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VerseD
12-01-2008, 06:05 PM
I have a feeling a lot of people on here have at least a passing interest in history. Here's a place for people to post interesting facts or stories about people places and things, ancient medieval and modern.

I'll start, with a bit of soap opera out of ancient Greece.

Philip II, king of Macedon, spent his life returning his country to power, conquering the northern Aegean, and establishing hegemony over the Greek city states of the south. In 336 BC, on the eve of the allied invasion of Asia, he celebrated the wedding of his brother-in-law Alexander of Epirus to one of his daughters, with all the most powerful politicians and nobles of Greece and Macedon in attendance.

The celebration was in an outdoor Macedonian theater. Philip marched into the theater behind thirteen standard bearers carrying icons of the twelve Olympian gods and one of Philip, all the same size, and flanked by his 19-year-old son Alexander and the groom Alexander of Epirus. All those wars left Philip with many scars, one eye and a pronounced limp. As the most powerful man in Greece, he wore civilian clothing instead of ceremonial armor and walked without an armed escort.

Also at this wedding was a man named Pausanias, who had once been Philipís lover. Philip left him for another man, and Pausanias insulted this new lover to no end, eventually driving him to sacrifice himself in battle to prove his masculine courage. The family of this tragic figure decided to take revenge on Pausanias. They got him drunk and took him to a stable where he was gang raped by the stable boys, men of the lowest order in Macedonian society.

Pausanias went to Philip and asked him to avenge this horrible dishonor, but the family which had done this was an important ally of the king. Philip could do nothing but offer Pausanias gifts and a position in his bodyguard, but Pausanias was not satisfied.

At the wedding of Philipís daughter, as the king walked down the aisle, Pausanias leapt from the bodyguard and stabbed Philip in the heart. His knife went right through the kingís light clothing. While the nobility of Greece and Macedon stood paralyzed, Pausanias fled straight down the aisle of the theater and ran out the side toward a waiting horse. A few guards, friends of Alexander, chased after him. Pausanias would have escaped but he tripped on a root and the guards skewered him where he lay.

And that's how Alexander the Great ascended the throne.

Sandman
12-01-2008, 06:11 PM
I'm actually starting a History major next semester.

Typical Michael
12-01-2008, 06:15 PM
I cant believe it. I was going to do this later tonight.

I graduate with a history degree, 2 weeks from today.

"At the height of inflation in Germany in the early 1920s, one U.S. dollar was equal to 4 quintillion German marks."

KamaItachi
12-01-2008, 06:38 PM
History, it's just one bloody thing after another, innit?

DoctorFinger
12-01-2008, 06:45 PM
Yeah, I could spend hours browsing the history of small and obscure regions on Wiki.

Sandman
12-01-2008, 06:45 PM
History, it's just one bloody thing after another, innit?

More accurately, History is the winner's account of one bloody thing after another.

OldeWolf
12-01-2008, 06:53 PM
But at the end of the day, what value, job-wise, does a History major have anyways? ;)

Typical Michael
12-01-2008, 06:56 PM
But at the end of the day, what value, job-wise, does a History major have anyways? ;)

Quiet, you!

Sandman
12-01-2008, 06:56 PM
History, it's just one bloody thing after another, innit?

But at the end of the day, what value, job-wise, does a History major have anyways? ;)

You could be a teacher, a historian or a librarian....that's all I can think of. Oh, you could be that guy on tv that knows stuff about stuff.....that usually falls under historian though.

VerseD
12-01-2008, 06:57 PM
Here's one more story, the pseudo history of how a Roman legion came to live in China.

In 53 BC Rome suffered one of its most staggering defeats at Carrhae, where Crassus had his legions cut off by the Parthians. The Parthians had a train of camels bringing arrows out to their 10,000 horseman, who rode in circles around the 40,000 Roman infantry and killed half their number. 10,000 heat stricken legionaries surrendered, and the rest managed to escape.

Greedy Crassus had molten gold poured down his throat, but the Parthians took the 10,000 legionaries prisoner and transferred them across Iran into Turkmenistan to defend their eastern borders. Hereís where it gets interesting.

