History Through a Student's Eyes

We all know that college is where people decide to further their education where they can develop th...

uss midwayWe all know that college is where people decide to further their education where they can develop the necessary skills to promote themselves in the job market for a better paying job. Many classes are just about the fundamental basics, such as English or mathematics where students learn how to write or do equations, but the best classes are the classes where volunteer work and museum visits is required to pass.

Now, I am aware that volunteer work and museums is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is the best way for students to learn hands on about the world around them.

In a history class that I am taking this semester, 10 hours of volunteer work is required to pass the class. The volunteer work has to be history related, and approved by the instructor of course. However, I believe getting the students involved in something they have never experienced is a great way to not only help the community, but also get them move excited and involved in the class lectures.

When I started taking this History class at Mt. San Jacinto College, I was intrigued at how the instructor had the students get involved with the history that is all around. So, during Spring break I took a trip out to see the USS Midway stationed in San Diego.

During my trip to the USS Midway, I not only was able to be in the presence of such great history but I was able to walk on it! The USS Midway, for those unaware is an aircraft carrier that was launched in 1945. It has a collection of 25 restored aircrafts, such as the SBD Dauntless dive bomber, 60 fully restored exhibits, where you can explore the ready rooms, the brig and engineering quarters, the chow lines, sick bay, and more!

The Midway has a self-guided audio tour narrated by Midway sailors that explain the history of the aircraft carrier, and flight simulators for those who are up for the challenge! There is a tour of the Captain’s bridge and control towers guided by the Midway volunteers. There are so many activities for families to partake in, such as climbing into actual aircrafts, learning Morse code and deciphering message flags! You can walk through their onboard jail, climb in the bunk beds, and enjoy the ejection seat theatre!

The Midway has endless activities, and is a very exciting and fun museum. There are also volunteer opportunities for those who are interested! They are looking for people to assist them in promoting the Midway, and really encourage the participation of the community to help restore this beautiful aircraft carrier.

Volunteers are required to have a four month commitment, and must be at least 18 years of age. The benefits of volunteering are endless! Volunteers learn new skills; have a deeper connection and understanding about the historical nature of the carrier as well as the military culture; not to mention their discounts! For those who are interested in volunteering here is the direct link http://www.midway.org/Volunteers .

For those of you who are interested in touring the Midway, here is the direct link for that http://www.midway.org/. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Midway itself. I encourage you to take a visit; you will definitely not regret it.

I also encourage students who want a more hands on experience to take a History class, such as History 112 with Professor Ulrich-Schlumbohm. The hands on experience and volunteer work have helped me connect more with History and have a better appreciation for it. I am sure some of you will too!

Some fun facts about this aircraft carrier are that: The Midway is 1,001 feet long, and the 20th century’s longest serving carrier. It has 18 decks, 12 boilers and a 4.02 acre flight deck. It carried 4,500 crew members, 600 engineers, 225 cooks, 200 pilots, 40 corpsmen, 5 physicians, 3 dentists and 40 skippers in 47 years! The midway served 13,500 meals daily which consisted of 3,000 potatoes, 1,000 loaves of bread, 4,500 lbs of beef and 500 pies. The ship itself carried a total of 69,000 tons of weight, with 2,000 compartments, 2,000 electric motors, 1,500 telephones, and held a 3.4 million gallon capacity!

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  1. We just learned about this ship and hope to get down there soon..looks wonderful..I remember as a kid touring different ships in the S.D. harbor...it was always a great adventure...

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