII Women’s Service Organization exhibit, or the Veterans Information Center in the main stacks on the 2nd floor.  Some are doing research, either for school topics or personal interest.  Today, however, I got to see someone who showed nothing but a simple excitement about military history.  A young boy of no more than 8 came in with his father to view the stacks.  It was plain to see he was a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books in the stacks; after looking at posters like “Death on Subs!”, he was asked by his father what subjects he wanted to look at.  He immediately answered “Central Pacific,” in reference to the theatre of battle in World War II.

I’ll be the first to admit that even though I knew about World War II at that age, I had no idea about it’s separate theatres, much less expressing a desire to read library books about them.  After moving through that topic, the boy approached Andy, another intern at the circulation desk, where he could find some books on the Cold War.  The Cold War.  Needless to say I was blown away.  Though he turned down a thick novel on the conflict, he did reassure his father that he knew the Cold War entailed a lot more spying than fighting.  Andy helped him the whole way, and after handing him a book on nuclear bombs, the boy walked away with a huge smile on his face.

There were a lot of reasons I decided to intern with the Pritzker Military Library this semester.  Getting a wider base of historical knowledge, experiencing a professional historical setting, fostering my research skills, to name a few.  It took till today to get a first hand account of how this internship could directly apply to my future teaching career.  By teaching history, I can not only interact with others who share a boundless desire to learn, but I can work to foster that in others.  Though I never directly talked with the child who came in today, his exuberance has redoubled my efforts to learn as much as possible in my time here.  Moreover, it helped me know that although the field of teaching may be tough, getting to pass on the passion of history makes it all worth it.

 

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(The Berlin Wall during the Cold War: not the history would’ve looked at when I was 8, but who am I to judge?)

 

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