For the past three years in the spring, I give a Civil War presentation to a 5th grade class at an elementary school in Liberty, Missouri.
For these talks, I combine my geekdoms. I typically walk into the classroom dressed as a Union Civil War infantryman before taking out my MacBook Pro to show them what I do as a Civil War filmmaker. I’ll show them a few clips from Wide Awake’s catalog of Civil War docs, talk about how I became immersed in the war at an early age, touch upon the need to preserve the hallowed battlefield ground and then take all 100 of them outside to teach them how to march like Civil War soldiers.
My main goal is to impart one simple concept. You don’t have to leave your childhood passions behind you. I’m fortunate that my interest in the Civil War is still alive in the work I do today. Not many people can claim to continue their passions from youth. Yet I sincerely believe that if I can do it, anyone can.
This past year the class all wrote letters of thanks for my visit. I was moved to tears when I read them. It’s nice to know you had an impact.