By: Matthias Baudinet
History is one of my dearest passions, which is why I declared myself a history major when I came to Green Mountain College. I grew up learning history at a very young age, living with people who were all history buffs, including seven different family members who were in different European military during both World Wars. The history major here on campus is a wonderful ambassador for GMC.
History majors taking a senior seminar course this semester are very well versed in different topics of the subject. As these students develop their own research, they set up meetings with different archives (both local and national), historical societies, and universities. When they go to these different places, they have the opportunity to share the good work that is going on at Green Mountain. For example, over the summer I did research at different historical societies and archives in France. I love that my presence there resulted in Green Mountain College gaining recognition in the regions of Lorraine and Alsace.
The history seminar course not only helps develop the historical skills of the students, but also helps them enhance different skills, which are necessary for their future careers. The amount of research that the students in the history seminar class are doing is demanding; but the hard work prepares them with research and writing skills essential to many careers and graduate studies.
My thesis explores the diaries and personal letters of a French Infantryman, Adrian Baudinet–my great-grandfather. Serving three years in the French army during World War I, he saw and experienced many interesting things during his time on the western front. The fact that I am doing this research not only helps my family get to know my ancestor’s story, but it also helps inform the region of France where I come from. The history seminar class provides me with a professional setting where I can complete independent research. I am looking forward to getting deeper into my research to understand the Great War through the pages of my great-grandfather.