The history behind History Club

Emily Mann, News Editor

History Club has joined the ever-growing list of extracurriculars at North High. The club was founded by Colleen Durante and is cosponsored by Robert Toth, history teachers at North. They meet twice a month on Mondays in room 213.

Durante says that she has been wanting to incorporate this club into North for a while. Despite the club being approved last spring, Durante just recently sent out an email to recruit a cosponsor.  Durante says that Toth was the only one who seemed interested.

“I wanted to sponsor history club because I want students to study historical topics that interest them outside of the classroom,” says Toth. He touches on his passion for history saying that its always been his thing.

“It’s my favorite subject because there’s really no right answer.” Toth said. Another reason for Toth’s interest in history comes from the various lenses through which history is interpreted.

Durante says her love for history comes from the details of which it’s made. She said, “Unfortunately, the way history classes are designed, they are survey classes. You just get a basic idea of what’s going on.”

This isn’t the case for History Club. The club members have the option to participate in National History Day, or NHD, a project described by Durante as “science project but for history”. The theme for 2017 is ‘conflict and compromise’.

She says that although war and politics originally come to mind for this topic, it can go as far as the East and West coast rivalries in the 90s.

“Even if kids are doing their research about Tupac and Biggie, if they’re learning those skills, I’m happy,” said Durante.

However, NHD is not a requirement for History club. Durante responds to those hesitant to join because of NHD, saying, “They’re still welcome to come and hangout and do history stuff…without doing the project.”

Seth Bequette, sophomore, is a previous participant in NHD. They say although NHD is stressful, it’s also fun and can help them get scholarships. Seth approached Durante about NHD their freshman year, but they didn’t partake in it. However, Durante emailed Bequette this year about History Club so they joined.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Bequette. “You could think you know everything about a topic and find out you were completely wrong.” They say that their interest in history comes from learning from other mistakes and learning how to not repeat them.

Bequette also attended the first club meeting on October 16, 2017. They comment on the overall atmosphere saying that it was “odd” because of all the new faces. “The other students there are just as interested in the competition as I am so we’re a bunch of collective nerds,” said Bequette.