Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Blogroll I: A Historical Slant

Within the past few years, my oldest sister decided to go back to school get her Master's degree. She wasn't sure what she wanted to at first, debating between astronomy/astrophysics and history, but she ended up landing on history.

After taking some of her courses, she found herself writing a lot. Even before she started her second degree, she enjoyed writing, so this didn't come as too much of a shock. I think she had a bit of shell shock with the amount of writing that she had to do.

Because she knew I was a writer, she asked me to look at some of her papers that she deemed more important than others. While I am no expert, I have spent quite a few hours writing and editing things. And after getting to her last course, she found herself writing a thesis. I told her I would be happy to look at it for her, and she accepted (with a bit of a sigh of relief, I think).

I'm happy to say that today I edited the final draft. She will be doing a few tweaks on the paper, and then submitting it before Monday. Over the past few weeks, a lot has been going on in her life, but she plugged through it. Some of her kids probably thought she was crazy, especially after she locked herself in her bedroom and read the whole paper (around 100 pages) aloud. But she felt a bit vindicated when I suggested it to her. In fact, you might even say she dangled those words over her kids head with a bit of a crazed look in her eye.

Needless to say, she has come a long way in her writing. Her final draft was very well organized and written. I know that she will do great, and that there will be no problems getting the thesis through all the hoops that come along with a Master's degree. I'm quite proud of her.

But the most fun of the whole thing (for me, and possibly for her) is the fact that I got to learn about some misconceptions that I had believed all my life about the birth of our nation. Even though John Smith and Pocahontas got married, and the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, there is part of our history that never gets talked about. This is the influence of the Dutch on the New World.

The Dutch were the actual founders of New York, and many of the traditions that they brought to the New World are actually what has shaped the American Dream to what it is today. You can thank the Dutch, and not the English, for creating a place that encouraged diversity and equality (even among women). They also created the entrepreneurial spirit that can be seen in New York City today.

So, if you want to get a bit more of a taste of this, or learn more about it, feel free to visit  my sister's blog and learn some more. While right now, she doesn't have a whole lot detailed on her findings (as the thesis isn't published yet), I hope that this will encourage her to get back in the swing of things on her blog and writing again. If you would like to learn more about New Netherland (the real name of New York), then feel free to send any and all questions her way.

I am of the unbiased opinion that she is quite the expert on the subject. When her book comes out, I'll let you know. Remember, you heard it here folks!

1 comment:

Lana said...

You are kind! I have posted this week on my blog. A bit about a guy named Henry Hudson-you may have read about him somewhere.