The six kinds of students in your ancient history classes
The STEM major
Says: What pages should I study for the exam?
Took the class: To get their liberal arts credits.
Pros: Cares enough about their grade to show up and do an adequate job.
Cons: Doesn’t care about anything else.
The US History major
Says: Was Augustus more of a JFK or an LBJ?
Took the class: Because they need more history classes to fill their schedule.
Pros: You don’t have to teach them how to think historically or critically read primary sources.
Cons: Their only frame of reference for everything is American politics.
The mythology enthusiast
Says: Penelope is my favorite, but I would totally be bffs with Persephone.
Took the class: Because they loved Rick Riordan’s books.
Pros: Reading their papers is always fun.
Cons: Doesn’t quite grasp the difference between mythology and history.
The ethno-nationalist
Says: Alexander the Great invented horses! It’s true! We learned about it in Greek school!
Took the class: To make YiaYia proud.
Pros: Will bring YiaYia’s homemade baklava to class.
Cons: Will bring YiaYia’s homemade ethnic stereotypes to class.
The Bro
Says: Dude, hoplites are awesome!
Took the class: Because they love Spartans and the Colosseum.
Pros: Can always be counted on to enliven class discussion.
Cons: Has trouble understanding that enslaving your neighbors and feeding people to wild animals for entertainment are actually really bad.
The wargamer
Says: If the Spartans had used cavalry and ballistas in a mixed diamond formation they would have won at Thermopylae!
Took the class: To have other people to talk about Roman legionary tactics with.
Pros: Has charts and diagrams for everything.
Cons: Has charts and diagrams for everything.

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