5 Strange But True Tidbits About The American Revolution.

5 Strange But True Tidbits About The American Revolution.

Your high-school history teacher probably didn't cover this in lecture.
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The War for Independence has always been an event greatly romanticized by the American people, but there are a lot of interesting things about it that you might not know. This past semester, I took a class over the Revolution-era, and it inspired me to share with you a list of #5 strange but true tidbits I learned about the American Revolution.

1. There was not one, but TWO Boston Tea Parties.

The tea party you've probably learned about happened in December of 1773, in which an anti-Loyalist extremist group called the Sons of Liberty dressed up as Native Americans and dumped approxiametly 90,000 pounds (342 chests worth!) of tea into the Boston harbor to protest taxation without representation. What you probably didn't learn about is that they reproduced the event one year later, albiet on a much smaller scale, and with a lot less flash.

2. Congress voted independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, not July 4th.

July 4th was when John Hancock donned the Declaration with its first signature; the actual vote that seperated the colonies from Britain passed two days earlier, on July 2nd.

3. We've basically always had a two-party system.

But instead of Democrats and Republicans, it was Federalists and Anti-Federalists. 'Federalist' was a term that meant a person was against a strong federal government; during the time when Alexander Hamilton and Co. were trying to raise support for the Constitution, they called themselves Federalists in an attempt to decieve people into thinking that they were not attempting to create a strong central government (which, of course, they totally were). What aided them further was the fact that their oppostition called themselves Anti-Federalists, which would mean that they were against anti-government -- and that was the opposite of what they were and people got confused.

4. Alexander Hamilton was involved in ELEVEN different duels.

Fun Fact for all you HAMILTON musical fans out there: the duel between Alex and Burr might have been his last, but it definitly wasn't his first. According to my professor, he was involved to various degrees in eleven other duels, including conflicts with James Montroe (1797), John Adams (1800), and George Clinton (1804). Son-of-a-gun just couldn't stay out of trouble.

Disclaimer: I myself couldn't find the sources to back up the fueds between anyone but Burr and Monroe, so take my professor's claim with a grain of salt.

5. The 'shot heard round the world' may have been fired by us. Whoops.

British soldiers had heard rumors of weapon stockpiling in the city of Concord, and, naturally, they went to shut it down. The whole 'ride of Paul Revere' thing happened, and so they were intercepted by members of the local militia at the nearby town of Lexington. The standoff was only broken when a bullet was fired -- the shot heard around the world; to this day, it is still unclear as to which side actually took the shot that effectively jumpstarted the War for Independence. In order to spur on support for the new Revolution, the tale had been retold so that the British soldiers were the ones that began the shooting.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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YES, You NEED To Take Some College Classes Just Because They Interest You

Your academic journey towards a degree does not and should not be cookie-cutter!

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If you're a young, curious (possibly even a bit naïve?) person like me, you want to be able to curate your future down to a tee. You don't want to settle. You yearn to maximize your time at college or university and learn about anything and everything that fascinates you.

However, the fear of taking too long to graduate, accumulating excess credit hours, and having your advisor give you "that look," can be strong discouragements, preventing you from truly following your heart. Luckily, I'm here to be that beaming ray of sunshine on a rainy day and prove to you that taking some classes outside of your major will not hurt, but actually extremely benefit you! College is the quintessential time to experiment with your tastes and explore your interests, and taking varying classes is the perfect way to 1) experience all that your school has to offer, 2) educate yourself on interesting subjects you wouldn't normally take the time and dedication to learn, and 3) meet amazing, new friends who are completely different from you.

Moral of the story: be a Leslie Knope in everything that you do.

I think I have a fair amount of merit to be able to speak on this subject. I am currently an International Business major, and along with my business core classes this spring, I am taking an Environmental Science Lab, an Honors Orchestra ensemble, and a Percussion Techniques course primarily taken by Music Education majors. Of course, when I tell people all of this, they look at me like I have two heads, but in all honesty I have no regrets.

The first day of lab class, I discovered that we will be taking trips to an on-campus Botanical Gardens to conduct hands-on field research on the biodiversity there, and I met two friends whom I have already gone out to eat with. Needless to say, their overall personalities are much different than that of my business major peers, and I for one appreciate the distinction and change of pace.

Me and them right before exchanging snapchats.

In the orchestra ensemble where I will be playing double bass, we are musicians of varying skill levels who just want to continue playing for fun. You can't fail if you suck, and you don't receive an A if you're a prodigy; in fact, there are no grades since it is a 0 credit course! We all have a say in what songs and genres we would like to perform, and we even get our own little performance at the end of the term. I can already tell that it's just going to be a good time.

Me trying to figure out my instrument again after not having it to play for eight months.

Lastly, I enrolled myself into a percussion techniques course to get better at my drum rudiments and skills, as I also play the drums. Living in the dorms, I've been having a hard time figuring out how to continue practicing the drums without, y'know, a drum set in my room. I'm sure my roommates, my floor, the entire building appreciates my decision to keep it all at home. My entire first semester was rather lacking in consistent music endeavors, so I made it a point to pursue music academically this semester, making me consistent and accountable for what I do and don't do. All I can say is that I'm beyond stoked to continue drumming once again.

Me. I am this dog.

If my schedule allows, I plan to take one class per semester that is solely for me and my personal self-growth. Last semester taking all business courses, I felt like I lost myself a bit and got too enveloped in my studies. I neglected my passions and my hobbies, and now I swear to myself to never do that again. If anyone else resonates with these words, go straight to your school's course catalog and start hunting for your undiscovered interests and captivations.

The bottom line: Take that class on human sexuality. Enroll yourself in an anthropology, criminology, or Africana studies lecture. Reinvent yourself through a weight-training class. Show up to that 1-credit music class/ensemble you shyly registered for (this one goes out to me - I almost chickened out!). I promise you, you will not regret your decision, and you'll be surprised to realize just how little you knew about the world prior to taking the class.

After earning that degree in whatever career field you chose to pursue, you'll inevitably reflect back on the classes that surprised you most, and I guarantee that at least some of those will be from outside your major.

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