17 years later, a Chinese account of a battle between the Chinese and the Hun warlord Jzh-Jzh remarks an unusual use of wooden fortifications by the normally nomadic Huns. Some Hun mercenaries overlapped their shields in a testudo formation. Itís possible that these were the Roman legionaries captured at Carrhae, who fled east and joined up with Jzh-Jzh.

After killing the warlord, the Chinese brought back 145 prisoners and installed the tough fighters in an outpost on their northern border. They named the town Liqian, which was also what they called Rome. Today people in the area are occasionally born with blonde hair, blue eyes and aquiline noses supposedly inherited from the captured legion, which would have been recruited from Gaul and Germany.

Homer Dubs at Oxford first proposed this idea fifty years ago, and it has since been investigated by archaeologists and disproved by a genetic study that found no European DNA in the people around Liqian today. Still, China loves the idea and has set up a Doric pavilion in Liqian and a statue in the county capital of a Roman soldier next to a Chinese man and woman.

I graduate with a history degree, 2 weeks from today.

What's your emphasis, out of curiosity? I graduated a few months ago with a history degree, specializing in ancient Greece and Rome (big surprise).

Typical Michael
12-01-2008, 07:07 PM
What's your emphasis, out of curiosity? I graduated a few months ago with a history degree, specializing in ancient Greece and Rome (big surprise).

I went all over the place, but had most emphases on medieval Europe and the world wars. Good times!

Camel
12-01-2008, 07:12 PM
You could be a teacher, a historian or a librarian....that's all I can think of. Oh, you could be that guy on tv that knows stuff about stuff.....that usually falls under historian though.
I love teaching biology, but I am always secretly jealous of history teachers. Both subjects are full of awesomeness, but students are much more familiar with history than science (boo hoo).

Scaryfaced
12-01-2008, 07:14 PM
I just got my History Minor a few months back and I'm already back in school trying to get a teaching credential so I can get highschool kids interested in history as well. So I guess you could say I'm a bit of a history buff as well:D I never had a particular focus, which I kinda regret at this point. I'm a bit of a "jack of all trades" historian. I'm mostly interested in culture and religion, but there's so much interesting stuff out there that I've always had trouble focusing.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure I can dig up some interesting stories from the class I'm currently finishing up. It's called Society and Radicalism, focusing on events leading up to the Protestant reformation and it's aftermath in the Holy Roman Empire. I think you guys would get a kick out of the stories about Carnival, the late medieval people's day to let off steam. Lets just say it's not a party until you dress a donkey's backside up like the Pope.
________
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LongStepMantis
12-01-2008, 07:18 PM
Time travel...that is your ultimate area of utility for a history degree.

Say you get sent back to the the battle of Aegospotami and know dick about the outcome, strategies employed, or participating forces. You would be fucked. :D

VerseD
12-01-2008, 07:23 PM
Say you get sent back to the the battle of Aegospotami and know dick about the outcome, strategies employed, or participating forces. You would be fucked. :D

Actually even if you did know what was about to happen you would probably be fucked at Aegospotami. Alcibiades saw it coming and the Athenians blew him off and beached their ships anyway. Then again, that was after his betrayal and ostracism. At least a historian would have the foresight to get out of dodge and keep his hands.

n3rdXcore
12-01-2008, 07:24 PM
Ooh I like this thread. Sadly, I have no interesting stories to add, since I don't know too much about history. :(

Chill
12-01-2008, 08:43 PM
I've always loved history, especially the Roman Republic. Took a few courses in college. Read Livy and Plutarch, but that's about as far as I've seriously gone. This was not researched, so be gentle.

One of my favorites has always been the Punic Wars, notably the Second Punic War. Which I think can be called the first "world war". Known world, that is. I especially remember the Battle of Cannae, the major battle between Carthage (Hannibal) and the Roman Republic. Hannibal had a brilliant victory (anyone who's played Rome: Total War knows exactly what I mean) and it decimated the Roman Army, and even the Roman population as a whole. I believe there was 70k-80k casualties that day. Something that wasn't exceeded until WWI.

Amazingly, the city of Rome was spared. I think mostly due to the fact Hannibal could not mount a seige against Rome's massive walls without decimating his own army. Hannibal almost completely wiped out all of Rome's best armies in Italy, but couldn't take them down completely. So, Hannibal moved around and fucked around in Sicily (and Macedonia?), while sending envoys to Rome to negotiate a peace treaty. The Senate amazingly refused even though their male population was very low. The Romans started to get shit going again and drafted in any male that could hold a sword (Gladius), including slaves. They went down to Africa and got their revenge and defeated Hannibal.

