Final Essay: Vocation and History

Now that you’ve completed your first assignments for HIS290, I’m going to go ahead and give you your final assignment for the class. (I’ll explain why tomorrow afternoon, when we have our first F2F session.)

In place of a final exam in this course, you will write a final 75-point essay: a 1000-word reflection on how you would relate your interest in the past and your training as a historian with what you understand to be your calling or vocation.

There are many ways to approach the assignment. (And you’ll have chance to start thinking through the question for two of your shorter response papers during the semester.) But you may want to reflect on one, possibly two of the following questions:

• Do you already have a clear sense of being called to work in a certain profession? Is it directly related to the study of the past? If not, do you think that continuing your studies in History can nevertheless prepare you well for the profession?

• If it is directly connected to study of the past (e.g., if you aspire to teach history at some point or work in a museum), then reflect more deeply on the nature of your calling: How did you discern it and how has it changed? How has it been clarified or complicated by this course? What do you need to do in the next 1-3 years to help translate this calling into a career?

• Do you have a clear sense of calling that isn’t defined in terms of profession or career? For example, do you feel a particular calling in the church, in a community, as a citizen, or among your family? How might your passions and preparation as a historian shape how you discern and follow that vocation?

For the most part, your grade will be based on the standard Writing Expectations for the course. But however you approach the assignment, I will particularly expect that you engage with multiple sources from the course. At an absolute minimum, I’d expect to see you respond to the alumnus interview from the last week of class and the faculty video conversation about calling. Especially strong essays will also likely draw on assigned readings (e.g., ch. 6 or ch. 8 in John Fea’s book), alumni interviews posted on AC 2nd, a mid-March presentation by staff from the Office of Career Development and Calling, and other resources on vocation and career I make available throughout the semester.

Your essay is due at the scheduled final exam time: Friday, May 26th, 8:15am, when we’ll have one final discussion as a class. I’ll most likely ask you both to submit an electronic copy of this essay via Moodle and bring a hard copy to that final F2F discussion.

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2 thoughts on “Final Essay: Vocation and History

  1. Pingback: Video Conversation: Career and Vocation | Intro to History

  2. Pingback: Response Paper: Exploring Careers | Intro to History

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