So I stayed up till 2 AM last night studying for this damn mid-term. Can I just say that when it gets to the short answers part, I am basically screwed? Who really cares about European/African relations before 1492? Is it going to help me pay my bills?
Ahhh, okay, I am feeling some animosity towards history. It shouldn't be that way though. It just is the most boring subject to learn.
No offense to my teacher though - which reminds me, I never told the story about my history teacher!
My teacher is 85...we've solidified that. So he has all these wild and crazy stories from the past that he tells us - all in first person, all true. (The reason that I know and believe them to be true is that during the time that he tells them to the class, he pauses in mid-thought with this look on his face as if he can remember EVERYTHING he is telling us. So either he is an awesome actor, or this stuff is for real. And I'd like to believe that they are real!)
He was talking about slavery...since we're dealing with post Civil War stuff right now and he started to talk about some girl that he used to go out with whose family's generation came from an old Georgian plantation in Atlanta.
The story goes that he was heading over to Atlanta for some kind of teacher's convention, and in the meantime he went to go stay with her family. When he got there, he was stunned by how enormous this house and plantation were. It was all original and historical 18th century architecture and such. He said that that night he slept in a four-post bed that was so large he could fit ten of himself in it. The rooms were enormous, too and he nearly felt like he was in a whole other house.
What is most important about Mr. Addy is that he has tried to preserve his history in his mind as much as he could. He'll go off on tangents such as "well when I was down there her brother took me around in his drop-top convertible and it was during the beginning of segregation days - so he took me past a building and said 'That's where the colored folks go to school. It really is better that they stay away from us white folks, and the education is just as good as ours.'" to then telling us "Can you believe that he said that to me? Little did he know that I had a friend in Pennsylvania who was part of the Civil Rights Movement and I used to go there to visit him and do a lot of marches and things like that."
Anyways - getting to the more exciting part - so Mr. Addy was staying there in Atlanta, and he said that one day he was hanging out with two buddies of his (both were African-American): one had just graduated from a teacher's college and the other was a dentist (don't know why I told you that part, but he did, so I think it adds to the character of the story. :-D). Here they were, driving around on this very sunny day in Atlanta in his friend's nice car, and suddenly they pass by a Klan rally. In an instant, their car gets barraded by Klan members smashing sticks and branches from trees and stones into their car.
Mr. Addy said that he turned to his friend and said "If we kill someone, we're done for." and his friend turned to him and said "If we don't kill anyone, we're done for..."
Thank goodness, they took a wrong turn on a dirt path and got away safely. But the guy had $2,000.00 worth of damage done to his car, and at that time, both Mr. Addy and the other teacher were only making $54.00 a month.
Those kinds of stories really make me think and appreciate the little things in my life. Even if I have been struggling recently, I know that I have gotten myself to a place that is far better than most people my age and for that I am truly grateful. Especially when you hear stories like that and you think, damn, now that's history.