My time at Auburn

I am currently a senior at Auburn University, and I plan on graduating in the spring. Over time while attending Auburn University I have seen many changes throughout the universities’ campus. I think the one of the biggest changes that has occurred throughout Auburn’s landscape that I have noticed would be the addition to the business school and adding the graduate business building on the corner of Donahue and Magnolia. This addition to Auburn Universities’ already growing campus will be extremely beneficial to our ability to appeal to not only high school kids looking to apply but also college graduates looking to expand their knowledge in their field of study. 

While going to class or driving around town there are many different chances you have to see different historical markers or historical monuments. One of the many historical markers that I have been able to interact with and learn about has been the Crescent Trail marker. I was able to learn about this very unique historical marker and its significance in a class I took this time last year. Another historical marker I can tell you about is the Veterans memorial across from 160 Ross. But to be completely honest I could not tell you any major historical markers located on campus that I have been able to interact with. At my time at Auburn University I have experienced a whole new wave of Auburn. Auburn University today is moving towards a more progressive school. In today’s time especially with the Black Lives Matter movement there has been a huge wave of demands to rename buildings and take down statues that have ties to racist origins. I do personally agree that it is the right thing to do to rename these buildings if the origins of the buildings are in fact offensive and have been named after someone who was racist. I am very proud to say I go to Auburn University and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Auburn as a whole.   

Object Biography

Due to the incredibly tough position todays environment has put us in we have been forced to change our daily routines and basically life as we know it. Before COVID-19 I did not really use that much technology. I prefer to either be outside with friends doing actives such as hunting or fishing but due to this worldwide pandemic my friends and I have not been able to do the actives that we so much enjoy. The item I chose to do my blog post on would be my laptop. My laptop is a MacBook Pro I purchased with the help of my dad my Junior Year of high school, so it makes this object around five years old. The laptop has measurements of 13.3 inches by 15.4 inches. The screen itself is roughly 13 inches and has an incredible display of quality.  My laptop has extreme value to me right now because every facet of our lives revolves around technology now that we are forced to stay indoors and social distance. Before quarantine I only used my laptop for things such as schoolwork and searching the internet for hunting or fishing gear and supplies. However, in today’s world we are forced to do everything remotely from home on our laptops. Normally my laptop will stay perfectly positioned on my desk so that it can be plugged into its charger if it is needed to be charged. When I need to transport my laptop to a different location, I carefully place the laptop in the case I have purchased for it. The case is extremely important because without the case my laptop would be subject to getting broken which would impede my success of doing schoolwork. Once the laptop is carefully placed in the case, I then place my case into my backpack which I use to transport my laptop to the different locations in which I would need to use it. Reflecting back on this object I have come to realize that currently my entire life revolves around this 13 by 15-inch piece of metal that controls my entire life. Without this object our society as we know it today would sadly crash. In fact, just about every single business in today’s world is run by using computers and other forms of advance technology that allows us to communicate remotely with one another without contact, which is extremely important with the worldwide pandemic that is happening. Other than just being able to help someone do business and keep commerce available, my laptop allows me to be able to communicate with people like my mom, dad, and grandmother. Since they are older and multiple hours away the facetime feature on my laptop allows me to remotely communicate and video chat with my family without having to come in contact with them and potentially spread COVID-19. So in today’s world my most important object in my life has become my laptop due to the fact that I need it in order to stay in touch with everyone in my life during this pandemic and also be able to continue to do remote learning so that I can receive a degree from Auburn University.

COVID-19 “The New Normal”

For this blog post I decided to interview a friend of mine, a twenty-year old female who attends school here at Auburn University, to find out how her life has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How are your friends, family, partner, or other important people in your life doing? My friends and family have definitely, as well as myself, had to adjust to a new and very different normal. My parents have been at home for the duration of this Covid stage, as well as my High school senior sister. I feel bad for her in particular. Her senior high school days are not nearly the same as time were, but she is making the most of it. As well am I and all my friends, family and fellow students.

What has been your biggest difficulty adjust too in the past few months? Personally, I miss having a normal schedule with daily interactions with my friends on campus, in class or just hanging out. Without a normal schedule, the school days are harder for me as well. Planning is very important.

Do/did you have a job on or off campus? No. I did last summer but due to the pandemic and the fact I tore my ACL it made it difficult for me to find a job. So I decided to rehab my knee and take classes online.

Are you involved in student organizations, sports, or clubs? Yes I am in a sorority on campus.

How has the pandemic affected them? We have had to conduct all meetings virtually and no socials or other activities have been able to happen as they normally would during a regular semester.

Are you doing any community work or volunteering as a result of the pandemic – shopping for neighbors, donating blood, other community work? Not directly with the pandemic but I did help with relief and clean up from the affects of hurricane Sally.

What seemed normal a few weeks ago that seems strange to you now? I haven’t noticed anything change in the past couple of weeks but compared to March it is a completely different world. I do hope that things begin to get better and the world can go back to how they used to be this time last year.

What do you miss most about how the world used to be before this world-wide pandemic? Being able to go out to restaurants with friends and family. I also miss spending time with my grandparents. Due to COVID-19 and some previous health problems that my grandad has had my family and I have not been able to spend as much time with him and my grandmother as we normally do. I also miss being able to go to concerts and sporting events. I just hope we can recover from all of this.

Ask a Public Historian: Joshua Montgomery

Joshua Montgomery is a history teacher at Bayside Academy and is also the head of the High School.

What made you want to teach History? 

    I always enjoyed history but never thought of it becoming an integral part of my professional career.  Like many educators, I was heavily influenced by an experience I had when I was a student.  For me, I had a college history professor who made a lasting impact on me throughout my time in college.  His impact on my consumption of historical content and the manner in which he delivered his lessons made me consider going into the profession myself.   

Have you ever hit a speed bump in your career that you feel has made you grow?    

     As a teacher I never really had speed bumps other than the typical moments of adversity you face as an educator.  That being said, I was charged with being the department chair for a number of years and part of my job was to help create academic standards for our department grades 3-12.  Leading a collaborative process can be daunting because you have to be willing to have courageous conversations with people who might not agree with your perspective.  The discussions and debates the history staff had during the two years where we discussed those standards and their implementation was a massive moment of growth.  I learned about how I think history should be taught and I learned how to lead a group of people toward finding consensus and pushing a vision forward.  

What is your favorite period of history to teach and why? 

     I am a Civil Rights Historian by definition but I love teaching about post-war America, Progressive Era politics, and Manifest Destiny.  

What advice do you have for a senior in college who is trying to figure out his or her career path after graduating? 

    Follow your heart and not your wallet.  Once you find something you love doing, then figure out how you can make more money doing it.  But never forget that passion and purpose is what ultimately keeps people happy.