Reflections on the History Honours Program

In addition to blog writing, I am spending this weekend casually stressing about my thesis defense, which is happening in two days.

All year, I’ve been researching (and then writing about) the role Canada played in researching, drafting, and then approving the UN partition plan for Palestine. Although I am not graduating this year, the defense will mark the end of the honours-portion of my degree.

While I may feel differently after my defense, I have enjoyed the thesis portion of the honours requirement. I loved reading through primary sources (which for me included House of Commons Debates, telegrams, speeches at the United Nations, newspaper articles, and memoirs). I also was able to present a portion of my research at the UVic Qualicum History Conference in January.

UVic HSTR 496 students
Our first outing as a crew + some randos in the back.

I remember my first day in the honours seminar. I had dyed my hair black the day before and was secretly pleased that no one there knew that. At the time, I did not know the fourteen other students in the class. However, a year of weekly three-hour seminars definitely changed that and in the end, we became friends.

Thinking back on the seminar, I miss it. Our discussions were great (especially in comparison to other seminars I’ve taken). We respected each other, and classes were positive and enlightening. We bonded over jokes about Herodotus and potatoes, and shared a general uneasiness about what post-modernism even means anyway.

potato joke shared during the uvic history honours program

The seminar (which I took in my third year) was the first time I actually met other history students. I am not very social and had never made the effort to speak to people in my classes. However, in this class we were forced to get to know each other (and also made attempts to hangout outside of class).

Meeting all of those people encouraged me to join the History Undergraduate Society (THUGS) in my fourth year. In my position as director-at-large, I have been able to meet even more great people. Now, I feel like I am part of a program, not just completing a degree in history.

Overall, I am very grateful for the opportunity to complete an honours degree in history at UVic. I met so many great people, learned so many things, and was able to complete my own independent primary research.

hstr 496 students out on the town
Left to right: Allison, Josie, Kathrine, Mariana, LJ, Dan, Eric, and Rowen. Not pictured: Bryce, Colleen, Elspeth, Jordan, Rijk, and Riley.
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