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Monica Monarez

Liberal Studies 375

Professor Hendricks

December 8th, 2015

Reflective Essay

Before taking this class my history knowledge was minimal, but I can

now say I feel much more confident about my knowledge of California

history. This is my first semester at California State University Dominguez

Hills and my second semester back from a four year long break from

college. I transferred from El Camino College and I went to Torrance High

School. Needless to say, history has not been my strongest subject, but I

have always managed to get by because of my sense of enthusiasm to learn

the subject and the effort I put into taking the class. On top of that, I have

thoroughly enjoyed every one of my history teachers and professors which

helps the subject to be a bit more interesting. I think what felt most

intimidated by about history was the many different dates and their events

you have to memorize for an exam.

Professor Hendricks, from listening to your lectures, I feel much more

connected to California history. During the Thanksgiving break, my family

and I played a trivia game and my team won because I remembered Ronald

Reagan was an actor before he was President. You made history very
interesting, especially with your extensive knowledge about the subject and

the many facts you shared with us. Dates and time periods flowed much

easier in my mind due to your method of teaching the lectures. I really did

like the flow of the lectures. They were both interesting and easy to see the

time-line of events presented.

I enjoyed both of the novels that were assigned, but Farewell to

Manzanar taught me the importance of viewing history from many different

perspectives. Before this class, I had read about Japanese internment camps

only in history books. Farewell to Manzanar told the story about what

happened from a Japanese American prisoners perspective. Reading that

perspective, as opposed to a history book, showed me a completely different

view of what had happened and because of that view I was able to gain

more overall knowledge about the subject. This class has taught me the

importance of researching, asking questions, and hearing about both sides

of a historic event; this will ultimately make teaching the event to my

students more accurate.

Due to the insight I have gained this semester, I will be teaching

California missions very differently than I have seen done in the past. For

instance, instead of making the old sugar-cube models of missions I love the

idea of taking a class field trip to physically see a California mission. The

significance of such an experience was presented to me during our class

presentations. Before this class I would have done one or two lesson plans

before going on this field trip, but now I can see how essential it is to have
numerous discussions about the mission before going; mission life can be

explained much differently from Father Sierra than from the point of view of

the Native American people. It is my duty as a teacher to provide

information, no matter how conflicting, to my students before going to a

mission that might not go into depth about some of its controversies.

This class has instilled several memories I will look back on in

reference to when I am teaching my own students. Although the lectures

were very informative, I would have appreciated more in class activities.

With these activities we could have created moments that could have

directly related back to the subject matter. For example, if we were to do an

activity or group discussion that was based on the material I could have

looked back on that when faced with the test. I did appreciate some of the

lectures being off the cuff because of your extensive knowledge of the

material. Not having a structured lesson plan made the class more

interesting and exciting to follow.