At approximately 5:30 p.m. Simon’s Rock Time (5:45ish), Aimée Michel hurried down the second floor Daniel Arts Center hallway. As a professor of theatre here at Simon’s Rock, Aimée is always headed somewhere. We had arranged to meet to talk about a one-act I had been working on and then interview for her profile. Expecting a short meeting, we’d scheduled for about an hour. Needless to say, after exceeding our original time by almost a half-hour we agreed to continue the interview the following day.
What is something that you hope students get out of your classes?
I hope that at the very least they leave my class at the end of the semester having a new appreciation for history or a new kind of excitement or enthusiasm for history. More than anything, I really hope that they leave with a sense of history as the form of social criticism that I like to think of history as functioning as, or at least is for me, and is what attracts me to history. What I think attracts me the most to history is this notion that things were different than they are today and they can be different in the future. That both gives me hope and terror because as a historian, I know that things can always improve, but things can always get worse. I hope that I bestow students with an appreciation for both sides of that coin. These days it is hard to come away from thinking about the present or the past with a lot of hope because things are very challenging. I do try to give students that sense by the end of the semester that history can be not just kind of informative and educational and enlightening, but hopefully inspiring. It can inspire them to think about how things, not just their lives, but how society, politics, and culture can be different.