It’s Friday night, and I am all cozy in a hotel in Canandaigua. Why, you ask? Because tomorrow is Finger Lakes History Day!

It’s been a busy month, and I thought I should check in and let you know that I have been having a blast attending our regional History Day competitions. I saw some fantastic documentaries and exhibits at Catskill Regional History Day on March 1, and read some amazing papers for Lower Hudson History Day on March 8. Tomorrow I get to view web sites at the Finger Lakes contest. Woo-hoo!

I wrote a little column in the monthly e-newsletter this month, and I think I am going to put it here as well, so forgive me for the reprint:

“What is that folk saying we have about March? In like a lion and out like a lamb, or in like a lamb and out like a lion? Either way, I am sure most History Day students are feeling their lion’s share of pressure right now.

It’s competition time, which is both the best and most difficult part of the program. For students, I imagine it is exciting to meet like-minded students from across the state and share a year’s worth of scholarship. I can also see how it can be difficult to face judges in interviews, and making it through award ceremonies can wrack even the most stoic student’s nerves.

During this stressful time, I find it helpful to keep in mind the long-term benefits of History Day. Years from now only a few students will be able to boast that they won medals in competition. But EVERY student will be able to communicate more clearly, think more critically about their world, write more eloquently, and much much more.

These are the true awards of National History Day, and although they may offer little consolation now, they will become more apparent in time. I congratulate every student who participated in History Day this year; medal or not, your experience will benefit you in ways you have yet to imagine!”

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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