The end result was Carthage having to pay enormous tributes and becoming a vassal to Rome. Rome then became the power in the Mediterranean and shaped western history for the next four or five centuries.

axion
12-01-2008, 08:47 PM
Can we ask history questions of you guys? If so, I remember in my first year history class my prof mentioned that during WWII, the Russians were really poorly equipped with some of them having no shoes and the like, in the snow, is this true?

Scaryfaced
12-01-2008, 09:10 PM
Can we ask history questions of you guys? If so, I remember in my first year history class my prof mentioned that during WWII, the Russians were really poorly equipped with some of them having no shoes and the like, in the snow, is this true?

I doubt the story about a lack of shoes is true, they'd at least have worn their own, but basically your prof is right. The Russians had so many people and such a sparse supply of equipment that they were often forced to use their own clothing and weaponry. This had changed by the time they reached Berlin, but when Hitler decided to double cross Stalin, the ruskies got caught with their pants down.This is highly dependent on which battle your refering to, but at the battle of Stalingrad, they didn't have enough weaponry to go around. Soldiers were sent out in groups of 2, one with a rifle and other with an extra clip of ammo. Who ever died first got to take the other's equipment.

If we're talking about the various conflicts in Siberia, when the Russians were able to stop the Germans, they Russians were much better equiped. They were obviously used to the climate, but were also armed with the perfect gear and weapons for sub zero temperatures. The Nazi's weren't prepared for the winter and in many respects, that failure might have cost them the war.

I like the idea of this being a History question thread too.
________
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VerseD
12-01-2008, 09:28 PM
Can we ask history questions of you guys? If so, I remember in my first year history class my prof mentioned that during WWII, the Russians were really poorly equipped with some of them having no shoes and the like, in the snow, is this true?

The Russians were very well equipped, by the US even before it entered the war. Through the Lend-Lease program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lend-Lease#US_deliveries_to_USSR) FDR sent them millions of nice felt boots and good winter coats, perfect for enduring General Winter. It was the Germans who had poor footwear. Those tight, high goose-stepping boots don't do well in the snow and led to a lot of frostbite cases. During the first winter, the Germans were stuffing newspaper into their coats to stay warm.

diablopath
12-01-2008, 09:28 PM
I'm also majoring in history.
Only doing gen ed now, only class I had was American History After 1887.

I have absolutely no idea where I want to put my emphasis.
Everything is just so goddamn interesting to me.
Last 500 years or so in Europe is probably where my interest mostly lies, I think most of my ancient Greek/Roman interest is in thanks to God of War and 300 :P.

I doubt the story about a lack of shoes is true, they'd at least have worn their own, but basically your prof is right. The Russians had so many people and such a sparse supply of equipment that they were often forced to use their own clothing and weaponry. This had changed by the time they reached Berlin, but when Hitler decided to double cross Stalin, the ruskies got caught with their pants down.This is highly dependent on which battle your refering to, but at the battle of Stalingrad, they didn't have enough weaponry to go around. Soldiers were sent out in groups of 2, one with a rifle and other with an extra clip of ammo. Who ever died first got to take the other's equipment.

If we're talking about the various conflicts in Siberia, when the Russians were able to stop the Germans, they Russians were much better equiped. They were obviously used to the climate, but were also armed with the perfect gear and weapons for sub zero temperatures. The Nazi's weren't prepared for the winter and in many respects, that failure might have cost them the war.

I like the idea of this being a History question thread too.

What's interesting to me, where you mention how the Germans invaded first, is that the Reds were planning an invasion of their own, likely to happen weeks after Operation Barbarossa went into play. TLDR, Both sides planned to break the non-aggression pact, neither side thought the other side would. Just an off chance that Hitler drew the first punch, and the momentum from that took him all the way to Stalingrad.

