When I was in elementary school, our curriculum included educational role playing simulations, which is a fancy way of saying that we, unruly children that we were, pretended to be historical figures in the name of learning. One of these programs was about the American Revolution generally, and about the Continental Congress and other such important developments more specifically. The other was a slice of Michigan history featuring Père Marquette, Antoine Cadillac, and others.
While these activities primed me to appreciate the intricacies of nation-building and the great American experiment, they didn't prepare me for the reality.
For example, no one told me that a man who essentially lied his way into respectability and power--Cadillac--could become such an essential figure in the development of North America as we now know it, and today, I'm facing down the fact that a charlatan holds the highest office in the land. Nor did they delve into the reasons why there were so few female roles for the girls to play; we just had to accept that the men ran the show.
This is part of why I'm so adamant about reading books and exploring historical topics as an adult: it's important for me to find the facts that were left out of the lessons I learned as a child. Especially in this uncertain and tumultuous age, I can't possibly stress the importance of this enough. Go out. Read a book. Learn something.
It just might save us.