I came to a career as a professional historian naturally but indirectly. I began my college education at the University of Delaware as a pre-med major. The curriculum was heavily weighted toward the sciences, and I quickly concluded that biology was tedious, chemistry was bewildering, and physics was incomprehensible. By contrast, my history courses were interesting and easy for me, in part because my father was a history professor at what was then called Millersville State College in Pennsylvania. I switched my major to history, and told him that the change would mean that I could earn the title of doctor “the easy way” by going to graduate school. Rather than disabusing me of my naïve notion, he just smiled.Continue reading