Archives for category: Education

The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Image Credit:

On Wednesday (22 February) ground was broken on the National Mall in Washington, DC  for The National Museum of African American History and Culture – the newest addition to the Smithsonian museum family.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will explore the richness and diversity of the African American experience. The museum has been collecting artifacts and documents since 2005, and expects to open in 2015. Museum director Lonnie Bunch was quoted in an NPR piece saying that most major moments in this nation’s history have been shaped by race issues. The African-American experience is central to the American experience, he said, so the stories the museum will tell are for everyone, or every race (via

President Obama, who spoke at the ground breaking, said on Wednesday that the museum was a long time coming – I totally agree. The last Smithsonian museum to be built in DC was the National Museum of the American Indian in 2004. African American history plays such a large role in America’s story, it’s about time there was a museum in our nation’s capital exploring this history and culture.

Now all we need to do is wait 3 years until it opens.

– Ann Erling Gofus


The job market is depressing.
For everyone, but especially for recent graduates. And especially, especially for recent grads who studied interesting things… like almost anything in the liberal arts.

I’m employed (although, only “temporarily” on a year long contract) AND I have a Bachelor of Arts in History. The Wall Street Journal just told me today (well, not personally) that 6.5% of my fellow History majors (the 18th most popular degree in the US, it seems) were unemployed in 2010. Grrrreeeaaattttt. BUT us History students are doing better than neuroscientist (7.2% unemployment), computer engineers (7%), AND Pre-Law and Legal Studies students (7.9%).

The Wall Street Journal has compiled a handy (and potentially depressing – depending on your degree) chart of “Best College Majors for a Career.” The chart is based on the 2010 US Census – it includes degree, rate of unemployment, 25th percentile earnings, median earnings, 75th percentile earnings, and the degree’s popularity among the 173 degrees listed.

The top 12 most popular/common degrees in the US in 2010 and their unemployment rate. Wall Street Journal

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The evening of November 7th was a night of complicated emotions. I was overwhelmed: around 100 people gathered together in a basement classroom at Georgetown University. I was confused: It seemed like a huge majority were Italian – and speaking Italian. I was jealous: Italian is such a beautiful language- Annie, WHY?! WHY!? have you not been practicing your Italian!?!? And, of course, I was excited: I had journeyed to Georgetown to see Beppe Severgnini – Italian journalist/author extraordinaire.

Mamma Mia! Berlusconi's Italy Explained for Posterity and Friends Abroad. Photo Credit Annie Erling Gofus

Mr. Severgnini was in Washington, DC  promoting his new book, Mamma Mia! Berlusconi’s Italy Explained for Posterity & Friends Abroad – a thorough and (often) humorous commentary on a situation in its final moments. “I don’t think Berlusconi will be Prime Minister by the end of the week,” Severgnini confided in his audience on Monday night – and lo and behold! Berlusconi has offered his resignation as of Tuesday night (as I write this. Heck, maybe by the time this is published tomorrow he’ll be out… fingers crossed??).

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