Whunpo
12-01-2008, 09:51 PM
I usually love history classes. But the one I'm taking right now sucks.
History of the Americas. Is it just me or is America the most god damned boring place on earth?

tombofsoldier
12-01-2008, 09:53 PM
Can we ask history questions of you guys? If so, I remember in my first year history class my prof mentioned that during WWII, the Russians were really poorly equipped with some of them having no shoes and the like, in the snow, is this true?

Yep yep, at it's worst some didn't even have guns. Of course Call of Duty took advantage of this little fact with the Stalingrad mission.

diablopath
12-01-2008, 09:58 PM
I usually love history classes. But the one I'm taking right now sucks.
History of the Americas. Is it just me or is America the most god damned boring place on earth?

This is one area I've never actually gone in depth with, and it maybe because I agree with you. My interest has pretty much been based with European history, and thus the introduction of the white man via Columbus and those other Spanish dick heads. >.>

Crowe
12-01-2008, 10:04 PM
I usually love history classes. But the one I'm taking right now sucks.
History of the Americas. Is it just me or is America the most god damned boring place on earth?

When my year 12 high school teacher said we would be studying Australian History rather than the Russian Revolution I felt like punching her in the the throat. I ended up getting a D.

Every class was the most boring snore fest of all time.

Scaryfaced
12-01-2008, 10:17 PM
I usually love history classes. But the one I'm taking right now sucks.
History of the Americas. Is it just me or is America the most god damned boring place on earth?

Colonial America bores me to tears, but the early history of the Americas are fascinating. You've got North America, which was filled with hundreds of native american tribes, you've got the meso american cultures with their giant stone cities in the hearts of the jungle primeval, and South America...I'm actually a little foggy on precolonial South America, but i'm sure there's a wealth of info to be had. Just delving into Aztec culture would probably blow alot of people's minds. You could touch on some of the strange bits of History, Like the Viking's discovering North America and fighting various native american cultures or the disappearance of the Olmec. I guess it all depends on what subjects your teacher decides to cover.
________
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Gwinny
12-01-2008, 10:36 PM
Kind of historical. The Exeter Book has a lot of damaged pages, and one work to suffer particularly disruptive damage is "The Ruin", an Anglo-Saxon lament that (rather typically!) mourns the transience of all things on the earth. It describes the ghostly, shattered remains of a Roman settlement, and the poet ruminates on where the "giants" who built such a grand place could have gone, that they allowed their city to fall to rubble.

The damage to portions of the manuscript are too extensive to attempt a verse reconstruction, so the pieces of lines that survive are interspersed with a lot of blanks, and fragmentary, recognizable bits that don't make sense. Combined with the subject matter, it's the creepiest thing ever. H.P. Lovecraft would be proud.

Sorry I don't have any "real" history to share, but I've been studying Old English for four semesters now and that's all the history I've got.

Whunpo
12-01-2008, 10:44 PM
Colonial America bores me to tears, but the early history of the Americas are fascinating. You've got North America, which was filled with hundreds of native american tribes, you've got the meso american cultures with their giant stone cities in the hearts of the jungle primeval, and South America...I'm actually a little foggy on precolonial South America, but i'm sure there's a wealth of info to be had. Just delving into Aztec culture would probably blow alot of people's minds. You could touch on some of the strange bits of History, Like the Viking's discovering North America and fighting various native american cultures or the disappearance of the Olmec. I guess it all depends on what subjects your teacher decides to cover.

Well we seem to be going through in chronological order, and we hardly touched the Native Americans. However, we spent about a month on the Aztecs/Icans. However, I have had extremely similar lessons on these cultures at least twice before. I would have found it more interesting if we had just gone a bit more in depth, but we simply review the same material I learned in 6th grade. :mad:

axion
12-01-2008, 10:46 PM
Thanks to all the replies, procrastinating accomplished!

Typical Michael
12-01-2008, 10:53 PM
One of the few remaining Mayan texts, the Paris Codex, was recovered from a trash can!

TurboKinny
12-01-2008, 10:54 PM
Another history major here. Post 1930s American history is my particular interest :) Not going to be spending much time in this thread, though- I have too many other papers to write for class!

axion
12-01-2008, 10:56 PM
Anyone know anything about those ancient papyrus that were found in Egypt(?), and a bunch got destroyed cause the guy's mom needed kindling?

