I interviewed a graduate student from the aviation program in Auburn who is currently attending a master’s program for community planning. He is an example of people who faced a life-changing event in 2020, and a little part of history.

I asked about his daily life in the current situation, and what is the difference between his pre-pandemic life. He told me that this is the first time in his life that he is trying to pick up pens to draw something. He stared his pilot training since he was in high school, he usually flies five days a week before the pandemic, and now he says he is a “weekend warrior.” He complained to me how difficult for him to actually draw something in the studio and he is on a topic that he “knows nothing about it!”

We also talked about how technology played a role in this pandemic life, he told me now he is dependent more on it than ever before, all the classes, job interviews, and most importantly, for entertainment. He said usually his entertainment was fly his plane, which was how he spent most of his time before the pandemic. Now he sits at his apartment, got nothing to do for fun, and the internet is the only thing that prevents him “going crazy!”

Before the pandemic, his life plan to work for some airline company that he had internship with. And when the Covid-19 hit right before his graduation, he knew that in the least five years there will be no major airlines would hiring any new pilot, and he told me “if I can’t work, why don’t I get another degree?” So after a rush research, he applied to any Master program that has the lowest requirements, which in Auburn, it was the community planning. After a little waiting period, now he says, “it’s not a bad one.”

He told me that he used to have a great plan. He was a good pilot with enough experience to start as an entry-level commercial pilot in some small airlines. And now he is studying a degree that he never thought about it before.

COVID did change many things, some people got lucky, but it is a historical event that affected everyone’s life. For him, it may turn his life in a whole different direction; for me, I did witness how a big event changed a small life. We always talking about all these historical influences, all the big History, and oftentimes we would forget the small history. The Big “H” history is exciting, they are famous, eye-catching, those big news we having today would still be the big History in the future. But the small “h” history is also the past, it could be my friend’s story, a post on social media, they are not notable, and probably not very important to the world, but they are history. We are the small “h” history. Most of us would never be remembered by the rest of the world, and most small history probably would be buried after the time. But I think this could be the fun of studying public history, which is to dig out the small history.

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