One sunny afternoon, I enjoyed a walk off-base in Okinawa, Japan. As I strolled down a sidewalk I watched as U.S. school children, within the fences of the U.S. military base, shot at each other with their toy Uzis while playing a game of war. No doubt these children copied what they indirectly experienced on a daily basis, in their own military communities. These experiences include the viewing of propaganda created by Armed Forces Network which often details historical military missions on public TV, the sounds of aircraft flying overhead, gate-guards who stare down passengers while holding large automatic weapons, and parents who continuously deploy. Notably, this situation of playing war is not unique to military children alone. My observation that day was not a political statement of ‘play-acting war,’as many children around the world, regardless of their affiliation with a military, play war games with sticks, toy guns and weapons, and video games. But for me this one moment began to spark questions regarding what playing “peace” looks like? Continue reading “Book Review: Michael G. Long’s “Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers””
In May 2011, I graduated with a Master of Arts in History from the University of San Diego. During my final year in graduate school, I eagerly applied to as many history jobs as I could find. Contrary to the assumption that all History MAs go into teaching, I wanted to begin applying what I had learned in graduate school outside of the classroom. I hoped to find a job, particularly with a Park Service (e.g. National Park, State Park, Forest Service) where I could practice historical interpretation. Unable to find a local Park Service position, I broadened my scope to positions at museums, historical societies, historic preservation firms, auction houses, government agencies, and many others. To my dismay, I received very few interviews. Of those interviews, none translated into meaningful full-time employment. Reluctantly, I expanded my job search to include open positions at colleges and universities.