Atepsflame
12-01-2008, 11:00 PM
Ah, history. It's what I'd be majoring in if I had the balls to major in something I'd never follow up on but love studying.

EDIT: I mean other than English.

Scaryfaced
12-01-2008, 11:17 PM
Another history major here. Post 1930s American history is my particular interest :) Not going to be spending much time in this thread, though- I have too many other papers to write for class!

I just got my big research paper back from my one History course this semester and scored an A on it. I'm seriously proud of myself. Not to bad for a paper I wrote in a single, 30+ hour sitting. It was a pretty interesting topic, too. I basically made the case that the Anabaptists (the original movement that spawned Baptists, Mennonites, Hutterites and the Amish) were asking for the persecution they suffered. It's hard to argue that people want to be burned alive or drowned, but I guess I pulled it off.:D

I'm bummed to hear about your class being so...basic, Whonpo. I find that History courses have to be taught by someone with a specific goal in mind. If the teacher doesn't focus, courses with such a large topic to cover often become outlines and offer little, if any value other than the most basic understanding of a culture. When your covering as broad a topic as The Americas, you need to focus on a particular aspect. Contrasting native american cities with meso americans, comparing their religion and how that affects daily living, technology, conflicts between neighboring cultures, stuff like that. Without focus, you end up glossing over all the interesting stuff and give people only the most basic understanding of something so complex, that understanding is relatively pointless. For example, the one history course I took this year covered a 50 year period in Germany and Switzerland, specifically two revolts and the religious implications of the Reformation. The funny thing is we hardly even scratched the surface. My prof has focused her entire career on that 50 year period and she's still learning things.
________
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TurboKinny
12-01-2008, 11:36 PM
Ah, history. It's what I'd be majoring in if I had the balls to major in something I'd never follow up on but love studying.

EDIT: I mean other than English.Talk to me in May when I have two BAs- history and english :cool:

LongStepMantis
12-01-2008, 11:44 PM
On a side note, all this talk of battles reminds me of something. People who are exceptionally bad with History.

One time my former brother-in-law, drunk off his ass, spent an hour arguing with me. His argument was that Germany wasn't involved in WWII...how the hell do you even respond to that? Other than derisive laughter?

tombofsoldier
12-02-2008, 01:14 AM
Talk to me in May when I have two BAs- history and english :cool:

Hey, those are the two majors I'm considering now that I'm 95% done with GE and graduation reqs. Just tell me which one if funner, since what I hope to make money off of can't be taught anyway.

Back to history, during WW1 the Germans got so frustrated with the battle lines moving slower than a snail that they built the famous Big Bertha rail gun. It was so called because it was actually built on a railcar and dragged by train from place to place. It was used to shell Paris for a while, but like the later blitz of London did little in terms of actual military outcomes.

Spectre-7
12-02-2008, 01:43 AM
Hey, those are the two majors I'm considering now that I'm 95% done with GE and graduation reqs. Just tell me which one if funner, since what I hope to make money off of can't be taught anyway.

Back to history, during WW1 the Germans got so frustrated with the battle lines moving slower than a snail that they built the famous Big Bertha rail gun. It was so called because it was actually built on a railcar and dragged by train from place to place. It was used to shell Paris for a while, but like the later blitz of London did little in terms of actual military outcomes.

If I recall, the cannon that was used to shell Paris was called either the Paris Kanone or the Paris Geschütz (sources seem to differ on this). Big Bertha was a different weapon. :(

VerseD
12-02-2008, 02:32 AM
During the seventeenth century explosion of piracy, most pirates of the Caribbean actually paddled around in canoes. Canoes moved quiet and over shallow waters so they could escape and evade bigger ships. They also required smaller crews, which meant more loot per person.

Pirates used the canoes to attack defenseless coastal settlements, mostly small ones. Those who went after larger trade centers usually did so as privateers under contract from an enemy state. It was a business arrangement, and part of the loot went to the employer.

Large scale attacks on merchant fleets or big cities were rare. The Spanish flota fleet that carried gold and raw materials from the New World regularly repelled predators and only once succumbed to one, when Piet Heyn captured a fleet in 1628.

mister slim
12-02-2008, 02:38 AM
Hey, those are the two majors I'm considering now that I'm 95% done with GE and graduation reqs. Just tell me which one if funner, since what I hope to make money off of can't be taught anyway.

