History of History

What happens when a girl is stressed out and tired from college-exams, tests, planning for next semester? Why, she blogs of course! And as a little stress relief, let me tell you about my one true love.

It’s 2001. Saturday morning, about ten am. A six year old girl wakes up, and runs downstairs to the kitchen, hoping her parents will fix her a bowl of Oreo cereal before she watches hours of Recess and Spongebob. When she gets to the kitchen, her father is propped up at the table, Richmond Times-Dispatch spread out and a cup of coffee by his side. She greets him and they start talking. Before you know it, the dreams of cereal have dissipated and a bowl of honeydew is on the table while the aroma of sausage fills the room. The conversation has turned from what words she learned to read that week in first grade to Emperor Nero.

Of course, that young girl was me and her father is my incomparable Gary Gerloff. Being the man that he was, Daddy thought that cartoons and cereal were going to turn me into a sugary, uncultured monster. His great story-telling abilities fought (-and won!) against my cartoons, and he enchanted me with mythology and early civilization. Those early morning conversations of the Greco-Roman world is what lead me to my love of history.

Once I was reading books by myself, my mom would take me to the library-and she would always loose me. By time after time, she would catch me in the historical fiction section- American Girl series to princess diaries- and at night I would run to Daddy and tell him about Marie Antoinette, Anastasia Romanov, or any of the other princesses I was divulging in that day, and he supplemented my knowledge-probably more than a seven year old should know.

Flash forward 2013, yesterday to be exact. That same girl went to the History major course fair, where she was greeted by the undergrad adviser by name, a man who shares her passion of the ancient world, and remembers that about her. She’s looking at a double minor in Art History and Mediterranean Studies, to continue her other love of art and her favorite part of Europe, as well as getting her master’s in teaching.

I’m indebted to so many more people that just my father. I’m lucky enough to have been taught by some of the greatest teachers in Richmond who expanded my love and knowledge. These ladies have also been great role models and mentors whenever I’ve needed them, and I can say 100% they’re why I want to be a teacher. (Much love to my Gertie women- you rock Mrs. Hoggatt, Mrs. Rives and Mrs. Carrig!) (ps I love you too my non-social studies teachers)

Now at VCU, I’m an active member of History Now!, a club that visits historical sites around Richmond like the capitol, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and next spring-Monticello (eeep! Thomas Jefferson!!!!) This week we had a meeting in the Cabell Room at the James Cabell library-which looked like a time machine to the Victorian era (so beautiful!!), and hold James Cabell’s personal book collection.

Cabell Room


I honestly don’t know where I would be without history. What would I ever major in!?!? I briefly thought about social work as a back-up and becoming a grief counselor until one of my customers told me his horror stories as a social worker and I backed out.  But I think I’ve picked the right thing for me. I’m quite social and teaching lets me get to know my students as they get to know my passion and help them understand it all. OmgteachingisgoingtobesomuchfunplusIwanttogobacktosaintgertrudewhyisntthishappeningnowIcantwaitfiveandahalfyears

(PSST Did you know Shaka Smart has an undergrad in history?)


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