For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in history. At five, I was clad in knights armor frolicing around my yard imagining myself to be a great king conquering my neighboring kingdom.
And although I could not yet read, or hardly begin to grasp the complexity and profundity of history, I made due with learning of ancient european lands through looking at pictures in various history books in the library, and baderging my dad in an effort to get him to to tell me about Ken Follets slogg of an medieval Europe historical fiction novel, “World Without End.”
At seven I was interested in Native American history and culture and every year or since I have become interested in some new aspect or context of history.
Shocking enough, my thirst for knowledge in the field of history had not begin to feel the least bit quenched until I had entered wrestling coach, American Democracy and Criminal Justice teacher Michael Gacha’s Honors World History Class.
And although, the lessons of Gacha’s teaching was not able to reach past the teaching of World War II, due to last years Thomas Fires, I felt we had gone about learning about history served to discount so many years of sugarcoated revisionist history lessons and did so in an interactive and interesting way.
From humours and insightful lectures, countless instances of Gacha playing devil’s advocate, to heated games of whole class history jeopardy for test extra credit.
Gacha always managed to make me laugh and provide many others and opportunities for playful and educational banter, ranging in subjects of the causes and effects of early european imperialism to his “shortcomings” as a coach and teacher. Junior Eva Connelly said in regards of Gacha’s teaching, “He is a good teacher and is entertaining.”
In causing critical thinking through insightful lessons about history and thought provoking instances of Gacha playing devil’s advocate, I was able to better grasp history and have a laugh while doing so.