Back to history, during WW1 the Germans got so frustrated with the battle lines moving slower than a snail that they built the famous Big Bertha rail gun. It was so called because it was actually built on a railcar and dragged by train from place to place. It was used to shell Paris for a while, but like the later blitz of London did little in terms of actual military outcomes.

This gun (http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/10/09/secrets-of-the-mystery-gun-that-shelled-paris/), probably.

Squidbot
12-02-2008, 08:49 AM
When Queen Victoria signed the declaration of war on Russia in 1853, she did so in the name of "Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, Ireland, Berwick-upon-Tweed and the British Dominions beyond the sea."

But Berwick was not mentioned in the Treaty of Paris that concluded the Crimean War in 1856, leaving the town technically still at war with Russia.

A peace treaty was only finally signed by a Russian diplomat and the the Mayor of Berwick in 1966. As the mayor said at the time:

"You can tell the Russian people that they can now sleep peacefully in their beds".

TurboKinny
12-02-2008, 09:31 AM
Hey, those are the two majors I'm considering now that I'm 95% done with GE and graduation reqs. Just tell me which one if funner, since what I hope to make money off of can't be taught anyway.I prefer history to english, actually, but at the risk of sounding conceited- my english background has enabled me to write much better papers than my history-only counterparts. I think if you really want to go with history, you need a good minor to back it up- English, business, political science...something to broaden out "just history" :)

VerseD
12-02-2008, 04:49 PM
I prefer history to english, actually, but at the risk of sounding conceited- my english background has enabled me to write much better papers than my history-only counterparts. I think if you really want to go with history, you need a good minor to back it up- English, business, political science...something to broaden out "just history" :)

I agree. I minored in English and journalism and both helped loads with my history major. Journalistic writing was especially helpful, since I learned to pick out the important, telling facts and convey them with an objective interpretation.

AbeLincoln
12-02-2008, 05:25 PM
http://www.vbs.tv/shows.php?show=1755457323

The most interesting history, is drunk history. Ep 3 is my favorite.

I have a history minor too, could have been a double major but you gotta love those junior and senior seminar classes that rigid departmental rules won't let you take in the same quarter :(

I'm focused in on Asian history, mostly Japan and a good bit of China, little bit of Vietnam too. I'm embarrassingly lacking in knowledge of Korea.

NSFW
12-02-2008, 07:01 PM
I love math. and engineering. the future.

history.

moon landing was a fake. hard to believe i know. fake.

.

.

.

sike

VerseD
12-02-2008, 09:44 PM
http://www.vbs.tv/shows.php?show=1755457323

The most interesting history, is drunk history. Ep 3 is my favorite.

Thanks, that is awesome.

n3rdXcore
12-03-2008, 02:28 PM
Touch the fuckin' kite!

Superman's Dead
12-03-2008, 02:30 PM
I want to read this thread so bad but I have so many papers to write. I'm subscribing to it and hating you all in the meantime.

zarathstra
12-03-2008, 04:26 PM
I too have a history degree! I primarily focused on Imperial Russia (ie post Mongul, pre-Soviet Russia) but I also took classes in Russian language, culture politics, and film. Good times!

My favorite class wasn't about Russia though, but rather the American Revolution. It was a strange class. Instead of the professor preparing lessons and us taking tests, we all chose a character to role-play for the remainder of the class, and we were expected to do enough research on whatever we were talking about to play the character convincingly. Our papers were more like diary entries than papers, and the final test was "write down everything you learned in this class and I'll figure out if you know your stuff". I got an A :)

Mr character, incidentally, was a Catholic apothecary (pharmacist) from Baltimore with 3 kids who was on his second wife. After the war, my character became an ardent Federalist.

Oh, and someone mentioned Big Bertha earlier...that wasn't a rail cannon, although the Germans did build a few including one the reduce the Maginot Line (I guess before they figured out they could just go through Belgium) and one they used to reduce Sevastopol on the Eastern Front.


As for employability after a history degree...you'd be surprised how many jobs really don't care what your degree is in, only that you have one. I figured I would be better off taking something I liked in school and seeing what opportunities it gave me, rather than trying to muddle through something I hated in hopes it would make me money.

I do okay.