Christina Thomas has always excelled at history and she particularly enjoys learning about her own heritage. “It gives me a deeper understanding of people who could be living in a different time period, different country and different culture than I do,” she said. “I find I am more sympathetic to people and have more insight and understanding than I would if I had studied something else.”
While Christina knew she wanted to be a history major, she wasn’t always quite sure about Carthage. Now, she couldn’t imagine a better place. “I can say with all my heart that I am glad I chose to come to Carthage, not just because of the beautiful campus, but because of the wonderful people I’ve met here.”
“I can say with all my heart that I am glad I chose to come to Carthage, not just because of the beautiful campus, but because of the wonderful people I’ve met here.”
“To teach history at the college/university level.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“I have two favorite professors. My first is Prof. Seemee Ali. I had her for Western Heritage my freshman year. She was the sweetest person, and she always treated students with respect. She was really laid back and was a very sincere person, as well as a smart, knowledgeable professor. My other is Prof. Isabel Rivero-Vila. She is so passionate about literature and she made the class really fun. She knew when to be serious and also when to relax and have fun with the subject matter.”
“I loved Interpreting Written Texts. It was a challenging class, but at the end I was really pleased with myself and how much I grew in my ability to read and comprehend Spanish. My professor really pushed us to do well and try our best. Sometimes she would make us re-do the assignment because she knew that would be more beneficial than simply giving us the grade that we deserved. Sometimes as a college student, we get so much ‘assigned’ reading to do that we lose interest in reading for pleasure. However, after taking the class, I felt so inspired to read and expand my mind again.”
“My toughest class was probably Historical Methods. Prior to that course, I had never written a legitimate history paper before, besides what I wrote in high school. It was hard because I always felt pressured by deadlines. However, I think it was during the final few hours that I felt I wrote my best, and in the end I made it through.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“Carthage really opens doors to opportunities that exist outside the classroom. Whether it’s seeing a play in downtown Chicago, visiting a Buddhist temple, or singing at a Revival Meeting in Milwaukee, there are some great and unique experiences at Carthage that can be found nowhere else.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“My favorite moment at Carthage was probably during a rehearsal for Christmas Fest last year. We were all under a lot of pressure to get our songs right as time was running out. But while singing ‘This Little Light,’ we just got carried away and had a great time singing our hearts out and making each other laugh in the process. While we were dancing, I just took a deep breath and realized its the unexpected bursts of joy we get in life that truly make the day worth living.”
Favorite spot on campus
“I love walking along the sidewalk of Campus Drive and listening to the wind, waves and whatever else has decided to grab my attention for my five-minute walk to Lentz Hall.”
Biggest surprise so far
“It was probably winning the Brauer Scholarship last year in the History Department. Due to a lack of communication, I did not know that I was going to be awarded during Celebration of Scholars and received a frantic email from my adviser after they had called my name and I didn’t show up.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“I think I would be proud of myself. It was my third grade teacher that first made social studies relevant to me. However, I’d also probably think I was crazy for wanting to teach ‘big kids’ in college.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Read the texts and attend the classes. They both cost money, so you might as well make the most of them since you’re paying for them. Also learn to open your mind and look at the big picture. Don’t get so consumed with details that you forget why you are studying them. Be wise about how you plan your time with papers. I recommend spreading it out over time as opposed to doing it at the last minute because citations take a while to do.”